July 25 2011
As we’ve just seen though, even when you’re talking about seven drives all based on the same controller, performance and pricing vary pretty significantly. There’s the issue of memory type to consider, plus the firmware modifications each company makes. To that end, you’re going to get the best transfer rates out of SF-2200-based drives matched up to synchronous ONFi 2.x-compliant NAND or Toggle Mode DDR memory.
May 27 2011
Remember, this series 3 SSD deserves the right SATA III controller. Currently the best suited and performing controller is the native Intel SATA 6G controller to be found on all H67, P67 and Z68 motherboards. On the AMD side that’s the AMD 800 and 900 series chipsets, though admittedly .. the Intel controller yields much higher peak numbers.
May 2 2011
There are good solid state drives, there are great solid state drives and then there is the OCZ Vertex 3. It not only raises the bar for what a single SSD can do but this drive may actually breathe some serious excitement into the storage market. No matter what test we threw at – be it synthetic or real world – the OCZ Vertex 3 was simply in a league of its own. Some of this improvement is thanks to the wider SATA 6Gb/s bus, but even when compared to a very, very good SATA 6GB/s enabled SSD like the Crucial C300 128GB this new OCZ drive just can’t be touched.
April 5 2011
Even after decades of design improvements, the hard disk drive (HDD) is still the slowest component in any personal computer system. Consider that modern desktop processors have a 1 ns response time (nanosecond = one billionth of one second), while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional hard drive technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning mechanical storage products still exhibit a 9,000,000 ns / 9 ms initial response time (millisecond = one thousandth of one second). In more relevant terms, the processor receives the command and must then wait for system memory to fetch related data from the storage drive. This is why any computer system is only as fast as the slowest component in the data chain; usually the hard drive.
As we’ve explained in our SSD Benchmark Tests: SATA IDE vs AHCI Mode guide, Solid State Drive performance revolves around two dynamics: bandwidth speed (MB/s) and operational performance (IOPS). These two metrics work together, but one is more important than the other. Consider this analogy: operational IOPS performance determines how much cargo a ship can transport in one voyage, and the bandwidth speed is how fast the ship moves. By understanding this and applying it to SSD storage, there is a clear importance set on each variable depending on the task at hand.
March 31 2011
For your average desktop usage model, the m4 (256GB) is either the best or second best you can get.
Crucial’s very late garbage collection allows the possibility for some very poor write speeds over time. If you’re running in a configuration without TRIM support, I’d say this is enough to rule out the m4.
March 28 2011
The reason why SSDs feel so fast when doing day to day tasks like opening browser windows and software packages is due to their extremely low read and write access. Traditional platter drives need to locate the files using two moving parts; the platters and the arms that read the platters. SSDs have no moving parts and can read and write data without the overhead of ‘finding’ the data.
March 10 2011
This isn’t Mac specific advice, but if you’ve got a modern Mac notebook I’d highly recommend upgrading to an SSD before you even consider the new MacBook Pro. I’ve said this countless times in the past but an SSD is the single best upgrade you can do to your computer.
February 22 2011
The good news is that for most desktop workloads you don’t really benefit from being able to execute more than 20K IOPS, at least in today’s usage models.
December 22 2010
There is little point of having an SSD drive that has blazing sustained reading and writing speeds, if the drive can’t handle reading and writing of small random files. If you intend to use your new SSD drive to store and run your operating system, then the drive must be able to cope with the many small files that Windows will read and write on the drive continually. So we feel it is very important to test how many of these files a drive can handle in one second. We believe that anything over 1000 I/O’s per second would be enough for most users running a consumer grade mainstream PC, and should provide a smooth running system. But obviously, the more I/O’s that a drive can handle, the faster the drive will feel and leave more headroom for those huge multitasking sessions that users sometimes engage in.
Windows 7 will automatically align a partition when it is created, Windows XP will not. It is imperative that an SSD’s partition is aligned. Windows XP is also restricted to sector boundaries, while Windows 7 will use 4K boundaries if it can.