Sequential Performance – HDTach, HDTune, File Copy, YAPT (sequential)
We have shifted over to combining our results into two groupings for consumer reviews. First up is 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.
Silicon Motion's controller tends to outperform the Marvell controller at low QD, high throughput sequential IO, as we can see highlighted here by the top three entries. Note that the 250GB BX100 gets a nice edge in write speeds compared to the similar capacity Corsair Force LX (using the same controller).
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.
The SM2246EN *loves* sequential reads. Even faster than the Samsung 850 Pro here.
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, so that that into account when considering the above results. The Crucial units clearly write faster than the competing SM2246EN unit, but fall behind other more nimble units.
File copies uses a batch copy from within Windows, and sees added threading compared to our file creation test. The pair of BX100's come in near the head of the pack here.
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.
While all samples nearly saturate SATA 6Gb/sec on reads, we see a decent spread on writes. The Force LX (neon green) is surpassed by the similar capacity BX100 (pink) by a healthy margin. Not bad considering they are built from similar controllers and flash.