Hardware Setup

Standard Test Bed
Test Application Results
Processor Intel Q6600 - 2.4GHz Quad Core
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6, EVGA 680i SLI A1
RAM 4 x 1GB OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-6400
Settings: DDR2-800 @ 4-4-3-9
OS Hard Drive 1 x Western Digital WD1500 Raptor - 150GB
System Platform Drivers Intel 8.3.0.1013
Intel Matrix RAID 7.6.0.1011
NVIDIA 9.53
Video Card 1 x MSI 8800GTX (Liquid Cooled)
Video Drivers NVIDIA ForceWare 162.18
Optical Drive Plextor PX-760A, Plextor PX-B900A
Cooling Tuniq 120
Power Supply Corsair HX620W
Case Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Operating System Windows XP Professional SP2

We are utilizing an Intel Q6600 quad core CPU to ensure we are not CPU limited in our testing at this time. A 4GB memory configuration is now standard in our test beds due to current DDR2-800 pricing and upcoming game and application requirements. Our choice of budget level OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-6400 memory offers a very wide range of memory settings with timings of 4-4-3-10 used for our storage benchmark results.

We are utilizing an MSI 8800GTX video card to ensure our 1280x1024 resolutions are not completely GPU bound for our test results. Our video tests are run at 1280x1024 resolutions for this article at High Quality settings. All of our tests are run in an enclosed case with a dual optical/hard drive setup to reflect a moderately loaded system platform. Windows XP SP2 is fully updated and we load a clean drive image for each platform to keep driver conflicts to a minimum.

The test drive is formatted before each test run and five tests are completed on each drive in order to ensure consistency in the benchmark results. The high and low scores are removed with the remaining score representing our reported result. We utilize the latest Intel Matrix Storage and NVIDIA IDE drivers to ensure consistency in our playback results when utilizing NCQ or RAID settings. The Windows XP swap file is set to a static 2048MB and we clean the prefetch folder after each benchmark.

We will be providing test results with additional consumer oriented SSD units from Samsung and SanDisk in the near future that feature up to 67MB/sec read speeds and 45MB/sec write speeds along with a random read rate of 7000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer - more than 100 times faster than a hard disk drive. Super Talent will also be providing a new SSD drive designed to compete directly with the MTRON unit, and we have another industrial drive from Transcend that has shown great promise in our early tests.

These upcoming reviews will also include a Windows Vista desktop platform, Intel's Santa Rosa notebook platform, and a new test suite designed to take advantage of these new technologies once we figure out the current Intel controller issues. As such today's test results are more to show the current strengths of the MTRON drive against the one of the higher performing desktop drives, while our second look will concentrate on the notebook sector where this drive also excels.

HDD/SSD Comparison and Features HD Tach 3.0
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  • mostlyprudent - Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - link

    I hope Gary's 3 year prediction is as wrong as AT's (and just about everyone else's) prediction about DDR3 speeds and latencies! I am quite impressed by what has happened in SSD technology over the last year or so. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - link

    Well I do rip loseless audio from CDs. On some types of music I can hear differences betwween mp3 and ape

    32GB is just enough for a Windows installation plus few applications

    It's best to store multimedia files to a HDD
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - link

    80MB/s sustained is more than enough for video editing, and I am not sure you guys understand this or not, but until now, this is the first test I have personally seen that the SSD comes this close to overall standard HDD in performance. The Raptor may peak higher, but if I am reading these benchmarks correctly, this drive is FAST. Take the sub milisecond access times, and you have something worth talking about.

    As for Windows boot times, I think if you compared this even to a Raptor, you would notice a diference in bootup times. Windows may not need much more than ~12MB/s transfers, but the very low access times will show a noticable difference. Maybe only a second or two, but in Windows boot times, this is outstanding given the current performance of all current HDDs.

    quote:

    32GB is just enough for a Windows installation plus few applications


    Uh, WinXP only needs ~1.5GB-4GB for a base install, this gives plenty of room for other applications. I do not know how other people install their OSes, but this is perfect for me, since I keep all my data(important or not) on a different drive from the OS anyhow. This SSD would probably serve great as a Photoshop scratch disk as well . . .
    Reply
  • GlassHouse69 - Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - link

    Windows itself doesnt need a fast drive. I load up windows 1x every 2-3 weeks. It is on 24/7. The swap file is affected, but with 2 gb of ram, dual core, xp pro, O&O defrag and no random crap programs loaded into memory unnecessarily, I never see my hd tic when I am using windows.

    Now, network transfers it can show, but that is for 1 hour here and there, maybe 3-4x a month. Really, what the fast hd is used for is encoding or decoding, compressing and uncompressing, and, most importantly, games. There you would never dream of using anything less than 100 gigs of space. So, this thing is completely useless. yay! I mean, unless you make a partition for your favorite games and another for some ripping usage, 32 gb is next to useless.

    it is a great write up though. nicely done
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Friday, August 17, 2007 - link

    Not entirely true

    Although Windows at run-time does not need a fast drive,
    Windows at boot-time and applications at load-time do improve a lot

    Windows startup is 2x faster on SSD
    That alone is the biggest selling point of SSD
    Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - link

    You might want to try a quick and dirty benchmark in Linux, maybe the situation is simply related to drivers. And maybe some quick and dirty benchmarks in XP versus Vista, just to see if the Intel chipset is slower in all configurations Reply
  • Epyon - Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - link

    Thanks for the review. Its great to have some concrete numbers to base opinions on SSDs. Reply

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