LSI WarpDrive 300GB PCI Express SSD Review

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PCMark Vantage HDD

We really like PCMark Vantage's HDD Performance module for its real-world application measurement approach to testing.  PCMark Vantage offers a trace-based measurement of system response times under various scripted workloads of tradtional client/desktop system operation.  From simple Windows start-up performance to data streaming from a disk drive in a game engine and video editing with Windows Movie Maker, we feel more comfortable that these tests reasonably illustrate the performance profile of SSDs in an end-user/consumer PC usage model.

This series of Vantage tests will stress read performance in real-world usage models, with a broad mix of sequential and random read transactions of both small and large file sizes.

Futuremark's PCMark Vantage


The LSI WarpDrive once again shows best-in-class performance in this set of Vantage HDD that are mostly read intensive workloads. The WarpDrive handily out-paces the OCZ RevoDrive X2 and even occasionally bests the Fusion-io ioDrive.  The ioDrive incidentally put up the fastest Vista Startup score by a wide margin, but then again, you can't boot from the device either, nor can you from the ioXtreme.  The WarpDrive put up the fastest Vista Startup score of all the bootable SSD solutions we tested.  However, we'd note that when we actually installed a Windows 7 X64 image on the WarpDrive, it took about 24 seconds to get to a desktop, whereas the RevoDrive X2 was able to shave about 10 seconds off that market getting booting Win 7 in only 13.5 seconds.  Clearly workstation users aren't going to be as concerned with OS boot times, as much as they are with something like video or 3D rendering, but it should be noted that LSI has a bit of work to do in this area.  It seems as if the card isn't hitting its full potential in this one test simple test condition we placed on it. Finally, we should also note that there is currently a small bug, in LSI's Windows 7 drivers at least, that didn't allow the card to be detected during OS installation as a boot drive if AHCI was enabled in the motherboard BIOS.  Once we disabled AHCI, we were able to load drivers and target the WarpDrive as our boot volume.

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