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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  • enovikoff - Thursday, October 29, 2009 - link

    I purchased two 7000 series SSDs for running a commercial datacenter (hey, they're billed as "enterprise") Both failed within 3 months and MTRON did not stand behind them. Instead they said that I should mail them to Korea(!!!) and wait to see if their tests indicated that they were defective. In my business "waiting" means I either have to spend money to replace the hardware or leave my customers high and dry. Attempts to RMA the SSDs through their reseller, NeoStore, also failed: NeoStore took the SSDs back and then never acknowledged emails or calls. $2000 worth of hardware (I have receipts/invoices to prove everything) is in their possession, and my company is out the $2000 as well as the refunds we had to pay our customers for the downtime.

    Avoid MTRON: they're not ready to provide reliable units or do business in the United States.
    Reply
  • WaterGun - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - link

    The same drive is for sale in Japan for only 99800 Yen ~ US$900. Here is a list of online shops:
    http://www.3top.co.jp/shohin_ichiran.php?SearchMod...">3 Top
    http://shop.tsukumo.co.jp/goods/4582149901982/2015...">Tsukumo
    http://www.ark-pc.co.jp/item/MSD-SATA602532/code/1...

    So, why is there such a big price difference? Any takers?
    Reply
  • brundlefly - Friday, August 17, 2007 - link

    Hmmm there should be some kind of service that helps you order from Japanese web sites.

    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - link

    Presumably, the 32GB SSD is measured using binary GB (1,073,741,824 bytes) rather than decimal GB like traditional hard-drives, therefore making it roughly 34.3GB when comparing it to other hard-drives. Still a bit on the small side, but perhaps worth mentioning. Reply
  • brundlefly - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - link

    fdisk shows the device as 33.2 GB, but formatted as ext3 df shows ~31GB available.

    Disk /dev/sda: 33.2 GB, 33285996544 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4046 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    df .
    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda5 31981396 8893912 21462916 30% /mnt/mtron
    Reply
  • brundlefly - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - link

    I received one of these this week too for evaluating as a MySQL datadir.

    The results were outstanding - we had a handful of problem queries which would take 30-40 seconds on a 15k Fujitsu MAS Ultra SCSI. The same queries take about 3 seconds on the MTRON.

    I have worked with large MySQL databases for years, but there are a lot of examples like this one where I just cant qualify throwing a few days into A/B testing various indexing and table schemas for the performance issues with a handful of slow queries - especially when just *loading* a table and creating an index can take 20-30 min each. Throwing hardware at the problem is far cheaper and you can use simpler table layouts, plus you may not even be able to achieve this performance any other way in some scenarios.

    IMHO this is a unique 'drop-in' solution for a lot of specific data center applications. In the long term you are going to see these replace mechanicals across the board in the server room because they will be cheaper and far simpler to deal with then SCSI and offer far better performance with low heat, noise, and power.

    I also popped it in my notebook, which was just sublime. I already had the fastest mechanical in this notebook - a brand new Hitachi 7k200 with 16MB cache.

    Within 34 min I had a 32-bit Vista Ultimate / Ubuntu Feisty x64 dual-boot setup - Vista booted in 21 seconds, Ubuntu in a little under 30 (a savings of about 6 seconds for each). No noise, vibration, or heat - the fan never came on, even set to high performance power profile. I didnt do a battery life test but from the battery remaining indicator I would expect an extra half hour.

    Immediately the advantages of having a .1ms access time became apparent. Stuff just happens. Firefox cold boots in 3s, open a bunch of apps - the disk doesnt care, every piece of data is exactly .1ms away. Write speeds are more traditional but still as good as or better than the Hitachi. Subjectively the mental line between memory and disk usage just kind of dissolves.

    While booting, I heard the BIOS check the optical drive, and it was like 'wtf with this prehistoric mechanical thing in my notebook!' In a notebook, the mechanical drive is dead, IMHO, but yet once the prices come down.

    The lack of storage space was a downer, especially after just getting used to the 200GB in the Hitachi. I was thinking this could be partially augmented with a cheaper, slower 16GB expresscard SSD for music, etc.

    On my overclocked 3Ghz C2D 6400 2GB Raptor desktop, the results were similar but subjectively not as exciting since I dont really care about heat noise vibration power (BF2142 booted to 'join game' in 70s vs 80s on the raptor). I would definitely wait until the prices for a 64GB came down to $300 or so before using one as a boot drive.

    I use VMWare workstation a great deal, although I havent tried it yet this would be another application which would benefit greatly since it uses a pseudo-disk.

    The disk is definitely going into production immediately on the MySQL server, and I am considering getting one as my primary Linux development workstation disk as 32 GB goes a long way in that application, and I have never seen a Linux desktop perform like that. Plus I do a lot more disk-intensive stuff in development vs web surfing etc on my notebook or desktop PC.

    There is no argument IMHO - mechanicals are a dead-end technology as a notebook/desktop/server boot and application disk as soon as the prices come down.
    Reply
  • bji - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    You ended up being correct on all counts: 4 and a half years later and SSDs are making major inroads in every place you predicted they would. You can get a 120 GB SSD now for under $200 and it blows away the 32 GB Mtron you tested in every performance category. Reply
  • Googer - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - link

    Could you possibly revisit this article at a later date and post some Mtron vs Raptor RAID 0 benchmarks?

    Also for the enterprise market and serious enthusiast, comparing this SSD to a Seagate 15k.5. Which would be the better value, 15K SAS or SATA SSD?
    Reply
  • erikejw - Thursday, August 16, 2007 - link

    Please get another one and test it in Raid 0. Reply
  • Verdant - Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - link

    I would kill for one of these for my tablet, that would really affect battery life....and all the other good looking benefits. On the other hand i don't see working within the SSD capacity limitations, and i don't see spending nearly as much on an hd as the machine itself. I am hoping next refresh (2-3 years)something like this will meet my needs. Reply

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