OCZ Core Series SSD Vs VelociRaptor, Sneak Peek!

OCZ Core Series SSD Vs VelociRaptor, Sneak Peek!

There has obviously been a fair amount of buzz going on in the market about SSDs (Solid State Disks) as of late, as pricing continues its downward trend.  In addition performance has continued to improve with SSDs as the technology matures.  Recently, announcements from major OEMs like Samsung have promised fairly impressive offerings with read/write performance that would rival most standard spinning disks and of course sub 1ms access times that literally no standard rotational media could come close to.

In preparation for an SSD round-up here at HotHardware, we started getting in eval samples from various vendors and one of them perhaps has made a bit more of a splash than others recently, with it's $239 after rebate price tag (64GB model, 128GB is $399 - $449) and specified 120 - 140MB/sec read  - 80 - 93MB/sec write performance.  So we decided to give you all a quick-take look at it before we dig into the pile of SSDs we have here in the lab...

The OCZ Core Series SATA II 64GB Solid State Drive is here on the test bench and we pitted it against some stiff competition.

   

The following are some quick numbers from HD Tach and PCMark Vantage that should give you a taste of both synthetic and semi real-world performance with the OCZ Core series, versus what might be the only SATA drive on the market today that can keep up with top notch SSD performance, the WD VelociRaptor.  Click the thumbnails here for full view...

   
OCZ 64GB Core SSD                                                   WD VelociRaptor    

As you can see, in terms of read performance, the OCZ Core Series SSD has virtually identical performance across its entire 64GB volume once you hit 64kb block sizes.  The OCZ Core drive's average read performance clocks in at over 140MB/s and it was actually able to outpace the VelociRaptor here by a significant margin of about 11MB/s or 8%.  When we look at average write performance, the tables turn dramatically and the OCZ Core SSD drive tops out at 87MB/sec with the VelociRaptor offering nearly identical read/write performance. 


We've seen some oddities with SSD drives in our standard HD Tach testing, so we're going to look deeper into that and experiment with different SATA controllers.  Our testing was done on an Intel X48 chipset board (Asus P5E3 Premium) with the ICH9R Southbridge. 

We then decided to run the new OCZ drive through some basic application testing with PCMark Vantage.  Here are the results...

 
OCZ Core SSD - 64G SATA - 9856 PCMark Vantage HDD Score



WD VelociRaptor - 300G SATA - 3690 PCMark Vantage HDD Score


Here we see the OCZ Core drive mop the floor with the VelociRaptor, largely due to lighting fast random access times we suspect, as well as its strong read performance.  The only test that doesn't bode as well for the SSD drive is the Windows Media Center test, where the VelociRaptor outpaces the SSD by 20% or so.

Though SSDs are not even close to price parity with standard hard drives just yet, there's no question the SSD is going to be the storage media of the future.  We'll have a much more detailed look at the current state of Solid State Disk technology, coming in the weeks ahead.

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i dont think ssd will be "the" storage media of the future due to smaller capacity, but i forsee people having a ssd drive for o/s, applications. and having a normal hard drive for storage music, movies, etc.... (files where bandwidth wont matter).

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I can't wait to see the full-blown SSD round-up!

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 Once I see some reasonably priced SSDs in the 200-250 gb range is when i will get one.

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ice_73:
i dont think ssd will be "the" storage media of the future due to smaller capacity
 

It's not as if that won't change in time.

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well recover, i dont think ti will change in the next 5-10 years. people want at least 500gb on a ssd as a substitute to hard drives. so for the future i dont see hard drives going away.

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Ice, I think you're right, at least in the short term. Think 12 months or so here... Silicon technology advances significantly faster than hard disk technology, though it will be sometime before cost/density parity are reached. I'll go out on a limb here though (maybe not so much) and say that this time next year, you'll all be jonesing for a fast, high density SSD in your rig. It will be boutique at first, then it will likely take off like wildfire.

A year ago, a 64GB SSD was $1K or more... nuff said. :)

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Davo:
Ice, I think you're right, at least in the short term. Think 12 months or so here... Silicon technology advances significantly faster than hard disk technology, though it will be sometime before cost/density parity are reached. I'll go out on a limb here though (maybe not so much) and say that this time next year, you'll all be jonesing for a fast, high density SSD in your rig. It will be boutique at first, then it will likely take off like wildfire.

A year ago, a 64GB SSD was $1K or more... nuff said. :)


maybe your right, but i dont think it will only take a year, i think in about 2-3 years ssd disks will be affordable enough so that alot of people can use them and in about 5 years, hard drives will be phased out (like floppy drives )

i admit, i spent about 120 on my 74gb raptor so i dont really care about storage too much. but i have friends who are not the best in computers and all they look at is ghz, amount of ram, and amount of hard drive space. in order for companies like dell, hp, conpaq to get ssd as their main storage config they gotta be really cheap and store a decent amount. i do not see this happening in under 5 years.

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ice_73:
people want at least 500gb on a ssd as a substitute to hard drives
 

Says who? Not everyone runs big hard drives and by big I mean anything over a couple hundred gigs. IMO SSDs will become mainstream sometime in 2010.

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Can a quantitative test be performed with MS Flight Sim X?

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 Imagine having a Silent Raid system. How awesome is that. If you say run raid 5 with a bunch of hard disks your pc or server sounds like a 747 taking off. However with SSD, youl be like "is my computer on ?" heh

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Yeah SSD's aren't there yet but there's a few things on the horizon some near some far in the storage market. I was reading about IBM's Nanotube HD's today it in research figures far outperforms either SCSI IDE Sata and SSD but is roughly 7 years off. Either way we've been at current HD status quo for how many years now? Lol and everything else hardware wise gets an upgrade every 6 months or yearly at least.

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Ice_73, your argument is lacking,

Dave is refering to the future of the IT industry, not the present HDD market.

In the near future the SSD's will feature in performance systems as the carrier of OS and Applications (8 Second vista startup anyone?) and yes, silent rigs.

 SSD Technology at the present still needs working on,

I agree with Dave however, That in the 'future' once these adjustments have been made, SSD technology WILL ultimately outpace any physical disk - and with inclusions of better interfaces and chipsets become the next generation of storage, Business or otherwise.

Trust us on this one, when you're running 40TB of storage on SSD drives that run faster, cheaper (electricity wise) and more reliably then those darn SCSI drives (that are often replaced) you will be able to supply a more environmentally and technologically stable solution - that's where the money is at. Not to mention the portability options for Laptop users.

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Emin3nce:

Ice_73, your argument is lacking,

Dave is refering to the future of the IT industry, not the present HDD market.

In the near future the SSD's will feature in performance systems as the carrier of OS and Applications (8 Second vista startup anyone?) and yes, silent rigs.

 SSD Technology at the present still needs working on,

I agree with Dave however, That in the 'future' once these adjustments have been made, SSD technology WILL ultimately outpace any physical disk - and with inclusions of better interfaces and chipsets become the next generation of storage, Business or otherwise.

Trust us on this one, when you're running 40TB of storage on SSD drives that run faster, cheaper (electricity wise) and more reliably then those darn SCSI drives (that are often replaced) you will be able to supply a more environmentally and technologically stable solution - that's where the money is at. Not to mention the portability options for Laptop users.

ugh, thats what i said. that most people will use ssd and a hard drive. ssd for boot and applications and hard drive for music, video etc...  of course in a few years ssd will be the only thing in hard drives, but that will take imo about 5 years.

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You're all noobs, SSD technology doesn't need working on. Samsung are due to release their 250gb SSD drive in the next few months and it is even faster than the OCZ drives, people are speculating that the price point will be around $250 so OCZ have got these babies to market double quick so they are able to sell them for these prices for a few months before Samsung come along and demolish the competition :P

Looking at the performance figures, 5 to 7 times quicker in everyday apps, it's easy to see why everyone should want an SSD, even at this relatively small capacity / high price point. Also, remember that's just with 1 drive. RAID 0 a couple of these bad boys up and you have an array that will destroy anything in its path.

A sensible enthusiast user should already have his HD partitioned up into a relatively small "system" partition, and some larger partitions for storage. It's not hard to see how you could make a couple of these small and relatively cheap SSD drives your "system" partition and have everything else stored on nice cheap HDD. Remember the original 36gb raptors? Nobody seemed to have a problem with the limited space on those... I/O has been the bottleneck in Windows for years, remove it and you've got a real flier.

But yes, most mainstream users don't know what a hard drive is, let alone the difference between magnetic and solid state, most people I speak to call their base unit the "hard drive", trying to tell that type of user how to manage their OS so that the most frequently accessed files are stored on the fastest media might drive a person to insanity rather quickly. But we're not here because we're averrage users, we're geeks, and should embrace this technology now while the gettings good!

The real sea change from HDD to SSD will come when SSD drives are the same capacity and roughly double the price of a standard HDD now. That is when mainstream system builders like Dell and HP etc will start including them and that is only really about 6 months to a year away.

Let the good times roll.

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Let the good times roll indeed, Harold. Welcome to the HH community as well. :)

You're right we all are snobs, performance snobs that is.

I agree with you with respect to how quickly SSDs will take off from here but they do have a long way to go before they surplant the hard drive for mass storage. 250GB is plenty for the notebook and desktop markets though, if the price can get below $1/Gig. Let's face it, it's coming and their will be a big hit to the spinning drive market but the interesting thing will be how quickly the transition comes in higher density storage and how traditional spinnning drive guys can morph (or not) into silicon drive manufacturers.

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I am curious how this is going to effect hard drive companies. Samsung makes most of the worlds memory chips from my understanding so I am curious of how this supply-demand is gona work unless these other companies start manufacturing their own memory chips.

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I'm not sure what the actual numbers are but I do know their are plenty of other vendors out there that Samsung won't have any kind of monopoly.

 

Another good question is what, if any, effect this will have on the DRAM market.

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I once read about some negatives of SSDs, and I don't hear much about them when people start talking about the performance gains. Those negatives were 1) a limited # of, or finite, read/writes and 2) performance slowly (granted, it's probably VERY slowly) diminishes over time.

Are these still concerns? Anyone have more info on them or think they are issues?

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It is a myth that SSD's have short lifespans due to limited read/writes. SSD's have very long lifetimes. With wear-leveling they are easily longer lived than normal HDD's.

Their seek times are much faster than a normal HDD, but writing can be slow, as can sustained transfer speed.

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I wonder if they can add some kind of high speed cache to speed up write times. Kind of like the way enterprise store companies like EMC address write latency. Unless of course they are already doing this. :)

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I didn't say short lifespan; I said "a limited # of, or finite, read/writes," which even if it's really high (I saw some numbers once but can't recall them), what happens when that # is reached? Does the SSD no longer respond or is performance just diminished?

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I too have heard or read this somewhere. Was this question answered or adressed?

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I really want this as a start up hard drive. I thought 64 GB was low but then i compared to my 20 gbs and this drive should do fine.

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SqUiD267:

I really want this as a start up hard drive. I thought 64 GB was low but then i compared to my 20 gbs and this drive should do fine.

 Same here. But I'd use it with a standard HD in RAID1. I don't trust the manufacturers and their claims about reliability, this is not a graphics card that can be replaced and life goes on

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The Velociraptor values are a tad low, did you use IDE? Mine with AHCI and the WD 640GB

Western Digital 6400AAKS 640GB: 5086

HDD - Windows Defender 22.26

HDD - gaming 15.27

HDD - importing pictures to Windows Photo Gallery 50.72

HDD - Windows Vista startup 20.68

HDD - video editing using Windows Movie Maker 52.04

HDD - Windows Media Center 89.89

HDD - adding music to Windows Media Player 10.72

HDD - application loading 5.56

30% faster, twice the performance on Movie Maker. Other reviews show much higher values too :/

Your Velociraptor review also shows higher values: http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/Western_Digital_Velociraptor_300GB/?page=6

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