SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

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SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:35 pm

I have just gotten HD Tune Pro and trying it to measure SSD performance. I expect read speed of about 500MBps for the SSD installed on my machine but the HD Tune Pro is showing about 200MBps read speed. The SSD is connected to 6G SATA controller. HD Tune is installed on W7 whose partition is on a SATA II hdd connected to a SATA II controller. The motherboard is Gigabyte 790XTA-UD4. I read an article or a forum post somewhere that said this SATA controller has problems. I am wondering if this is causing the slow speed reading or if I am not using the HD Tune correctly.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:53 pm

It depends on the SSD's controller too. Sandforce drives hate synthetic tests because they often use incompressible data by default.

Then you've got the issue of queue-depth and what block size is considered "sequential"

If you're set to pattern data and you're doing sequential data of 128KB blocks, random data at high queue depths, then you ought to see the theoretical maximum values your SSD is rated for.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:10 am

Sorry for my late reply.
The following is the screen shot. Please note that the read/write speeds the HD Tune Pro shows are substantially lower than the spec or read/write of 550/510MB/s. I did the same measurement for Kingston SH103D3120 but the results were essentially the same. I am still wondering what could be wrong. Could anyone shed light on this?
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:04 am

re-read the 1st post, non-compressible data will be the #1 reason you are not reaching the * theoretical* bandwidth.

second reason will be the IO/p's rate

more iops *ran* is less sequential data laid. less IOps = longer sequential data laid which will have a dramatic impact

get off that tab you are in on hd-tune and go to "random access" and run that ... you will see what were talking about ...
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:10 am

Did a little more digging.

The Marvell 9128 chip used to provide the 6Gbps ports on that motherboard is a notoriously poor performer. Firstly, it interfaces to the northbridge via a single-lane PCIe 2.0 connection so it's hobbled from the get-go. Secondly, it's just plain s-l-o-w (and doesn't even come close to saturating that single PCIe lane).

As counter-intuitive as it seems, you actually might get better performance by using the SATA 3Gbps ports!

If you want to utilize the full potential of your SSD, it looks like you need to get a decent SATA 6Gbps controller. This is going to either mean a new motherboard, or a decent PCIe x4 controller installed in your second PCIe x16 slot (assuming you're not using dual video cards).

Edit: And FWIW a decent PCIe x4 controller will probably cost you about the same as a new motherboard...
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:28 am

^^ What Brew says....

Also, make sure your motherboard has the Sata controller set to "native" or "sata mode" ... basicly make sure it does not say "compatibility mode", "ide mode", "legacy mode" where sata NCQ is turned off... having NQC off will have a impact as well.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:03 pm

maxxcool wrote:^^ What Brew says....

Also, make sure your motherboard has the Sata controller set to "native" or "sata mode" ... basicly make sure it does not say "compatibility mode", "ide mode", "legacy mode" where sata NCQ is turned off... having NQC off will have a impact as well.


To further elaborate on this, SSDs (and really all hard drives these days) should be used in AHCI mode, or RAID mode if you're using RAID.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:07 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:To further elaborate on this, SSDs (and really all hard drives these days) should be used in AHCI mode, or RAID mode if you're using RAID.

...or AHCI mode if you're using RAID via the OS's software RAID feature instead of the RAID solution provided by the motherboard/controller vendor.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:41 pm

just brew it! wrote:Did a little more digging.

The Marvell 9128 chip used to provide the 6Gbps ports on that motherboard is a notoriously poor performer. Firstly, it interfaces to the northbridge via a single-lane PCIe 2.0 connection so it's hobbled from the get-go. Secondly, it's just plain s-l-o-w (and doesn't even come close to saturating that single PCIe lane).

OK, this is it. Thanks for the info which is much more in details than that in the article or forum post I previously mentioned. Since I got this mobo, the interface of the HDDs I used were all SATA II, so I have not been much concerned about the issue of Marvell SATAIII controller.

As counter-intuitive as it seems, you actually might get better performance by using the SATA 3Gbps ports!

I did run HD Tune with the SSD connected to SATA II and got essentially the same readings.

If you want to utilize the full potential of your SSD, it looks like you need to get a decent SATA 6Gbps controller. This is going to either mean a new motherboard, or a decent PCIe x4 controller installed in your second PCIe x16 slot (assuming you're not using dual video cards).

Aside from this problem, I was beginning to think that I had used the motherboard long enough, so getting a new one is not bad idea at all. On the other hand fixing the problem by a PCIe x4 card you suggested is something I am also interested to try. I will research both options to determine the cost consequences.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:17 pm

maxcool:
Here is the "Ramdom mode" measurement.
Image
I wonder what more this tells.
The SATA controller is set for AHCI. The options are "AHCI" or "IDE" and not "Native AHCI". I did not see anywhere in BIOS NCQ On/Off options.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:54 pm

And FWIW a decent PCIe x4 controller will probably cost you about the same as a new motherboard...

Wow, expensive it is! It would cost of me $100+. It certainly appears that I should look for a new motherboard.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:08 pm

Or just live with the reduced transfer speed. IMO you need to ask yourself if this issue is really worth replacing the motherboard over. You're still going to reap most of the benefit of a SSD (near-instantaneous seeks) even if you're not getting 100% of its streaming transfer rate.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:55 pm

just brew it, I guess you are right. I need to cool myself down about it. I like this motherboard very much because it has been very stable and I have no other complaints. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:25 pm

I would say you have the right idea now, achieving the theoretical 500mb/s would entail using a *test* that used wholly compressible data, which would never equate to a real world use. unfortunately many vendors use compression to boost the stats.

it is a bit of false advertising ... but they don't claim that the drive will hit sustained 500+mbs all the tine... they just don't say what real world metrics will be either ..

it is a bit of a piss off, but looking at the random stats you have a very solid drive, i'd chalk it up to a learning experience and enjoy a drive and access rates and speed most readers don't have :P (jerk!)

It is going to be worlds faster than any spinning drive could ever want to be.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:43 pm

Thanks for your encouraging comments. I will keep using the motherboard for a couple of more years.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:59 pm

It is actually a reason why I was able to justify the purchase of the Crucial M4 during Black Friday. Since I refuse the Marvell controller on my motherboard and will stick with SATA II.
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Re: SSD Read Speed - HD Tune Pro

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:33 pm

Flying Fox wrote:It is actually a reason why I was able to justify the purchase of the Crucial M4 during Black Friday. Since I refuse the Marvell controller on my motherboard and will stick with SATA II.

My Marvell controller is no slower than SATA2 of AMD's chipset. WEI for the Primary Hard Disk is 7.9 when the SSD is driven by the Marvell SATA3 and 7.2 by SATA2 of AMD chipset although HD Tune tells hardly any difference.
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