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Testbed Configuration

All SSDs were performed in a testbed built around an Intel H67 based mainboard. This chipset provides support for two SATA 6 Gbit/s ports, which we use to connect the tested SSDs.

We are going to compare the performance of Patriot Pyro SE against several other solid state drives of the similar storage capacity that support SATA 6 Gbps interface. Among them are two products on Marvell 88SS9174 controller – Crucial m4 and Corsair Performance Pro, and three close relativeles of our today’s hero – SSDs on the second-generation SandForce controller. Among them are a typical SSD with 32 nm Toggle NAND (OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS), a typical SSD with 25 nm synchronous memory (Corsair Force Series GT), a typical SSD with 25 nm asynchronous memory (Corsair Force Series 3)  and a unique Intel SSD 520 Series using regular 25 nm synchronous memory but featuring exclusive firmware.

Overall our testbed was configured as follows:

  • Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.1 GHz, EIST and Turbo Boost turned off);
  • Foxconn H67S mainboard (BIOS A41F1P03);
  • 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM DIMM 9-9-9-24-1T;
  • Crucial m4 256 GB system disk (CT256M4SSD2);
  • Tested SSDs:
    • Corsair Force 3 Series 240 GB (CSSD-F240GB3-BK, firmware version 1.3.3);
    • Corsair Force GT Series 240 GB (CSSD-F240GBGT-BK, firmware version 1.3.3);
    • Corsair Performance Pro 256 GB (CSSD-P256GBP-BK, firmware version 1.0);
    • Crucial m4 256 GB (CT256M4SSD2, firmware version 0309);
    • Intel SSD 520 240 GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5, firmware version 400i);
    • OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB (VTX3MI-25SAT3-240G, firmware version 2.15);
    • Patriot Pyro SE (PPSE240GS25SSDR, firmware version 3.3.2).
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Driver 9.3.0.1019;
    • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 15.22.54.2622;
    • Intel Rapid Storage Technology 10.8.0.1003.

Performance

Random and Sequential Reading/Writing

We use CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 benchmark to test the random- and sequential read and write speed. This benchmark is convenient to work with as it can measure the speed of an SSD with both incompressible random and fully compressible recurring data. This feature is important for testing SSDs based on SF-2281 controller, which tries to compress the data before writing it into memory. So, there are two numbers in the diagrams below that reflect the maximum and minimum SSD speed. The real-life performance of an SSD is going to be in-between those two numbers depending on how effective the controller data compression is.

Note that the performance tests in this section refer to SSDs in their “Fresh Out-of-Box” state (FOB). No degradation could have taken place yet.

It is not the first time we deal with a drive on SF-2281 controller that is why we were able to predict the results even before the testing. Since Patriot Pyro SE uses synchronous flash memory with ONFI interface, it should work at about the same speed as Corsair Force Series GT, which is exactly what we have just seen. The rule states that the type of flash memory is a major factor affecting performance of an SSD. And there is only one exception to it: Intel SSD 520 Series, which works in its own unique way because of the exclusive firmware.

 
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