Articles: Storage

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Random and Sequential Reading/Writing

We use Anvil's Storage Utilities 1.0.51 to measure random and sequential ref and write speeds. The synthetic benchmark integrated into this software suite provides a great overview of the products by experimentally checking out a wide variety of speed characteristics of the tested SSD.

The results you see here refer to the FOB (fresh out-of-box) non-degraded SSD performance. Moreover, we use incompressible data, which is formally the least favorable scenario for the LSI SF-2281 controller that employs on-the-fly data compression. Our tests show, however, that in today’s world when the data may only be partially compressed and the utilized flash memory has high-speed synchronous interface, the compression algorithms do not have a big effect on the real-life performance of SSDs with SandForce controllers. Therefore, we gave up the idea of testing SandForce-based SSDs with compressible data: These results would be exclusively artificial in nature and wouldn’t have any practical value for us today.

The Toshiba THNSNH behaves in a highly original way in our first synthetic benchmark. Its performance doesn’t betray its Marvell controller at all. Marvell controllers are usually very good at processing random-address requests with a long request queue but the Toshiba THNSNH is slow at such loads. It is also slow at reading random-address 4KB data blocks with a short request queue. On the other hand, this SSD is too fast, for a Marvell-based product, at sequential operations and even at random-address operations with large data blocks.

So, the Toshiba TC58NC5HA9CST seems to have a thoroughly revised modification of the original Marvell design. Toshiba’s engineers have set different priorities for their customization and firmware optimizations, therefore their solution differs dramatically from ordinary Marvell-based SSDs, even though they have the same flash memory.

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