Sequential Performance – HDTach, HDTune, File Copy, YAPT (sequential)

We are trying something different here. Folks tend to not like to click through pages and pages of benchmarks, so I'm going to weed out those that show little to no delta across different units (PCMark). I'm also going to group results performance trait tested. We'll start with sequential performance:


HD Tach will test the sequential read, random access and interface burst speeds of your attached storage device (hard drive, flash drive, removable drive, etc). All drive technologies such as SCSI, IDE/ATA, 1394, USB, SATA and RAID are supported. HDTach tests sequential performance by issuing reads in a manner that was optimized more for HDD access, but this unique method has proven useful in evaluating the sequential response time of SSDs. The accesses are relatively small in size (2k), and are issued with a single working thread (QD=1). The end result is that devices with relatively IO high latency will not reach their ultimate rated speed.

Despite much larger sequential throughput ratings, the Phoenix Blade and RevoDrive 350 are both stuck waiting on their SandForce controller latencies, and as a result they are both bested by nearly all modern (single) SATA SSDs. The P3700 was included as a taste of what is possible with an NVMe-based SSD. The difference in write/read speed ratio between the top two units can be explained by differences in the driver implementation and any hardware differences between SBC and VCA.


HDTune tests a similar level of features as compared with HDTach, but with a different access pattern. Thus provides us with an additional set of benchmark numbers to compare between storage configurations. CPU utilization has proven negligible with modern processing horsepower, and is no longer included. Additionally, we do not include write performance due to HDTune's write access pattern not playing nicely with most SSDs we have tested it on.

HDTune uses much larger block transfer sizes (when configured to do so). This enables throughput figures more representative of the true file transfer speed one would see under Windows. Here we see the Phoenix Blade eek out just a bit faster than the RevoDrive. 

PCPer File Copy Test

Our custom PCPer-FC test does some fairly simple file creation and copy routines in order to test the storage system for speed.  The script creates a set of files of varying sizes, times the creation process, then copies the same files to another partition on the same hard drive and times the copy process.  There are four file sizes that we used to try and find any strong or weak points in the hardware: 10 files @ 1000 MB each, 100 files @ 100 MB each, 500 files @ 10 MB each and 1000 files at 1 MB each.

The tool that does the file creation does so in a single threaded manner, and as a result we see little advantage to the SandForce equipped units, even despite both of them being implemented as a quad-SSD RAID-0.

File copies uses the standard Windows copy, and the added threading of this operation lets the Phoenix Blade and RevoDrive 350 stretch their throughput muscle. In this test, they actually perform remarkably close to the P3700, which is quite impressive. The top two really are neck and neck in this test though, with no clear winner between the both of them.


YAPT (yet another performance test) is a benchmark recommended by a pair of drive manufacturers and was incredibly difficult to locate as it hasn't been updated or used in quite some time.  That doesn't make it irrelevant by any means though, as the benchmark is quite useful.  It creates a test file of about 100 MB in size and runs both random and sequential read and write tests with it while changing the data I/O size in the process.  The misaligned nature of this test exposes the read-modify-write performance of SSDs and Advanced Format HDDs.

Despite its age, YAPT is able to give is fairly accurate throughput figures for multi-GB/sec transfers. With ultimate sequential speeds being limited by the SandForce controllers and Toshiba flash speed (identical in both units), it's no wonder OCZ and G.Skill are basically equal here.

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