Intel SSDs RAID 0, A Case Study In Speed, Take 2

We recently showed you how Intel was intent on upping the ante in Solid State Disk performance, with our evaluation and performance analysis on the release of their X25-M series SSDs.  Though offerings from other SSD manufacturers like OCZ and Samsung have come to market with better performance since then, there was no question Intel's SSD flat out smoked the competition in the cost-effective, consumer grade MLC (Multi-Level Cell) SSD market. With an average sustained throughput of ~225MB/sec for reads, around 74MB/sec observed write performance, and blistering fast sub-millisecond random access, we were left thoroughly impressed by Intel's first consumer-ready effort in SSD technology. However, at the time of launch, we only had access to one of these new SSDs from Intel and as such couldn't provide you with RAID performance metrics back then. 


Of course, that changed the other day when the local courier delivered another Intel kit to our door. As such, and with a bit of that "Friday on our minds" attitude adjustment going on in the lab, we decided to RAID a pair of these SSDs up to see what they could do.  Blinding speed in RAID 0 mode?  Yes, you could say that...

Test system specifications:  Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850, Asus Striker II Extreme (790i SLI Ultra chipset) motherboard, 2GB Corsair DDR3-1,333, GeForce 8800 GTX


Sandra HDD Read - Click for full view

Sandra HDD Write - Click for full view

IOMeter Results - 8K File Size, 80% Reads/20% Writes, 20% Random Access

Though there is a pronounced saw-toothed performance pattern here, you can see that a pair of these drives offers, you guessed it, up to double the IO throughput of a single drive.  For any standard SATA RAID 0 array we've tested to date, these are easily the fastest IOMeter numbers we've seen.  Interestingly, our Sandra tests show the drives offer 396MB/s for read performance and 130MB/s write performance, while HD Tune and HD Tach show peaks and valleys from 200MB/s to 300MB/s.  Regardless, we hope you enjoyed this quick-take performance test of what Intel's new SSDs can do in a performance-targeted RAID 0 setup.  As always, with RAID 0, be sure to back up your data since you're effectively doubling your available failure points.  Regardless, we're sure many of you have run RIAD 0 setups reliably for years now and there's no question a pair of Intel's X25M drives will make for a potent storage subsystem, especially as an OS volume.

Word is Intel's performance-tuned SLC drives are waiting in the wings too. So stay tuned here for our analysis as we get our hands on one of those beasts.

Tags:  Intel, SSD, RAID, SD, SSDs, case, Study, Speed, DS, Take 2, AI, id, K