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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.

Intel’s NASPT benchmark is more adequate, in our opinion, when it comes to real-life applications. And it shows that Plextor’s new M5 Pro raises the performance bar to a higher level. Marvell’s much-touted 88SS9187 controller seems to be capable of powering a new generation of SSDs with higher average performance than what is offered by the rest of SSD platforms available today.

The Plextor M5S looks good, too. It is in the top part of the diagram, higher than many products which are viewed as fast and progressive. For example, the M5S is obviously better than the Intel SSD 520 or the OCZ Vertex 4.

Besides the average benchmark score, we would also like to offer you the results of individual usage scenarios, which will show where Plextor SSDs can really shine. 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.

Of course, the Plextor M5 Pro can’t set records in every scenario, especially as it’s hard to compete with the Intel SSD 520 whose firmware is optimized for specific desktop operations. Anyway, there are quite a lot of situations where the newest Marvell-based SSD is ahead and all of them involve processing large files. But even if it doesn’t win a test, the Plextor M5 Pro consistently delivers high performance. It doesn’t have any slumps in performance in any scenario.

The Plextor M5S is average among the best. It doesn’t win any tests, yet it is 100% worth its price.

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