TRIM, Bursts, Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
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TRIM

TRIM and fragmentation over time performance was identical to that in our last SandForce Roundup.


Short duration random write bursts (updated):

Before we get into the pros and cons, we need to point out the actual difference between these drives.  Since none of our standard tests highlighted this, I whipped up a custom IOMeter profile to highlight this difference.  What it really boils down to is tuning, and that tuning is specific to random writes.  Since these drives were meant to be used under a Windows 7 environment (or a previous OS with a properly aligned partition), they are highly optimized for writes aligned to the standard NTFS 4k cluster boundaries.

Time (sec) Corsair Force F120 OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 120GB Patriot Inferno 120GB OCZ Agility 2 120GB
0 – ~2 32000 32000 32000 32000
~2 – 60 12500 12500 12500 12500

I’ve made further adjustments to the algorithm, so the Agility 2 results are different than those taken back in May. The newer test hits the drive a bit harder, forcing it into its ultimate IOPS within just a few seconds. Aside from that adjustment, we see all 120GB Sandforce models performing identical.
 
Sandforce SSD Roundup Part Deux: 120GB Patriot Inferno, Corsair Force F120, and OWC Mercury Extreme Pro - Storage 29
 
Conclusion:

PROS: 
  • Outstanding write performance. 
  • Good IOPS scaling at higher queue depths.
  • Excellent read performance. 
CONS: 
  • Over-Provisioning results in higher cost/GB than the competition.
  • OWC lacks a 3’5″ adapter, which may negatively impact PC users.

Pricing      

Given performance is virtually identical across all of these models, your choice should land on pricing and looks (if your SSD is visible in your particular case):
  • Corsair Force F120: $304
  • OWC Mercury Extreme Pro: $320
  • Patriot Inferno: $313
  • OCZ Agility 2: $305

Final Thoughts:

It’s great to see additional competition in this 120GB Sandforce SSD sweet spot. While the ultimate cost/GB remains higher than many of the non-Sandforce units out there, you are getting the ultimate in write performance and read performance unmatched by most competing controller types. We hope to see prices driven even lower in the coming months.
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