4-Way SSD Round-Up, OCZ, Corsair, Kingston, ST - HotHardware

4-Way SSD Round-Up, OCZ, Corsair, Kingston, ST

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Our Test MethodologiesUnder each test condition, the Solid State Drives tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a standard spinning hard disk for the OS and benchmark installations.  The SSDs were left blank without partitions wherever possible, unless a test required them to be partitioned and formatted, as was the case with our ATTO benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle before invoking a test.

The IOMeter Question:

As we noted in a previous SSD round-up article, though IOMeter is clearly thought of as a well respected industry standard drive benchmark, we're becoming increasingly uncomfortable with it for testing SSDs, as well as comparing their performance to standard hard drives.  The fact of the matter is, though our actual results with IOMeter appear to be accurate, it is debatable whether or not certain access patterns, as they are presented to and measured on an SSD, actually provide a valid example of real world performance, at least for the average end user.  Regardless, here's a sampling of our test runs with IOMeter version 2006.07.27 on our SSD sample lot.

In the table above, we're showing two sets of access patterns; one with an 8K transfer size, 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and one with IOMeter's default access pattern of 2K transfers, 67% reads and 100% random access.  What you see in the table above is an example of how random write operations kill I/O throughput of most SSDs in IOMeter.  There is no question random write performance is the Achille's Heel of most MLC SSDs, though SLC-based SSDs have a much easier time with it.

As you can see in the chart above, the Corsair, OCZ, and Super Talent drives perform similarly according to IOMeter, with a slight edge overall going to the OCZ Vertex series drive. The Kingston drive, which is based on Intel's technology, simply domintes, however. Intel has tweaked their SSD platform for strong random write performance and it shows in the IOMeter tests.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Drives -


Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7 920

Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme
(X58 Express Chipset)

GeForce GTX 280

6144MB Corsair DDR3-1333

Integrated on board

Western Digital Raptor - OS
OCZ Vertex Series 120GB
Corsair P256
SuperTalent UltraDrive ME 64GB
Kingston SSDNow M Series 80GB

Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Relevant Software:
Windows Vista Ultimate
DirectX 10

NVIDIA ForceWare v182.50

Benchmarks Used:
HD Tach
ATTO ver 2.02
PCMark Vantage
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2

In our SiSoft SANDRA testing, we used the Physical Disk test suite. We ran the tests without formatting the drives and read performance metrics are detailed below.  Please forgive the use of these screen captures and thumbnails, which will require a few more clicks on your part.  However, we felt it was important to show you the graph lines in each of the SANDRA test runs, so you are able to see how the drives perform over time and memory location and not just an average rated result.

OCZ Vertex Series 120GB

Corsair P256

SuperTalent UltraDrive ME 64GB

Kingston SSDNow M Series 80GB

All of the drives tested here had drive index ratings well above the 220MB/s mark according to SANDRA. The OCZ drive had the higest rating at just over 243MB/s, followed by the Corsair P256 and Kingston drives with ratings of about 235MB/s, and finally the Super Talent drive at roughly 222MB/s. 

Article Index:

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Nice right up. I am ordering either a WD scorpio black or a OCZ Solid Series for my netbook here in about an hour. The Solid series are slower, but for $109 for 30GBs a better deal. I am waiting on the girlfriend approval to find out which one I can getEmbarrassed

Anyway if I get the SSD and like it I may get a higher end SSD for my desktop down the road. I just need the a bigger one in size. I want one that can hold my OS and my steam foler(which is 51GBs right now)

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Hi there,


unfortunately you didn't test the SSDs with the latest firmwares!

Super Talent UltraDrive ME have a new firmware 1370, which sets the max. write speed to 200 MBps and read speed to 260 MBps on all drives.

And with that the overall performance and 4k random write and read should be improved also.

I think the OCZ drives have also a new firmware 1.10 or such.


So please update your article/test with the newest firmware.

Besides this, your article is good, but not great, because of lack of newest firmware!

Thanks in advance!

best regards,



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