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Performance in Intel IOMeter

Sequential Read & Write Patterns

IOMeter is sending a stream of read and write requests with a request queue depth of 4. The size of the requested data block is changed each minute, so that we could see the dependence of the drive’s sequential read/write speed on the size of the processed data block. This test is indicative of the maximum speed the drive can achieve.

The numeric data can be viewed in tables. We will discuss graphs and diagrams.

The SSDs split into two groups when processing small data blocks: both SSDs from Intel and the Samsung-based OCZ Summit are somewhat faster than the Indilinx-based products. The new Intel and the Vertex Turbo deliver the highest top speed, being ahead of the ordinary Vertex and Mac Edition. The Summit is somewhat slower but better than the first-generation Intel. Take note of the obvious progress Intel’s SSDs have made in processing large data blocks. The Agility is the slowest drive in this test, yet it wouldn’t be inferior even to the best of modern HDDs.

We can see two groups of drives at writing, too. The faster group includes the Vertex Turbo, Vertex Mac Edition and Summit. Interestingly, the ordinary Vertex falls behind its series mates, being even somewhat slower than Intel’s SSDs. The latter deliver their specified speeds, the second-generation model being a tiny bit better than its predecessor. The Agility is nothing but modest in this test. Although it is not promised to be fast, it is based on the same Indilinx controller as the Vertex series. Frankly speaking, we had expected it to be better.

Disk Response Time

In this test IOMeter is sending a stream of requests to read and write 512-byte data blocks with a request queue of 1 for 10 minutes. The total amount of requests processed by the drive is much more than its cache buffer, so we get a sustained response time that doesn’t depend on the drive’s cache.

Intel’s SSDs of both generations are unrivalled in terms of response time. They are very fast both at reading and writing. All of the Indilinx-based drives are good, too. They all have the same read response time. And when it comes to writing, it is only the simplified Agility that has a worse, but not downright poor, result than the others. The Summit, even though the worst model in this comparison, is not actually bad. Its read response is 100 times as good as that of 7200rpm HDDs! And its write response is five times as good as HDDs’. So, we already know at least three controllers that allow SSDs based on slower MLC flash memory to deliver a better write response time than HDDs have. Early SSDs could not do that.

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