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Testbed Configuration

For our today’s SSD test session we use a unified test system built on an Intel H77 based mainboard, which features two SATA 6 Gbit/s ports. We will use these ports to connect the tested SSDs.

As for the today’s testing participants, it turned out not as simple as we had expected. On the one hand, SanDisk Ultra Plus is an inexpensive SSD with obvious limitations on the hardware design level. However, during our practical tests it proved to be substantially better than we had originally anticipated. Therefore, we ended up comparing its performance against all current SSDs. It means that the performance diagrams below will show the results for many popular products on LSI, Marvell, LAMD, Samsung and Indilinx controllers.

The LSI SF-2281 is represented by the today’s fastest product based on it - Intel SSD 520, as well as a typical solid state drive - Corsair Force GS. LAMD LM87800 controller will be tested in Corsair Neutron GTX and Corsair Neutron SSDs. OCZ Vertex 4 and OCZ Vector defended the honor of the Indilinx Everest 2 and Indilinx Barefoot 3 controllers. Marvel platform was brought in by Plextor M5S on Marvell 9174 controller, and Plextor M5 Pro based on a more up-to-date Marvell 9187 controller. And Samsung products were represented by both contemporary drives – Samsung 840 Pro and Samsung 840. All above mentioned SSDs use exclusively synchronous MLC flash memory. Corsair Neutron, Intel SSD 520, OCZ Vertex 4, OCZ Vector and Plextor M5S are built with 25 nm memory from IMFT consortium with ONFI-interface. Corsair Force GS, Corsair Neutron GTX, Plextor M5 Pro and Samsung 840 Pro use Toggle Mode MLC NAND manufactured by Toshiba using 2x nm or 19 nm production process. Samsung 840 SSD stands out due to the fact that it is based on 21 nm TLC NAND with Toggle Mode 2.0 interface. We did our best to ensure that all testing participants came in the closest storage capacity, to ensure fairness of the comparison – 240/250/256 GB.

Overall our testbed was configured as follows:

  • Intel Core i5-3470S (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 2.9 GHz, EIST and Turbo Boost turned off);
  • Intel DH77DF mainboard (BIOS 0108);
  • 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM DIMM 9-9-9-24-1T;
  • Crucial m4 256 GB system disk (CT256M4SSD2);
  • Tested SSDs:
    • Corsair Force GS Series 240 GB (CSSD-F240GBGS-BK, firmware version 5.03);
    • Corsair Neutron GTX 240 GB (CSSD-N240GBGTX-BK, firmware version 2.06);
    • Corsair Neutron 240 GB (CSSD-N240GB3-BK, firmware version 2.06);
    • Intel SSD 520 240 GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5, firmware version 400i);
    • OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB (VTX4-25SAT3-256G, firmware version 1.5);
    • OCZ Vector 256 GB (VTR1-25SAT3-256G, firmware version 2.0);
    • Plextor M5S 256 GB (PX-256M5S, firmware version 1.03);
    • Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB (PX-256M5P, firmware version 1.03);
    • SanDisk Ultra Plus 256 GB (SDSSDHP-256G, firmware version X2306RL);
    • Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB (MZ-7PD256, firmware version DXM04B0Q);
    • Samsung 840 250 GB (MZ-7TD250, firmware version DXT07B0Q).
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Driver;
    • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver;
    • Intel Rapid Storage Technology
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