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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.

We guess that Intel NASPT provides a more realistic picture of SSD performance and it says that the best results are delivered by the OCZ Vertex 4 and the Crucial m4. The Transcend SSD720 is the best among the SandForce-based products, leaving even the Intel SSD 330 behind. This must be due to its Toggle Mode memory which has higher interface bandwidth than typical synchronous ONFI flash. Slowed down by its firmware flaws, the Silicon Power Velox V60 isn’t that fast, yet beats the Corsair Force GT. Thus, the new implementations of the SandForce platform with 24nm SanDisk flash are generally a little better than their predecessors.

Besides the average benchmark score, we would also like to offer you the results of individual usage scenarios, which will show where Silicon Power Velox V60 and Transcend SSD720 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.

Although 120- and 128-gigabyte SandForce-based SSDs can’t beat any performance records, there are a few usage scenarios where the Silicon Power Velox V60 and the Transcend SSD720 are very fast thanks to their fast memory. For example, the Velox V60 wins the test of writing folders with lots of small files and the test of starting up the OS and applications. Hopefully, this SSD will get a firmware update to solve its TRIM problem and increase its performance even more. The Transcend SSD720 seems to be potentially slower due to its disabled RAISE technology.

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