Articles: Storage

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Next goes our homemade test of defragmentation speed. We created a very defragmented file system on a 32GB partition of a disk by loading it with music, video, games and applications. Then we saved a per-sector copy of the disk and now copy it to the disk we want to test. The tested disk is connected to the mainboard’s SATA controller whose operation mode (AHCI/Standard SATA) is controlled from the mainboard’s BIOS. Next we run a script that evokes the console version of the Perfect Disk 8.0 defragmenter and marks the time of the beginning and end of the defragmentation process. Thus, each drive is tested twice – with AHCI support turned on and off on the controller. You can refer to this article for details about this test.

Strictly speaking, this test makes no practical sense for solid state drives because there is nothing to defragment on them. Every memory cell is equivalent to any other, so defragmentation won’t have any effect. However, this test will allow us to compare how much time SSDs spend reading and writing the same amount of small data blocks.

Intel’s SSDs are superior in this test. The newer X25-M takes only half the time the best of the OCZ models needs to complete the test. The first-generation drive from Intel is almost as fast as the leader, too. The OCZ Summit, based on a Samsung controller, is third. The Vertex Mac Edition and Agility are the best among the Indilinx-based models whereas the Vertex Turbo and the ordinary Vertex take over half and hour to pass the test. This is a vivid example of how performance depends on firmware.

Performance in WinRAR

Now we are going to show you one more interesting test in which we use WinRAR version 3.8 to compress and then uncompress a 1.13GB folder with 8118 files in 671 subfolders. The files are documents and images in various formats. These operations are done on the tested drive. This test depends heavily on CPU performance, but the storage device affects its speed, too.

Intel’s SSDs are better than the others at reading numerous small files and then writing one large file. The models from different generations notch almost the same time here. The Indilinx-based products from OCZ vary greatly: the Agility is ahead of all OCZ SSDs, including the Summit with Samsung controller, while the Vertex and Vertex Mac Edition are slower than it by almost one minute.

When the SSDs unpack the archive, the standings are not neat, either. For example, the Vertex Mac Edition is in the top three, sharing the podium with Intel’s products. The other Indilinx-based models took longer to perform the task. The OCZ Vertex is especially poor: 2 minutes is too long a time for such a simple task.

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