HD Tune — Random access times
In addition to letting us test transfer rates, HD Tune can measure random access times. We've tested with four transfer sizes and presented all the results in a couple of line graphs. We've also busted out the 4KB and 1MB transfers sizes into bar graphs that should be easier to read without the presence of the mechanical drive.
The line graph is pretty much unreadable if you're looking for differences between the SSDs, but it does a rather nice job of highlighting the massive gap in random read access times between solid-state and mechanical storage. Even at the 1MB transfer size, where the SSDs start slowing noticeably, the hard drive is still about an order of magnitude slower.
Among the flash-based contenders, the M500s look pretty good. They're near the front of the pack in the 4KB and 1MB tests. Admittedly, they're not alone. Quite a few drives are within spitting distance of the lead, particularly with 1MB random reads.
For the most part, the results of the random write tests are similar. The mechanical drive is outclassed, and the SSDs are on largely even footing. The exception is the 1MB random write test, which shows greater separation between the SSDs—and between the M500s. The 480GB model has much lower access times than its 240GB counterpart, but it's not quick enough to keep up with the top dogs.
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