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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.

Here is one more test that benchmarks SSDs in real-life usage scenarios, and we have the same results: the Vertex 4 SSDs fall behind the numerous group of modern products based on SandForce and Marvell controllers. It looks like the Vertex 4 can only be welcomed by enthusiasts who are excited by synthetic benchmarks. When it comes to real-life applications, the Everest 2 based SSDs are no better than regular midrange SSDs from other brands. They are hamstringed by their low sequential speed, which is lower even compared to the slow OCZ Octane.

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.

The OCZ Vertex 4 are fast when it comes to writing large files, for example when copying files to the SSD or installing software. Otherwise, this series is just average in performance.

By the way, we can see that the 256- and 512-gigabyte variants are close to each other both in synthetic benchmarks and real applications. The recently released firmware 1.4 has made the 256GB model faster, so it is now occasionally ahead of its 512GB cousin. Theoretically, the 128GB variant should be different, but we can’t check this out right now.

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