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.
We see some oddities here. The Patriot Ignite had issues with HDTach's QD=1 reads, but that problem has been solved in the Trion 100's, presumably due to firmware tuning. What was odd was the write speeds. Typically SSDs with limited write speeds only do so at the lower cpaacities, and those speeds tend to scale as capacity goes up. If you double the number of dies on an SSD, you effectively double the possible throughput to the flash. Either the Trion 100's just do not like QD=1 writes, or there is something else at the controller level hanging up the write throughput. More to follow on that front as these benches continue…
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.
We have HDTune configured to perform large block reads, but the test is performed after the HDTach run (small sequential writes). No trouble with reads on the Trion 100 units here, though Phison in general seems a bit less solid than the competition in this metric.
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.
Well now we know that it was not just HDTach's QD=1 performance as the cause for the slow write speeds. File creation test results are equally as bad here for the Trion, as all three capacities are beaten by a three year old 1TB Velociraptor (hard drive) in nearly every test.
We know the read performance of the Trion 100's is good, so the poor results here are most likely solely the result of the poor write speeds seen earlier.
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.
YAPT tests with a workload that is small enough to fit within the SLC cache area of the Trion 100's, so those results are only of the SLC speed available. Later in this article we will determine just how much SLC we have to work with.