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Performance in Intel NASPT

As you can tell from the name, this program was created by Intel professionals to test external storage devices with network interface, i.e. NAS. But it turned out that the same utility could also be used to test other storage devices, such as flash or solid state drives. The only requirement is that the tested drive has a logical drive letter assigned to it and is large enough to accommodate the test files set.

The idea behind this test is very simple: there is a set of files created on the tested drive, which is used for different scenarios. These scenarios cover all disk operations performed on the tested drive (file, offset, data size and read/write operation).

The standard testing suite includes the drive working as a streaming data source (HD Playback tests), files read/write speed tests (like FC-test) and tests like Photo Album and Content Creation, which names speak for themselves.

So, let’s start with the tests dealing with large files processing:

As we can see, the testing participants split in two clear groups according to the interface they were tested with. With SATA-300 Crucial C300 suddenly took the lead closely followed by two Intel drives.

It is interesting but the same Crucial C300 with SATA 600 interface turned out the slowest. Although it has an excuse: after all, it was the first drive with SATA-600 interface and it was released much earlier than any of other today’s testing participants.

Intel products took over the lead in SATA-600 tests. Vertex 3 SSDs, however, yielded a little to Intel 510, although they all stayed very close together.

Crucial m4 worked a little faster than its predecessor.

Now let’s see how the drives cope with file reading in two threads:

Once again we clearly see the separation: SATA-600 interface still gives the drives more chances to shine.

Under two-thread load Vertex 3 SSDs not only challenged Intel products, but even outperformed them. Only the 120 GB Vertex 3 model let the larger Intel 510 get ahead. Other than that we have every right to state that Vertex 3 SSDs are faster in this test.

Things are a little more complicated with Crucial SSDs: two-thread load not prevented the m4 model from getting ahead of the C300, but made them extremely close.

Now let’s increase the number of threads to 4:

With four threads Intel 510 250 GB SSD stepped up a line, but still failed to take over the leadership. Vertex 3 SSD with maximum capacity remains the king of the hill. Crucial m4 finally broke free from C300.

Now let’s see how the drives will cope with writing a large file. I suspect that Intel 510 will be ahead again…

And I was right: Intel 510 250 GB does cope with sequential writing better than everyone else. I would also like to say that the interface has the lowest effect on the results in this test compared with the reads. Despite all software optimizations flash memory still limits the write speed. It is most visible on vertex 2.

Now let’s check out simultaneous reading and writing of large files:

Well, Crucial m4 is finally among the leaders, with Intel 510 still being the No.1.

Content creation tests are the most confusing, but let’s assume that they do have something to do with our everyday work. Although in reality no one is capable of creating content as fast as the SSD is capable of saving it :)

Remarkably, Vertex 3 SSDs are the ultimate winners here. Their performance advantage percentage is outstanding. Great job, Vertex 3! Well done, OCZ!

Another test with intuitively understandable name – Office Productivity:

How much depends on the drive in this test!

But anyway, if the office employees had Vertex 3 SSDs in their systems (this is the winner of this test), then by the end of the day they would undoubtedly get considerably more work done.

Now we move on to not such an understandable test - we are going to measure how fast a set of files can be written onto a drive:

Intel 510 is again the winner, with Vertex 3 SSDs following closely behind. Crucial m4 also did pretty well.

Now let’s check out the opposite operation – reading a set of files off the drive:

The picture changes: junior Intel 510 model outperformed the senior one. And the two of them outperformed everyone else. The second surprise is the old Crucial c300 being faster than the new m4 one.

I wonder if the situation changes when we work with a folder?

And it did! Intel SSDs suddenly gave in to Vertex 3 as well as Crucial C300. Vertex 3 SSDs are the leaders here.

Now let’s put the test folder back on the drive:

No, Intel doesn’t give in that easily. Only one Vertex 3 SSD managed to withstand Intel during file reading. Crucial M4 is convincingly faster than C300 this time.

Finally, the last test – photographs processing speed:

The leading group includes Crucial and Intel, and Vertex 3 SSDs take a step back.

Summing up all the obtained results, we would like to single out Intel SSDs that proved exceptional when working with large files and Vertex 3 SSDs that worked brilliantly in threaded tasks and aren’t afraid of complex loads.

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