Fusion-io vs Intel X25-M SSD RAID, Grudge Match Review

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PCMark Vantage

Next we ran the Intel RAID 0 arrays and our Fusion-io ioDrive through a battery of tests in PCMark Vantage from Futuremark Corp. We specifically used only the HDD Test module of this benchmark suite to evaluate all of the drives we tested. Feel free to consult Futuremark's white paper on PCMark Vantage for an understanding of what each test component entails and how it calculates its measurements. For specific information on how the HDD Test module arrives at its performance measurements, we'd encourage you to read pages 35 and 36 of the white paper.

Futuremark's PCMark Vantage
http://www.futuremark.com

We really like PCMark Vantage's HDD Performance for its real-world application measurement approach to testing.  From simple Windows Vista start-up performance to data streaming from a disk drive in a game engine and video editing with Windows Movie Maker, we feel that these tests better illustrate the real performance profile of an SSDs in an end user/consumer PC or Workstation usage model.

This specific set of PCMark Vatange HDD tests are generally read-intensive measurements, whether reading files like images in Windows Photo Gallery or scanning the hard drive for threats in Windows Defender.  The Vista Startup and gaming tests are indicative of application loading performance, which is also a read-intensive operation.  Regardless, here we see two Intel SSDs in RAID 0 offer around 80 - 90% of the performance of a four drive SSD array, with the exception of Windows Photo Gallery, where 50+% performance gain is observed when scaling to 4 drives.

The Fusion-io 160GB ioDrive offers a 2 to 2.5X performance advantage across the board for this series of benchmarks, with Vista Startup and Gaming performance being its strong suit.  Unfortunately, the ioDrive at this point can not be set as a bootable volume, though we are told Fusion-io's next generation, lower cost ioXtreme drive is expected to have this capability.  In any event, you can't help but be a little blown away by how this product performs versus a four-drive RAID 0 setup of some of the fastest traditional SATA SSD technology available on the market today.  Granted the ioDrive's cost is certainly several times that of the aforementioned SATA solution ($7200 for 160GB, $2995 for 80GB), so this level of performance is of course to be expected.  In addition, we all know this sort of bleeding edge technology in general has a steep cost reduction curve, as things mature in the market for volume requirements and economies of scale in manufacturing can be achieved.


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