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Intel NAS Performance Toolkit

Intel NASPT is another disk sub-system test that uses real-life usage scenarios. Like PCMark 7, Intel NASPT reproduces predefined disk activity traces and measures how fast they are executed. However, the default traces are designed for network attached storage devices rather than for SSDs. Therefore during our test session we replace them with the specially developed SSD Benchmarking Suite which offers more relevant usage scenarios such as compressing and decompressing files, compiling large projects, copying files and folders, loading 3D game levels, installing software, batch-processing photos, searching a digital library for data, mass-launching applications, and transcoding video.

Like PCMark 7, this benchmark gives us a true-to-life illustration of disk subsystem performance. Here the SSDs are again tested in their “steady” state.

Firmware 1.5 improves the performance of the Vertex 4 series in Intel NASPT. They used to fall behind the fastest SSDs with LSI (SandForce) and Marvell controllers but now they can leave quite a lot of their opponents behind. In fact, the Vertex 4 series is only outperformed by the premium solutions: Corsair Performance Pro and Intel SSD 520. So, the improved specs do reflect increased performance of Vertex 4 SSDs.

The detailed INASPT results help us see what usage scenarios are the most suitable for our today’s testing participants. Take note that the data-transfer rate is higher than the SATA III interface bandwidth in some subtests. That’s because INASPT is a high-level test that uses standard Windows functions to access the disk subsystem. As a result, the OS caching mechanisms also affect the results.

Since OCZ focuses on improving the speed of sequential operations, it is in such scenarios that the Vertex 4 SSDs show their best. They can deliver impressive performance at copying or writing large files. The downside is that they are far from brilliant at other loads.

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