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Intel NAS Performance Toolkit

Intel NASPT is another disk sub-system test that employs 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 seems to show a more realistic picture of performance, and the Samsung 840 Pro is on top again, enjoying a large advantage over its opponents. There is no doubt that it is the fastest SSD available today. The ex-leaders OCZ Vector and Plextor M5 Pro look quite mediocre in comparison.

The inexpensive Samsung 840 isn’t bad, either. Using slower TLC flash, it is quite fast by today’s standards. For example, it is ahead of any SandForce-based SSD and beats the popular OCZ Vertex 4 and Corsair Neutron.

Besides the average benchmark score, we would also like to offer you the results of individual usage scenarios, which will show where new Samsung SSDs can really shine. Note that the data-transfer rate is higher than the SATA 3 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.

Samsung’s platform is especially good at processing large files, but delivers high performance in every other case, too. According to Intel’s NASPT, the Samsung 840 Pro isn’t a perfect system disk. The Intel 520 may be a better choice for certain usage scenarios thanks to its customized firmware. However, even Intel NASPT suggests that the Samsung 840 Pro is the best versatile SSD for a broad range of applications.

The Samsung 840 looks good, too. Its performance/price ratio is very attractive. Its speed isn’t very high when you have to write a lot of data on it, but such tasks aren’t very typical for SSDs. Otherwise, this inexpensive Samsung 840 is comparable to the Plextor M5S or Corsair Neutron.

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