A six pack of solid-state drives compared

For years, solid-state drives have been great in theory, but a little problematic in practice. The rationale for replacing mechanical media with solid-state silicon certainly seems sound. Without moving parts, SSDs can be far more durable and shock-tolerant than drives that have to contend with platters spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute. The lack of mechanical latency allows SSDs to seek several orders of magnitude faster than traditional hard drives, as well.

The first flash-based solid-state drives delivered on those fronts, and they even added an attractive element of low power consumption to the mix. However, these drives were saddled with a few rather serious problems. While even the first flash drives boasted near-instantaneous seeks, their sustained transfer rates were quite slow. Initial capacities were relatively small, as well, and then there was the associated cost, which can only be described as exorbitant.

In practical terms, then, early SSDs were pretty much a failure.

But the nice thing about solid-state drives is that, in theory, Moore’s Law should eventually solve all of the above problems. Indeed, semiconductor progress has effectively dealt with most of them already. Thanks to smaller and denser memory chips, drives with capacities up to 256GB are easy to come by today. Such capacities may not match the multiple terabytes one can get with mechanical desktop drives, but they are more than adequate for most folks. They may even be sufficient to handle even a PC enthusiast’s collection of OS, application, and game files.

Meanwhile, smarter drive controllers have improved SSD throughput by addressing more memory channels in parallel. Intel’s X25-M has already shed the solid-state legacy of poor sustained transfer rates.

That’s two for two so far, which leaves us only with price. And wouldn’t you know, the picture doesn’t look all that dire. Take the X25-M, for example. Intel’s first SSD debuted just eight months ago in an 80GB flavor for just under $600. Thanks to a steady diet of price cuts, you’ll pay closer to $325 for the very same drive today. Plenty of cheaper options are available, too, with some lower-capacity SSDs dropping below $100.

Solid-state drives still have much progress to make on the cost-per-gigabyte front, but depending on your priorities and budget, one could argue that, for SSDs, pratice has finally caught up with theory, resulting in some good and practical storage solutions. Thus, now is a perfect time to check in on the market to see what’s available. We’ve wrangled half a dozen SSDs from Corsair, OCZ, Samsung, Super Talent, and Transcend to see how they stack up against each other—and against Intel’s X25-M standard.

Lining ’em up

We’re focusing our attention today on solid-state drives that use multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory. MLC memory has slower write speeds and a lower write-erase cycle tolerance than single-level cell (SLC) flash, but it’s considerably cheaper, which is why MLC chips have become the de facto standard for consumer-level solid-state drives. SLC flash is predominantly confined to more expensive enterprise-class drives like Intel’s X25-E Extreme.

There’s much more to SSDs than their choice of flash memory types, though. As we saw with the X25-M, a good drive controller design can have a major impact on performance. Intel has so far kept its SSD controller in the family, sharing it only with partners like Kingston, who are selling re-badged X25-series drives. There are other drive controller players in the market, though.

Among the rest, Samsung is easily the most established. Samungs mainstream 256GB SSD, the PB22-J, uses a disk controller of the company’s own design, and you’ll find the same chip in Corsair’s new P256. In both cases, the Samsung controller is paired with 128MB of DRAM cache.

Korean firm Indilinx has only recently entered the SSD market, and its latest controller can be found in OCZ’s Vertex and in Super Talent’s UltraDrive ME. Super Talent silkscreens its own name onto the UltraDrive’s controller chip, but we can confirm that it is indeed Indilinx silicon inside. Both Indilinx implementations employ DRAM cache memory of 64MB. That’s still double the cache available even in most high-end desktop drives.

In addition to its high-end Vertex drive, OCZ also sent over an SSD from its mid-range Apex series. Rather than using a single controller, the Apex combines a trio of JMicron chips in an internal RAID 0 configuration; a pair of JMF602B controllers manage the flash memory, while a JMB309 picks up striping duties. The JMF602B also makes an appearance in Transcend’s awkwardly-named TS32GSSD25S-M, although only in a single-chip configuration without internal RAID. Since the JMicron controller doesn’t support separate cache memory, neither the Apex nor the Transcend drives have DRAM chips onboard.

Capacity Cache Controller Max reads Max writes Warranty Street price

Corsair P256
256GB 128MB Samsung S3C29RBB01-YK40 220MB/s 200MB/s 2 years

OCZ Apex
120GB NA JMicron JMF602B/JMB390 230MB/s 250MB/s 2 years

OCZ Vertex
120GB 64MB Indilinx IDX110M00-LC 250MB/s 180MB/s 2 years

Samsung PB22-J
256GB 128MB Samsung S3C29RBB01-YK40 220MB/s 200MB/s NA NA

Super Talent UltraDrive ME
128GB 64MB Super Talent STT-C-BF-GX 200MB/s 160MB/s 2 years
Transcend
TS32GSSD25S-M
32GB NA JMicron JMF602B 150MB/s 90MB/s 2 years

Controllers and cache configurations largely determine SSD performance, but before we put today’s contenders to the test with an extensive suite of benchmarks, it’s worth perusing each drive’s purported maximum read and write speeds. While not necessarily indicators of a drive’s sustained throughput in the real world, these theoretical peaks do provide fodder for forming initial expectations.

The OCZ drives claim the highest peak transfer rates, with the Vertex apparently capable of reading at 250MB/s and the Apex equaling that speed with writes. Unlike the others, the Apex’s maximum write speed is higher than its peak read rate—likely an artifact of the drive’s funky internal RAID 0 config. There’s only a 20MB/s gap between the Apex’s max read and write rates, too; that difference grows to 70MB/s with the Vertex, which can only write at up to 180MB/s.

With peak read and write rates of 220 and 200MB/s, respectively, the Corsair and Samsung drives appear to be more balanced than the Vertex. Super Talent’s UltraDrive ME, on the other hand, looks to be a little slower overall. The UltraDrive’s read and write speed maximums are much higher than those of the Transcend drive, though. To be fair, the Transcend is by far the cheapest drive of the bunch. The Transcend also has the lowest storage capacity of the lot—and more importantly, half as many flash chips as the other drives in this round-up.

Of course, Transcend does make higher-capacity SSDs. Corsair, OCZ, Samsung, and Super Talent also offer more affordable drives with lower capacities. All seem to agree on covering their drives with two-year warranties. That’s a year’s less coverage than one typically gets with standard desktop or notebook drives, and high-end drives like WD’s Black Series offer up to five years of coverage.

Samsung’s PB22-J is the only exception on the warranty front because it’s not actually sold as a bare drive. The PB22-J is only offered in complete systems from the likes of Dell, HP, and others, and those vendors determine the drive’s warranty coverage and effective price. Worry not, though. The PB22-J is all but identical to Corsair’s P256, which is available for sale as a bare drive.

A note on SSD performance degradation

Not long ago, the folks at PC Perspective uncovered an interesting problem with Intel’s X25-M SSD: its performance dropped over time. AnandTech also dug into the issue, illustrating a similar performance drop with solid-state drives from other manufacturers. But why do SSDs slow down over time? To answer that question, we have to explore the nature of flash memory and how drives interact with modern operating systems.

Flash memory stores data in cells—two bits per cell, for MLC flash. These cells can’t be addressed individually. Instead, they’re organized into pages that are typically 4KB in size. These pages are a part of larger blocks, which have 128 pages each, for a total of 512KB.

While data can be read from individual pages, it can only be written directly to empty ones. If a drive needs to write to a page that already holds data, it has to rewrite the entire block. During a block rewrite, the contents of a block must first be read into a drive’s cache. The pages to be rewritten are then modified, and the entire block is rewritten. Adding these read and modify steps to the write process predictably causes a performance hit.

Eventually, though, an SSD is going to run out of fresh pages. That can actually happen quicker than one might expect, because those old pages getting marked as deleted can chew up space quickly. An SSD can have plenty of “free” storage capacity and yet no empty pages available for writing, bringing the block rewrite penalty into play for every subsequent write operation and slowing performance accordingly.

So how much of a performance penalty does a block rewrite incur? To find out, we used a handy app called HDDerase to wipe the contents of each drive, returning it to a factory-fresh state with empty pages. (The Apex drive’s funky RAID config didn’t get along with HDDerase, so we emptied the drive by flashing its firmware instead). Next, we put each drive through a 4k random writes test with IOMeter and recorded the average response time.

The JMicron-based Apex and Transcend drives have a problem with IOMeter’s default configuration, which uses a starting sector setting of 0 and a maximum disk size value of 0. This config yielded much lower performance than we expected from the JMicron drives, so we retested them using a starting sector of 512 and a 2000000 maximum disk size value, as suggested by OCZ. These settings yielded results more in line with our expectations, so we’ve included them in the graphs below and in the IOMeter section later in the review. In both cases, we’ve marked the custom IOMeter configs with a (2) to separate them from the results obtained with the default settings. Incidentially, we also tried using starting sectors of 1, 20, 50, and 100, but ran into the same abysmal performance as with a zeroed starting sector.

With a clean slate, the Indilinx-based Vertex and UltraDrive have the lowest response times, followed by the X25-M and the Samsung-based PB22-J and P256. Even with their custom IOMeter config, the JMicron-based drives still lag behind the others. They’re significantly slower with IOMeter’s default config, though.

So how do the drives respond after they’ve been used throughly? We ran the same random writes test on each one after it’d been beaten and battered by our storage benchmark suite, and obtained the following results:

The Indilinx-based drives are still in the lead, but their response times have increased by more than an order of magnitude. The X25-M is also notably slower, but only by about 3.5 times. Interestingly, the Samsung-based drives suffer the most here. Their used response times grow to 15 times that of their factory-fresh scores. The random write performance of the Apex and Transcend SSDs changes very little when the drives are used, regardless of the IOMeter config.

Wiping drives is easy enough with HDDerase, but that’s hardly a practical solution to maintaining SSD performance levels. Most folks are going to end up using, er, used drives. Fortunately, our hard drive testing methodology puts drives in the pratical equivalent of a used state right off the bat. HD Tach is the first benchmark we run, and its write speed test writes the full length of the disk, which should eliminating any empty pages. We run HD Tach three times, too, leaving little chance that any pages will remain untouched.

Just to be sure, I checked a fresh X25-M’s random write performance after three runs through HD Tach. The drive’s 2.3-2.5 ms response times were a little off those we observed after the X25-M completed our full test suite, but they’re close enough to give us confidence that HD Tach effectively rids SSDs of empty pages. Keep in mind that the test results on the following pages are not indicative of how the drives perform in a pristine, empty state.

Hopefully, we won’t need to track fresh versus used SSD performance for too long. The storage industry is working on a proposed TRIM command to alleviate SSD performance degradation. Rather than simply marking pages as available when files are deleted, TRIM would require that a page’s contents be emptied. This provision wouldn’t avoid the block rewrite penalty, but it would shift the performance hit to the time of deletion, which makes more sense than hampering writes.

TRIM requires a compatible operating system, and it looks like Windows 7 will support it. OCZ has also produced a TRIM application for its Vertex drive that clears any occupied pages marked as available. However, this app is very much in beta form, and it can only be run manually.

Although not related to the TRIM command, Intel recently updated the firmware of its X25-M series to improve the drive’s long-term performance. We’ve flashed our X25-M with this latest 8820 release and retested the drive to see how it fares against the previous firmware revision.

The naked truth

Before we get into a bevy of test results, enjoy the warranty-voiding nudies we snapped of some of the SSDs in this round-up. Transcend appears to have glued the casing onto its drive, which is why you won’t find a shot of its guts below.

OCZ’s Apex with its dual JMicron flash controllers

OCZ’s Vertex features an Indilinx controller and an Elpida DRAM cache

The Samsung PB22-J’s internals are identical to those of the Corsair P256

Super Talent’s UltraDrive ME and its re-badged Indilinx controller

Our testing methods

Today we’re throwing our six pack of SSDs into the ring against a collection of competitors, including Intel’s X25-M, which we’ve tested with its original firmware and the latest 8820 release. We’ve also included performance results from Intel’s SLC-based X25-E Extreme to illustrate how the fastest single-level-cell drive compares. And lest you think we’ve forgotten about traditional hard drives, you’ll find results for Western Digital’s 7,200-RPM Scorpio Black notebook drive and its 10k-RPM VelociRaptor 300GB. If you’re curious to see how these SSDs stack up against common desktop drives, you can compare the scores on the following pages with those from our recent review of the Caviar Green 2TB. We used the exact same test system and applications in the Caviar Green review, which includes benchmark results for more than a dozen 3.5″ desktop drives.

To make our graphs easier to read, drives are colored by manufacturer. We used two shades of blue for the X25-Ms to differentiate between the original firmware and the latest 8820 revision.

All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged, using the following test system.

Processor Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.4GHz
System bus 800MHz (200MHz quad-pumped)
Motherboard Asus P5WD2 Premium
Bios revision 0422
North bridge Intel 955X MCH
South bridge Intel ICH7R
Chipset drivers Chipset 7.2.1.1003
AHCI/RAID 5.1.0.1022
Memory size 1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Micron DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
CAS latency (CL) 3
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 3
RAS precharge (tRP) 3
Cycle time (tRAS) 8
Audio codec ALC882D
Graphics Radeon X700 Pro 256MB with CATALYST 5.7 drivers
Hard drives WD VelociRaptor VR150 300GB
WD Scorpio Black 320GB
Intel X25-M 80GB with 8610 and 8820 firmware
Intel X25-E 32GB with 8621 firmware
Corsair P256 256GB with VMB1801Q firmware

OCZ Apex 120GB

OCZ Vertex 120GB with 1275 firmware

Super Talent UltraDrive ME 128GB
with 1275 firmware
Transcend TS32GSSD25S-M 32GB
Samsung PB22-J 256GB with VMB1801Q firmware
OS Windows XP Professional
OS updates Service Pack 2

Our test system was powered by an OCZ PowerStream power supply unit.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1280×1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

WorldBench
WorldBench uses scripting to step through a series of tasks in common Windows applications. It then produces an overall score. WorldBench also spits out individual results for its component application tests, allowing us to compare performance in each. We’ll look at the overall score, and then we’ll show individual application results.

A total of 11 points separates the fastest MLC-based SSD from the slowest in WorldBench. The X25-M still reigns supreme here, but the Samsung and Corsair drives aren’t far off the pace. Curiously, OCZ’s mid-range Apex drive proves faster than the high-end Vertex. The Vertex and UltraDrive are only a hair quicker than the Transcend drive.

Multimedia editing and encoding

MusicMatch Jukebox

Windows Media Encoder

Adobe Premiere

VideoWave Movie Creator

Scores are close through most of WorldBench’s multimedia editing and encoding tests. Only Premiere really stresses the storage subsystem, and again, the X25-M leads the MLC field. The Corsair, Samsung, and OCZ Apex are neck-and-neck with the Intel drive, though. They’re certainly faster than the OCZ Vertex, Transcend, and Super Talent.

Image processing

Adobe Photoshop

ACDSee PowerPack

WorldBench’s Photoshop results aren’t particularly interesting, but the field is really spread out in the ACDSee test. Once more, the X25-M is king of the MLC hill with close to a minute’s lead on Corsair and Samsung. The OCZ and Super Talent drives lag even further behind as the Transcend brings up the rear.

Note how SSD performance is already segmented along drive controller lines. The all-but-identical Samsung and Corsair drives clocked similar completion times in the ACDSee test, as did the Indilinx-powered Vertex and UltraDrive. There’s a bigger gap between the Transcend drive and the Apex, but keep in mind that the latter is running its JMicron controllers in a RAID 0.

Multitasking and office applications

Microsoft Office

Mozilla

Mozilla and Windows Media Encoder

Although there are small differences in performance from one drive to the next in WorldBench’s office and multitasking tests, the results are largely a wash.

Other applications

WinZip

Nero

The results of the WinZip and Nero tests are far more interesting. In WinZip, the X25-M is still the fastest MLC-based drive on the block, followed closely by contenders from Corsair and Samsung. The UltraDrive and Vertex look evenly matched in this test, and they’re both faster than the Apex and Transcend drives.

Nero really spreads out the field, but things don’t change much at front of the pack. The X25-M is still the quickest of the lot, with the Corsair and Samsung twins nipping at its heels. OCZ’s Apex is close to two minutes slower than the leaders, and it’s substantially faster than the Transcend, Super Talent, and Vertex drives.

Again, SSD performance is largely defined by the drives’ underlying storage controllers. The completion times for the Samsung-powered drives are very close, as are those for the Indilinx-equipped models.

Boot and load times
To test system boot and game level load times, we busted out our trusty stopwatch.

Only a few seconds separate the quickest-booting SSD from the slowest on our test system. Our mechanical hard drives are actually quicker overall, with nearly a two-second lead on Intel’s quickest SSDs.

Our SSD level load times are all within a few seconds of each other, but the solid-state drives have a clear advantage over their mechanical counterparts. Among the SSDs, the Intel, Corsair, and Samsung drives emerge at the front of the field.

File Copy Test
File Copy Test is a pseudo-real-world benchmark that times how long it takes to create, read, and copy files in various test patterns. File copying is tested twice: once with the source and target on the same partition and once with the target on a separate partition. Scores are presented in MB/s.

To make things easier to read, we’ve separated our FC-Test results into individual graphs for each test pattern. We’ll tackle file creation performance first.

Obviously, the faster write speeds offered by the X25-E’s SLC memory give it a huge edge in file creation tests. Check out the significant improvement in write performance with the X25-M’s latest firmware, though. The firmware update is the only thing keeping the X25-M ahead of its challengers from Corsair and Samsung in four of the five test patterns.

Although not as consistent a performer as the Intel, Corsair, and Samsung drives, OCZ’s Apex does reasonably well with the MP3 and install test patterns. The other drives don’t handle any of the test patterns particularly well.

As we turn our attention to read performance, the X25-M jumps out ahead of the Corsair and Samsung drives. The new Intel firmware doesn’t offer much of a performance advantage here, and in some cases, it’s slightly slower than the original.

The OCZ and Super Talent drives are in the middle of the field. The relative position of these three changes with each test pattern, but they’re pretty close in performance overall. Again, the Transcend drive brings up the rear.

FC-Test – continued

Copy tests combine read and write operations, and the X25-M’s new firmware again provides a healthy performance boost. Although the Apex does well with the Install test pattern, there’s a clear separation between the top three drives—the X25-M, P256, and PB22-J—and their rivals from OCZ, Super Talent, and Transcend.

The results of our partition copy tests play out much like the first round of copy tests. Transcend gets a brief reprieve from the back of the field with the ISO test pattern, but it’s still the slowest contender overall.

The trend of storage controllers defining SSD performance can be seen throughout our FC-Test results. Sure, the P256 and PB22-J are essentially identical drives, but the Vertex and UltraDrive are not, save for their use of the same Indilinx controller.

iPEAK multitasking
We’ve developed a series of disk-intensive multitasking tests to highlight the impact of seek times and command queuing on hard drive performance. You can get the low-down on these iPEAK-based tests here. The mean service time of each drive is reported in milliseconds, with lower values representing better performance.

The X25-M gets knocked off its pedestal a little in iPEAK, where even with the latest firmware, the drive is slightly slower overall than the offerings from Corsair and Samsung. The P256 and PB22-J prove faster than the X25-M with workloads that include file copy operations, while the Intel drive comes out ahead when the secondary task is a Virtualdub import.

The OCZ, Super Talent, and Transcend drives are also more competitive with that Virtualdub import as a secondary task, but they’re much slower overall than the top three. If we average the mean service time of each drive across all nine workloads, that group of four scores in the 1.55-1.95 millisecond range. The top three, by comparison, are between 0.73 and 0.78 milliseconds.

If you’re keeping score, iPEAK is yet another example of how storage controllers define SSD performance. Here, OCZ’s Vertex implementation of the Indilinx controller appears to be slightly faster than Super Talent’s take on the chip.

IOMeter
IOMeter presents a good test case for both seek times and command queuing. As with the random writes test, we used two different IOMeter configs for the JMicron-based Apex and Transcend drives. Results obtained with the custom config are denoted with a (2) in the graphs below.

Yeah, so the write speed advantage inherent to the X25-E’s SLC-based flash memory gives it huge wins with three of four test patterns. Only with the web server test pattern, which is made up exclusively of read operations, is the Extreme not way out ahead of the rest of the pack.

Since we’re focusing on MLC-based drives today, let’s take another look at IOMeter transaction rates with the X25-E omitted.

Although the X25-M is still the class of the field with IOMeter’s read-dominated web server test pattern, it loses the crown to the Indilinx-powered Vertex and UltraDrive in the database and workstation test patterns. The Corsair and Samsung drives offer identical performance here, and their transaction rates are quite low across the file server, database, and workstation test patterns. That’s not entirely unexpected given the drives’ weak random write performance in a used state. We’ve also yet to see Samsung drives—whether they’re SSDs or mechanical offerings—perform well in IOMeter.

Interpreting the performance of the Apex and Transcend drives is tricky because we had to re-test them with different settings than the others. With a custom config that avoids the obvious problems we saw at IOMeter’s defaults—marked as (2) in the graph legends above—the drives look very competitive in the database and workstation test patterns. However, they’re also abysmally slow when running with the default IOMeter settings.

IOMeter’s CPU utilization roughly tracks with transaction rates. The more I/O requests are processed, the more CPU cycles are used.

HD Tach
We tested HD Tach with the benchmark’s full variable zone size setting.

Despite relatively poor showings in our real-world file creation, read, and copy tests, the Vertex and UltraDrive both do quite well in HD Tach’s synthetic read and write speed tests. Both are considerably faster than the Corsair and Samsung drives in the read speed test, and when it comes to writes, they’re way ahead of the X25-M. The Apex and Transcend drives are considerably less competitive here, especially in the write speed test.

I wouldn’t read too much into HD Tach’s sustained read and write speed drag races, if only because the results here clash with what we observed in more real-world file creation, read, and copy tests. For example, according to HD Tach, the Vertex writes 2.5 times faster than the X25-M. However, in our real-world file creation tests, the Intel drive clocked in at 1.8-2.4 times faster than the Vertex, depending on the test pattern.

The burst rates of the Intel, Corsair, and Samsung drives are pretty close. OCZ’s Apex isn’t far off the leaders, but the Vertex, UltraDrive, and Transcend don’t even reach 200MB/s.

HD Tach’s random access time test nicely illustrates just how much faster solid-state drives are than their mechanical counterparts when it comes time to seek. Most of the SSDs turn in a 0.1-millisecond access time, but the JMicron-powered Apex and Transcend drives clock in at 0.2 ms.

Our results from HD Tach’s CPU utilization test fall within the +/- 2% margin of error for this test.

Noise levels
Noise levels were measured with an Extech 407727 Digital Sound Level meter 1″ from the side of the drives at idle and under an HD Tach seek load. Drives were run with the PCB facing up.

Solid-state drives are completely silent. The 42.6 decibels registered by all the SSDs here represents the noise made by the rest of the system. With this setup, moving from mechanical to solid-state storage trims about five decibels.

Power consumption
For our power consumption tests, we measured the voltage drop across a 0.1-ohm resistor placed in line with the 5V and 12V lines connected to each drive. We were able to calculate the power draw from each voltage rail and add them together for the total power draw of the drive.

The Corsair and Samsung drives have the lowest power consumption of the bunch, despite packing 256GB of storage each. At idle, they barely consume a quarter of a watt, which is less than half the power demanded by an X25-M. The UltraDrive’s power draw is also quite low, while the Apex drive’s is surprisingly high. Indeed, the Apex draws more power than the Scorpio Black—a 7,200RPM mechanical hard drive.

Conclusions

The results of our extensive performance testing confirm that drive controllers play the biggest role in determining SSD performance. Most of these drives use the same flash memory chips, so the controller and cache are really the only meaningful differences between them. There’s no difference between the controllers and cache used on the Corsair P256 and the Samsung PB22-J, and those drives were neck-and-neck throughout. The OCZ Vertex and Super Talent UltraDrive ME use the same Indilinx controller and both have 64MB caches, and they offered similar performance across the board. Of course, the performance of the JMicron-powered OCZ Apex and the Transcend TS32GSSD25S-M varied quite a bit due to the former’s RAID config. However, both exhibited the same IOMeter quirks and comparatively slow random write performance after a fresh erase.

Then there’s the Intel controller in the X25-M. Our results confirm the X25-M is still the fastest MLC-based SSD overall. Sure, the Intel drive lost ground in a few tests, falling behind the Samsung-powered SSDs in iPEAK and the Indilinx-powered drives in a couple of IOMeter workloads, not to mention turning in comparably slow sustained write speeds in HD Tach. But across the breadth of our tests, and most importantly, in those that best simulate real-world tasks, the X25-M remains the quickest and most consistent performer.

Among the drives we assembled today, the X25-M’s closest competition comes from the Samsung PB22-J and its Corsair-branded P256 counterpart. These drives offer solid real-world performance, speedy multitasking, and remarkably low power consumption given their 256GB capacities. However, I wouldn’t throw either into an I/O-heavy enterprise environment—relatively low transaction rates suggest that these drives are ill-equipped to handle demanding multi-user loads. I’m also not keen on the Samsung controller’s sluggish random write performance with well-used drives.

The Samsung-powered drives are the most expensive of the lot, with the Corsair model ringing in at $699 online. They’re 256GB drives, so the cost per gigabyte works out to only $2.73—expensive by mechanical standards, but markedly cheaper than the more than $4 per gigabyte you’ll pay for 80 and 160GB versions of Intel’s X25-M.

At a cost per gigabyte around $3.20, the Indilinx-powered OCZ and Super Talent drives squeeze between the Samsung and Intel models. However, the Vertex and UltraDrive are slower overall, and they trail by substantial margins when file copy operations are involved. To Indilinx’s credit, besting the X25-M’s random write performance and IOMeter transaction rates (in a couple of test patterns, anyway) is no easy task. It’s just difficult to recommend either the Vertex or the UltraDrive given how short they pull up elsewhere, particularly since neither is priced low enough to offer compelling value.

This brings us to the JMicron camp, where we have wildly different entries from OCZ and Transcend. The JMicron controller is clearly the worst of the bunch, exhibiting slow random writes even with a factory-fresh drive and uninspired performance overall. The Apex did outrun its high-end Vertex cousin in many tests, but next to the Samsung drives, which do have a higher cost per gigabyte, the Apex is still slower in most tests—while consuming quite a bit more power.

As for the Transcend, well, it’s cheap. There’s something to be said for being able to pick up a silent, power-efficient, and shock-tolerant 32GB SSD for around $100. At that price, though, the cost per gigabyte isn’t that great, and neither is the Transcend’s performance.

In the end, only three of the SSDs we looked at today are strong enough to earn TR Recommended distinction. Intel’s X25-M remains the all-around performance leader, and even with a higher cost per gigabyte than its rivals, the 80GB model’s $325 asking price is relatively affordable. The Samsung PB22-J and its Corsair twin aren’t quite as quick as the X25-M overall, and with these 256GB models running about $700, they’re not as affordable. However, a low cost per gigabyte combined with frugal power consumption and solid performance makes these drives easy to recommend.

Comments closed
    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    The butthurt trolls are running loose!

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    Quoted from the latest update;

    “If you want to dabble with Windows 7 release candidates, fine-tune partition alignments, or roll the dice with a TRIM utility that could corrupt your data, SSDs based on Indilinx’s Barefoot controller certainly have intriguing potential. However, for those seeking a solid-state drive that doesn’t require extensive tweaking for optimal performance, products based on the latest controllers from Intel and Samsung are much safer bets—including, potentially, OCZ’s own recently introduced Summit series.

    In highlighting the used-state performance penalty associated with the Barefoot controller, we’ve focused exclusively on Windows XP performance with our ICH7R-based storage test system. But that’s not all we’ve been doing. A new round of SSD testing has already begun on an updated system built around a Core 2 processor, ICH10R south bridge, and Vista x64. Stay tuned for more.”

    I have been saying this all along, if you want amazing performance, then you go with the vertex and do what ya gotta do, otherwise, buy an Intel.

    I think its very important to rmember here, that Windows7 will support trim,and we are presently waiting for a new FW that will take advantage of it. When this happens, and it will, the vertex will shine brighter than the rest, if only in value versus performance.

    I love my Vertex, i am one of the lucky ones that everything works in Vista 64, trim works, bassically it is all good for me and a large percentage of other users as well.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      The Vertex will probably be replaced by the time Win 7 is gold given the rate of SSD introduction.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 10 years ago

      What if Win7 (which I’m posting from) doesn’t impress to begin with.

    • just another one
    • 10 years ago

    I’m afraid you missed my point regarding the Vertex. (I didn’t mention UltraDrive because SuperTalent doesn’t push so much BS).
    OCZ could make the Vertex a great SSD drive: if only guaranteed a 100% reliable SDD with a read/write like 180Mb/s and 120Mb/s and BS free, even I would have bought one.

    But no, the information about the “normal” speed a Vertex should perform is so contradicting nowadays that when someone sees a review with lower results they think it’s a problem with the review, not the drive.

    About TRIM, I just said it’s not a reliable or practical solution for now but still is recommended in OCZ forums.
    When you say “With my Indilinx (…) One click and the performance is back again for 2+ weeks.”… You’re kidding right?
    First, TRIM is not an exclusive of the Indilinx. It’s a plus that will probably come with Windows 7 (32/64bit versions) and it will work with ANY SSD in REAL TIME. That will be nice!
    Second, with the Vertex you’ll get the performance back with TRIM if it works 100% in the first place (or maybe “seems faster” is good enough for you).
    Third, “One click”? Yeah right… I’ve read that that click could take several hours to finish… again, if it works in the first place – I sure hope so, really, because it could become a normal (any)OS update for any SSD owner (again, it’s not for Indilinx controllers only).

    Anyway, if it works for you all the time and takes only a few seconds then that’s great! But, today, I think everybody else still should make backups before using TRIM (if you value your data) and then you could wait a few seconds, minutes or several hours to finish depending on your system. Also, besides being a risky process the “SSD use less power” statement could go down the drain with it – ever tough of this? It’s ridiculous if you own a laptop. It’s definitely not a HD replacement. It’s more like a freaking time and money waster.

    And please don’t give me the “it’s the OS problem not drive” excuse. If some company makes a hard drive, one of the thing they should check is if the thing actually works with, at least, one OS that is available to the public at that time. Seems too obvious right? But no, some (very few) companies still blame XP, Vista, OSX, Linux…?! What is this?

    Finally, I didn’t misunderstand Tony’s statement. And I still stand by what I said: those SDDs are definitely not HD replacements, and you have to wast some time to get it to work “a little better”; and I still think it’s the most HONEST information I got from OCZ’s forums.

    PS: After reading that part where you wrote… “scandal”, “newspapers”, “BMW”, “Audi”, “think” “emotional”, etc… well… I have to ask you: are you OK?

      • DrDillyBar
      • 10 years ago

      Reply is your friend.

        • just another one
        • 10 years ago

        So it is. I’m sorry.

      • crazybus
      • 10 years ago

      q[

        • just another one
        • 10 years ago

        Right. I was assuming something, can you read the “…will PROBABLY…” bit?

        Again, for now, there’s no OS that truly supports it not even RAID version AFAIK so those are left out too.
        But I believe TRIM must work 100% flawless (it’s bit sensitive process, don’t you think?) and should kick in in real time. If you don’t have all these things together… it’s a drag: back up your data, TRIM, good luck and if everything works fine, see you again when your drive starts to suck again.

        Again, PROBABLY, when Windows 7 arrives that will be solved, 100% compatible with all SSDs and, hopefully, also available in other OS.
        In the end it’s all a matter of how much data you use and speed you really need and if you have the right MLC SSD probably you won’t even have to run the TRIM command.

        In the end, most buyers get something believing in the specs they read in the package – they just expect that that thing will work that way. But unfortunately it’s not that simple and that’s why I really feel that the SSD world is full of BS: try this, run that, you must give this “pill” to the SSD once a week and put this patch… makes you wonder if they got an ill SDD.

          • techspec6
          • 10 years ago

          As Wickedt pointed out a few post back, you “must” not do anything to a SSD and it will still out perform a HDD. Swap this thread to flat format and read.

          Also, thanks for shortening your post down to 4 paragraphs. Anything more than that and nobody reads them. Not even me.

          It makes sense that so many of you TR readers are defending IQ scoring and other such nonsense (the review). I expect that the only ones that would believe the review makes any sense at all wouldn’t be all that bright in the first place.

          What pro-review arguements have we heard so far that make any sense? The one that says there is definitly a problem with these SSDs on this 5 year old system. Until TR figures out what the problem was, we don’t know what the chances of anyone else having this problem are. Right now, TR’s main focus is defending their review. All I’ve seen them do on this review has been to update it with firmware information. Bravo

          Jason

            • wibeasley
            • 10 years ago

            l[<"All I've seen them do on this review has been to update it with firmware information. Bravo"<]l I'm sorta surprised you didn't read about this on your OCZ forum, but TR says they've been running more tests and so far the outcomes are equivalent. But, let's give them more time for the next round of results; I don't see the need for your urgency. Unless you start a research project with the conclusion already decided, it's reasonable for these things to take multiple weeks.

            • just another one
            • 10 years ago

            First
            I DO believe a SSD out performs a HDD. That’s why I want to get one for my laptop. Nevertheless, I could bash the reviewers that my Scorpio Black is far better than the benchmarks they show in the review. But why should I? It’s not my review and it’s not my system. Get over it!

            Second
            So you say that nobody reads more than 4 paragraphs AND… not even you!
            OK… glad to know your opinion on this.

            Third
            The ONLY review I ever read from Tech Report was this one. I am looking for a SSD for my laptop and I found this. Does that make me a Tech Report fan? Hardly.

            Finally
            I already wrote this 3 times here: I really feel a (ANY) review is just an experience someone had in a specific period of time. That scenario won’t work the same way with everybody but gives you a good clue of what you can expect.
            My friend, please don’t see a review as the way things ARE, see them as the way things WENT.

            PS: I hope this is not a long reply. I really don’t want to cause you any trouble.

            • Wickedt
            • 10 years ago

            I agree with you, this is just one groups observations on SSD’s, however what i dont understand, is why you would base your choices on 1 review, when there are 10+ reviews that tell it like it is, with completely different results than anyone on the internet? In all of those reviews, ocz was a solid second choice, in fact most recommended the vertex over all other because of price to performance ratio.

            If you buy a new keyboard for gaming or for media, do you not have to learn what the keyes do? Buy yourself a logitech G15 keyboard, and see how fast your up and running knowledgably. Yes you can use the keyboard normally, but what about the macros for the keys and the display? My point is, you need to learn and understand the product you are playing with. If you want plug and play, buy a HD or an Intel SSD.

          • crazybus
          • 10 years ago

          Assuming all existing SSDs will receive firmware updates to enable Trim support is beyond presumptuous, it’s ridiculous. Many SSD providers don’t provide firmware updates period. Apparently, the Trim command has been present in Windows 7 for several releases now and I see patches have been made to the linux kernel as well.

            • just another one
            • 10 years ago

            About the TRIM function you have to ASSUME that it will be a standard for, at least, all new SSD and OS (read the context of my post).

            Something that is made public making people think it works in any scenario. “Hey, get this SDD because you can use TRIM and it’s like new again”. Yeah, right… this is what we got (for now) if you want to use TRIM:

            1. Only works with 2 (two) SDD models that need to have the right firmware update.
            2. You have to use IDE mode (no AHCI or RAID).
            3. Apparently is more compatible with Windows 7 32bit.
            4. A “backup your data” is recommended.
            5. The process can take from a few seconds to several hours.

            Looks like we’re going backwards to me… I really do think we must ASSUME it will get better because, if it isn’t, it’s just more BS don’t you think?

            And if this tool is really important, I also ASSUME that other solutions will PROBABLY be available in the next few weeks for more OS and SSD. Sorry.

            • Wickedt
            • 10 years ago

            I am not sure what you are taking away from the OCZ forums, but you are assuming a lot here. It is a SUPPORT forum and as such, most of what you will see is support questions. This is all new, of course their is going to be learning curves. The Trim takes time only when its not working properly. 90% of people have no issues, and the rest is based on Sata controller problems. Myself at 120Gig, it tales like 6 seconds. It creates a temporary file on the SSD called trim.dat, as trim runs, it increases in size accordin to the ammount of deletes (Blocks) it has to do, then once these blocks are clean, moves the data back to clean blocks contigouasly i assume.. With Windows 7 it will be automatic, you will not see it running, but basically will be setting up the block to be written to as you delete, rahter than when you go to write to it, saving time in the writes, which is were you want it to be faster. Its a pay me now or pay me later kind of scenario with the pay me now being the better choice.

            Again, SSD’s are a new technology, and trim is to be officially supported by the Sata standards, not windows, not OCZ and not Intel. They have nothing to do with it. Adaptec, and other raid controller companies, do not support trim in their own controllers, which again is up to the manufacturer to implement according to the sata standards and im sure windows LOGO will be involved.

            PS @ just another one; they tell you to back up your data with everything you do in windows, its a common theme.

          • just another one
          • 10 years ago

          Wrong reply #…

            • Chloiber
            • 10 years ago

            Nice theory but this has been tested several times with the result that it does not work. Why should it work? It WRITES 0s, it doesn’t erase anything. It’s just writing 0s in the free space.

            We tested it in another forum (about 15 ppl) and it didn’t work for anyone.
            And guess what (what an irony! 😉 ) :
            One user with RAID0 Vertex even disbanded the RAID to use TRIM to get the performance back because of the use of CCleaner dropped performance so badly.
            Very good “solution” indeed…

            #255, We are comparing EXISTING SSDs, aren’t we? So let’s just assume nothing for the moment.

            And I really had to laugh, because you obviously are still talking about things you have no idea about. Please. Why are you still posting assumptions, which are mixed up and just wrong? As long as you didn’t test it for yourself, stop making assumptions.

            l[

      • Chloiber
      • 10 years ago

      Arr Editing Comment:

      l[<(I didn't mention UltraDrive because SuperTalent doesn't push so much BS).<]l I really don't understand what exactly you mean by that. The UD and the Vertex are exactly the same. They have the same FW-Revision. The only difference is that ST doesn't have a form (they have, since about 1 week btw. but it's pretty empty). So you are complaining that OCZ provides users with information and help in their forums? And that, on the package the Transferrates are exaggerated (you only reach them if the drive is empty by the way)? Yes, it is a problem with the review because they did not mention that the SSD was in used state. This is NOT my problem, this is the problem of the review. They didn't understand it either until they got the idea with HD Tach (--> podcast). l[

        • just another one
        • 10 years ago

        If you feel that TRIM is major plus for any SSD, keep reading.

        Some people are testing a VERY GOOD solution – not beta, 100% tested software – and for ALL SDD’s has well: you can use a tool like CCleaner to securely erase the SSD.

        In my opinion this will work better if, and supposing you have at least a 120Gb SSD, you make 3 partitions:
        – one for the OS (it’s good for any scenario because if you need to reinstall the OS you can reformat the partition without losing anything else)
        – one for data (in this one you keep everything of value to you)
        – and one with , lets say, more than 10Gb (just use the size that’s best for you) for temps and disposable data.

        You can then use CCleaner to securely erase that last partition of +10Gb and you can get all that space back to top performance.

        Another good thing is when you create a partition in a SSD it is just logical, not physical. So the cells in the +10Gb partition can be anywhere on the drive and chances are, always different cells will be “restored” to full performance every time you do a secure erase.
        Also, I feel it’s safer to delete one partition than having TRIM seeking you ENTIRE drive – so now you don’t need to waste your time in backing up your data.

        This works with ANY SSD, AHCI or RAID, and is available for, at least, Windows 98/NT4/ME/2000/XP/2003/Vista and 64bit XP and Vista.

        PS: I’m sorry if you can’t understand everything I write. Mind you, English is not my native language so it’s probably my fault. – Glad you’re OK.

          • wibeasley
          • 10 years ago

          With that approach, would you expect the lifespan of that third partition to be noticeably shorter than the other two partitions? (That’s a real question that I don’t know the answer to.) Do you think I’m too concernd with lifespan?

          I certainly don’t understand every SSD issue, so I’m not understanding why you’re strongly opposed to Chloiber’s approach. A monthly 20 second Trim run (of the whole physical drive) doesn’t seem any more intrusive than a 7 second CCleaner run (of a logical drive). You’re concerned that a Trim is more likely to destroy important data?

          l[<"so now you don't need to waste your time in backing up your data."<]l I may have only met two people in person with SSDs, but I believe that most of them already backup their data regularly (and would do so even if they didn't have SSDs). That issue seems much more important than optimizing HDD/SSD performance. Not running Trim or CCleaner could cost you at most 10 minutes a day. When I've lost HDD data, I spent hours scrambling to restore things, even when I had an external HDD backup that was several days old.

            • Chloiber
            • 10 years ago

            I don’t think that making a 10GB partition will change anything.
            As “just another one” said – the partitions aren’t physical. So it shouldn’t make any difference if you have a 10GB empty partition or 10GB free space.

            But I can see where he is going: that way you can secure erase those 10GB with CCleaner and you would have 10GB “unused” (erased) space back. Generally that wouldn’t be a bad idea.
            But as I said. It doesn’t work with CCleaner. And it took for my 32GB SSD over 1min, so I clearly prefer trim.

            And by the way: I didn’t hear from ANYONE who lost his data by using the trimTool – except 64bit users. But as it’s already written in the tool: 64bit still got problems (I won’t deny that). RAID will never work (neither with Win7 Trim) because the RAID drivers (or the controller) don’t support low ATA Commands (that’s why S.M.A.R.T. isn’t working either with RAID). As soon as drivers or controllers themselves support that it will work. But until then, Indilinx can’t do anything about it.

            Not running trim isn’t as bad as you might think. You won’t get half of the performance because IOPS stay the same. I could still start 10+ applications at the same time with my worst values (only achieved by stresstesting your ssd heavily, no way with “normal” use) and the start time didn’t differ from my best values.
            Of course this is no excuse for having big performance drops. Just telling you that you don’t have worse performance in “normal” use. Of course copying files is heavily affected, because this relies heavily on sequential rates which are primarily affected.

            Edit: And sorry for my english too, I hope you understand what I am trying to tell you 😀

            • just another one
            • 10 years ago

            There’s no problem with lifespan. Like I said, in a SSD a partition is just logical, it’s not physical like a HDD. With a HDD you can get partitions in the begging, middle or end of the platter. With SSD a partition is just the way you see it in your OS (drive C:, D:, etc). It’s good to get things organized but in the SSD itself things are scattered all over the place, and it really doesn’t make any difference because SSD don’t have moving parts and have really low access times.

            I just think TRIM it’s NOT a solution. If someone uses it and it works, fine. But please don’t say it’s a great thing because it isn’t. The limitations are so many that if you want to use TRIM safely, you have to get a particular SSD model, install a particular firmware, use IDE mode, and Windows 7 32bit. Any other scenario may compromise the use of TRIM. That’s not a solution to me and probably there’s lots of other people who think the same. For example, I’m a photographer and I work with +8Gb of temps, there’s NO WAY I’m going back to 32bit and, for now, Vista serves me well.

            I back up my data in my laptop when I need to. What I’m saying is, the way TRIM works right now, it’s a tool that obligates you to backup your data, AGAIN, before using it. Come to think of it, maybe “you” could use only TRIM when you need to back up your data, sure that wouldn’t be so bad… But please, Windows 7 in 32bit and IDE mode…?
            When I buy a SSD I’m looking for performance AND stability. I really don’t care if it shows in some benchmark that it is a great drive and then forces me to make backups day-in-day-out because it keeps messing things up. Do you?

            Some people are getting better SSD performance with CCcleaner. And if you have one particular partition (the bigger the better) in your SSD that can be, at anytime, cleaned or secure erased or formated or whatever, that’s a plus in my opinion. The bigger the partition, the better. Maybe other solutions will be available in a near future an all that hype behind TRIM will change into a common OS driver.

            • Chloiber
            • 10 years ago

            You are mixing up TRIM as a command with the trimtool from Indilinx.

            And I won’t comment again on the statements about trim, IDE, win7 and so on.

            • just another one
            • 10 years ago

            Actually I’m very anxious to see SSD and TRIM working in real time in Windows 7. But I’m not too keen with TRIM as an user application for several reasons I already mention before.

            From what I’ve read, some users say TRIM, if it doesn’t mess things up, can take a few hours to finish. But, if I remember right, the first time you talk about TRIM in this discussion, you said it takes only a couple of seconds to do the job; the second time you mention it you said it takes around 20 seconds; then a while ago you said it doesn’t take much longer than 1 minute…
            So, I do have two questions for you:
            1. Is that BS normal for a TRIM user?
            2. Is it possible, under specials circumstances, that 1 hour to you feels like, let’s say, 20 seconds?

            Sorry Chloiber, couldn’t resist asking. Anyway, in a week or so I’ll buy a SSD (probably TRIM free but I’ll get a couple of scissors just in case) and then I’ll be back to tell you if I made the right or wrong choice. 🙂

            • Stoic
            • 10 years ago

            If you really think that Trim is such a bad thing, you really only have 3 options.

            1) Don’t get an MLC SSD (either stick with HDDs or go for the far more expensive SLCs)

            2) Accept that your SSD will suffer from performance degradation over time.

            3) Plan on doing occasional low level formats or similar time consuming fixes.

            The need for Trim is inherent in MLC technology in the same way that the need for defragging is inherent for HDDs. Nobody likes it that the need is there and over time the methods for performing this maintenance have improved, but it still needs to be done. It’s simply the nature of the beast.

            Since neither OSX nor Windows (any version) supported trim at the time that SSDs started making their way to market, the manufacturers were left with a simple choice: Leave your customers out in the cold until the OSs got Trim working, or make a utility of your own to provide for them. For the companies who made the latter choice to have a disclaimer about its use is not something that should be met with criticism. After all, these are hardware makers not software writers, and it is hard to justify putting in the effort to write such a utility and test it on every imaginable system configuration when it is clear that the utility will only be used for a short period of time before the OSs catch up and make the utilities superfluous.

            I for one appreciate that some companies chose to make such a utility available for those of us who do not wish to wait for direct OS support. And I see it as a credit to the companies who did so that they warn people to make backups before using it, despite the fact that data loss is quite rare.

            As for wanting to get an SSD (or any other PC component) which you can just put in and it works 100% of the time, good luck with that.

            • Chloiber
            • 10 years ago

            I said it several times:

            it takes 1 hour if YOU USE THE WRONG DRIVERS.

            Allright, everything for you again:

            – the NEW trim tool takes about 3 seconds
            – the OLD trim tool takes about 20 seconds
            – of course this depends on the SIZE of the SSD and how much TRIM needs to TRIM… 😉

    • just another one
    • 10 years ago

    I still can’t believe people are bashing this review.
    I still think it is very plausible and fairly detailed. Like I said before ANY review of this kind only expresses ONE user experience in a specific period of time – it gives you a good clue of what you can expect, not how things will work for you.
    Except for the “X25M Recommendation” bit, I really think this is a good review overall – let’s face it, the X25M is getting old in the new SSD world, the price is still a rip-off for 80Gb and has low (maximum) writing speeds.

    On the other hand, people are bashing this review mainly because of the Vertex…!? Are you crazy?

    There’s this guy in the OCZ forums named Tony that wrote the only piece of information that I found really important and true, and I quote: “We have tons of valuable info here on the forum, what you need to consider is SSD is NOT a hard drive replacement, it is an alternative method of data/OS storage and it has its own set of rules/issues. Have an open mind to trying new tweaks and spending time looking how you can improve windows so it runs a little better on your system”. End quote.

    Right on Tony! They should put that information in all SSDs packages! He help me decide that an OCZ SSD is not what I want because when I REMOVE the Hard Drive from the laptop and INSERT a SSD… it’s definitely a Hard Drive replacement I’m looking for!

    The vertex has a new firmware almost every month just to fool the users that it is a good drive in some benchmark. There’s no way I would use a drive that has 100Mb/s sustained write (read OCZ’s vertex page) and the manufacture keeps pushing BS firmwares giving steroids to the drive; it works for a few days but in the end you’ll get an unstable system that needs constant user intervention. The Vertex looks like a drug addict.

    If you want to get a good SSD, performance AND stability are the more important factors nowadays. And I rather have a “100% safe” 100Mb/s write than a “maybe it won’t work this time” 200Mb/s write.

    An important issue, everybody should be aware, ALL MLC drives have one thing in common: the performance issues after use (you can read about that in this and other reviews).
    The Samsung controller seems fairly good even after use (around 60Mb/s is the lowest value I’ve found) but the x25m can go down to 25Mb/s write and the Vertex is still a mystery – sometimes it goes way down, then there’s different firmwares, then you have to use TRIM… but of course, after you use TRIM the performance will go down again after use!

    Either the “TRIM effect” is in REAL TIME or it is just a waste of time for SSDs. But to use it in REAL TIME you need a GOOD and FAST writing SSD and who knows what the side effects will be with the need-a-new-firmware-and-tweaks-all-the-time-Vertex.

    Read the OCZ forums: there are lots of posts there and many PROBLEMS with the Vertex: some users show pretty good benchmarks but then you never actually see them posting similar results in different periods. It’s definitely not a reliable SDD.
    It gets a bit ridiculous… PEOPLE PAYING for the Vertex, asking for assistance in the forums because the drive sucks and then OCZ say they have to do this and that and ERASE THE ENTIRE DRIVE… and in the end people THANK OCZ for this?! It gets worse because a week later… there they are again! Same thing all over again: the drive sucks; then there’s this new firmware; then performance goes up; fill the drive; there it goes down again…

    The OCZ forum resumes to: normal use of SSD, low speeds, need to use TRIM, need new OS install, can’t install OS, TRIM again, normal use, low speeds, TRIM again, BIOS doesn’t recognize SSD, new firmware available, dead SSD after firmware flash, new SSD, normal use, low speeds… and this goes on and on and on…!!!
    How can anyone find this acceptable? People are getting ripped off and actually say “thank you” in the end?!
    Has an outsider, that forum looks like a bunch of sadistic and masochists playing together… but hey, whatever makes you happy, right?
    Forget about the Vertex! It looks like OCZ’s Core story all over again.

    From ALL reviews I’ve found about SSDs, all with different system specs, the new Samsung controller seems to be the best choice: it’s very consistent in all benchmarks; just one firmware (already installed); no hidden BS.
    The Samsung PB22-J, the Corsair 256Mb version, and the OCZ Summit, are definitely the most fast and reliable SSDs drives… for now.

      • Chloiber
      • 10 years ago

      You clearly never owned a Indilinx-based SSD, so please stop talkin nonsense. I won’t quote and answer every false statement you wrote in this post – would be a waste of time.

      SSD Review + Podcast does give you good information + explanations. But just the review alone isn’t enough. Because this is NOT the performance you get on SSD drives on modern platforms. People do NOT get 20MB/s write with Indilinx SSDs, neither such low rates on Intel SSDs.

      Some statement in the podcast is also wrong. Someone said “…the used state is the state where every SSD is gonna end up sooner or later.”
      Well this might be true and Intel and Samsung SSDs (I just quote from the podcast) have about 50% less write speed.
      But guess what? With my Indilinx I am NEVER in the used state, I am ALWAYS in the fresh state. One click and the performance is back again for 2+ weeks.

      I respect critizism and the Indilinx SSDs are far from perfect (as I wrote in the podcast comments) but please stop talking about things you – obviously – don’t know nothing about.

      Edit: Well alright I am gonna answer to some of your statements because they are just rubbish:

      l[

    • iq100
    • 10 years ago

    The lack of firmware rev levels for the testing environment, is a VERY SERIOUS DEFECIENCY.
    Frankly it goes to the core to any serious testing, rather than advertising revenue, directed efforts.
    WITHDRAW THE RESULTS AND START ALL OVER.
    Otherwise SHAME ON YOU.

    • green
    • 10 years ago

    since it’s been mentioned so much i’ll just throw this in

    anandtech’s bootup times seem fine that the ssd’s won based on his test where his “bootup” consists of loading the os from a ‘used state’, then loading 3 apps as soon as he was able to. the clock stopped when a hardware device had initialised (how all that forms part of “bootup” i don’t know. it sounds more like application load times)

    but still for what he tested it sounds about right that the mechanical discs were much slower. i don’t use ps-cs4 myself. however unless they’ve changed something significantly, then’s a tonne “butterfly-like” reads going on for the plugins at which point the mechanical drives are gonna fall behind. on top of that (for what i’ve assumed are) 2 other applications are vying for hdd time at the exact same time. mechanical drives weren’t going to have a chance

    i still don’t see how loading 3 apps (assumed at the same time) forms part of “bootup”. then again i guess i’m more traditional and have no programs in my startup folder.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      I think it’s a heavy extremity test, because some people accumulate 20 little applications or services over time since they can’t actually fathom what they really need, and what they don’t. Or they just never uninstall – I’ve seen examples of that too. Anyway, for objectivity, one should really test with and without the startup folder.

      • Chrispy_
      • 10 years ago

      I think the bootup time includes applications because being presented with the windows desktop does not mean your PC has finished booting.

      Running applications uses the disk in the way you want to and if you add this to the end of the boot it factors in (for the purposes of testing) the effect of windows still loading background services whilst you are trying to launch your first program at startup.

      It may still not be a perfect test since it’s plausible that windows is STILL loading services after those three apps have launched, but at least it’s a good refelction of how fast you can get your PC into a usable state – after all – what is the use of being given a Windows desktop if all you can do is stare at an hourglass when you try to do anything.

    • wiak
    • 10 years ago

    might want to switch to a newer controller?
    meybe a dedicated controller or a newer one, the Intel ICH7R is awfuly old, if you compare bit-tech vertex review that uses a new controller
    §[< http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/05/15/ocz-vertex-ssd-review/<]§

    • just another one
    • 10 years ago

    EDIT: just made the conversion to MB/s so everybody can get the picture.

    Greetings,

    I just run the same FC-Test benchmark in my LG P310 with a Scorpio Black 160Gb and the results are better than Chloiber’s UD ME.
    Even if my system is using RAM in the reading tests to do the job right, I guess it’s the final result that matters.
    Note: where it reads — Copying files from “Z:\test name” to “nul” — it’s the reading test. Check it out:

    >>> Session start: Sat May 23 20:37:49 2009

    Copying files from “Z:\ins” to “nul”
    Copied for 608 ms (945.7 MB/s)
    Copying files from “Z:\ins” to “Z:\Temp”
    Begin directory structure generation: clock 38126
    End directory structure generation: clock 38126
    Copied for 2714 ms (211.9 MB/s)

    Copying files from “Z:\iso” to “nul”
    Copied for 1154 ms (1386.5 MB/s)
    Copying files from “Z:\iso” to “Z:\Temp”
    Begin directory structure generation: clock 111260
    End directory structure generation: clock 111260
    Copied for 15163 ms (105.5 MB/s)

    Copying files from “Z:\mp3” to “nul”
    Copied for 1061 ms (933 MB/s)
    Copying files from “Z:\mp3” to “Z:\Temp”
    Begin directory structure generation: clock 193534
    End directory structure generation: clock 193534
    Copied for 8112 ms (122 MB/s)

    Copying files from “Z:\prog” to “nul”
    Copied for 2449 ms (563.5 MB/s)
    Copying files from “Z:\prog” to “Z:\Temp”
    Begin directory structure generation: clock 282081
    End directory structure generation: clock 282081
    Copied for 28283 ms (48.8 MB/s)

    Copying files from “Z:\win” to “nul”
    Copied for 2356 ms (469.9 MB/s)
    Copying files from “Z:\win” to “Z:\Temp”
    Begin directory structure generation: clock 375198
    End directory structure generation: clock 375198
    Copied for 16489 ms (64.2 MB/s)

      • Chloiber
      • 10 years ago

      Edit: Nevermind, now I get it 😉

      Well 211 MB/s copy with a scorpio black is very impressive…since max. seq. write throughput is about 80mb/s

        • just another one
        • 10 years ago

        My friend, this is what I get when I use MY computer – maybe you should reconsider calling this garbage because, if it is, your equipment is already decomposing.

        I agree the reading tests aren’t focusing on the HD itself, but I really don’t care if it’s the RAM, CPU, HD that actually gets the job done. It’s my system overall that counts.

        On the other hand, if you think it’s legitimate to compare in anyway your benchmark with the one in the review, then I can also compare my benchmark with yours, don’t you think?

        Anyway, when I read a (ANY) review, I don’t think it show 100% the way things are. A review is just an opinion, an experience someone had, that’s all. It really doesn’t mean things will work the same way with you but it gives a good clue of what you can expect.

          • Chloiber
          • 10 years ago

          Sorry, I already edited. I misunderstood your description.
          Just really can’t believe the values, that’s all. You can find similar values on many sites in the web for UD but I can’t see such high values anywhere in the web for a scorpio black.

    • just another one
    • 10 years ago

    I found this review very interesting!

    I own a pretty good laptop and my HD is the bottleneck… then I’ve heard about SSDs.
    Basically, there are four things I expect to get with an SSD:
    1. I can move my laptop safely it even when it’s on.
    2. Far better performance than my Scorpio Black.
    3. Capacity of, at least, 120Gb.
    4. Runs out of the box and doesn’t make me waste my time afterwards – when I pay for something I expect it to work.

    So, after reading this particular review (and comments) and finding a very strange world of SSD brands and fans, I finally figure what SSD I’m going to buy – making a good and safe upgrade for a reasonable price.

    Again, thanks for this great review! Thumbs up!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      That’s strange…did you make those numbers up or what? Because according to XBitLabs, FC-Test v1.0 beta 13 which is used in the TR review is not available to the public.

          • Wickedt
          • 10 years ago

          Hi Chloiber, i was wondering if you know of a site that an help me learn to use this program. Didnt find much info on google.

          Thanks,
          Wickedt

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          I don’t like to make assumptions such as different versions of a program yielding the same results but then I like to be scientific when doing testing. I know you can get the old version of FC-test easily, just not 1.0 beta 13. I didn’t not believe you have FC-Test, just not that you have 1.0 beta 13. You’re using the older version right? *I don’t know the details, perhaps they are directly comparable. Someone with both versions would have to do testing to know and obviously change nothing but the program version. It’s good that your drive works well in your system so as you say they may not be useful for older systems, operating systems etc.

            • Chloiber
            • 10 years ago

            Of course that’s an important point: I don’t want to compare my results 1 to 1. Thats not possible because they use a completely different system and they are using another version of fc-test.

            But then again, I think (please, if someone knows for sure that I’m wrong, tell me!) that it doesn’t matter which version of fc-test you are using. FC-Test just creates, reads and copies files. It shouldn’t make any difference which version you are using as long as you create, read and copy the same files (which I did – the file lists are still the same for hard drives). FC Test should be a “real world bench” (and it is imho) so it would be kinda strange if another version would create, read and copy in a different way.
            You can also test it directly for yourselves: create the files and copy them MANUALLY in your OS – the MB/s are nearly the same as in fc-test!
            If you get 10x higher rates, wouldn’t fc-test be a kinda bad real world bench?!
            Newer versions of fc-test just offer more options and a better interface – just go to xbitlabs and read for yourself.

            As I said in the beginning: I don’t want to compare my results directly with the test, but they indicate that something has to be wrong with their system. You don’t get 10x higher rates just because you are using ICH8 instead of ICH7. My system isn’t that new either (about 2 years old and the hardware wasnt high end when I bought it, it already was kinda low-mid-end).

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Well it’s good that you provided some of your own results for others to look at. I think we can agree that at this time with SSDs it’s ‘buyer beware’ and there may be a lot of tweaking needed or variables among hardware and OS to get the full advantage of an SSD.

            • Chloiber
            • 10 years ago

            I completely agree to this statement 🙂

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    Wow changing the page from thread to flat, is like night and day. So much easier to follow what is going on in here. I apologize if i took anything out of context here, because of the way i was reading it.

    The bottom line here, is their is something wrong somewere with the the results, and it is not an easy thing to find, thats why mostly enthuiasts are going the SSD route so far. The hardware supplied by most manufacturers in the case of sata hardware drivers is a big issue. Whenthe trim tool first came out, most with Vista 64 on running trim would lose their OS it would become corrupt on reboot. This has been solved, and seems to have been related to sata drivers and setups.

    The way it stands now, SSD’s overall work very well with updated drivers and operating systems. In XP the drives need to be aligned properly, or the drive does not function properly. In Vista and Win7, the system alligns the drive properly on set up, and with Win7 it turns off defraging on the SSD, and a few other little built in tweaks. So if you had of been installing on either of thoses Os’s the chance of problems would have been minimul, there is always going to be some people that are going to have difficulties making these work properly, but thats the way new technology is.

    Indilinx came out of nowere, and with a controller that blew away the jmicron, also with a 64 meg cache built in to help with the flow of data and basically kill the stutering issue most drives were facing.

    Any software on the internet you can find that can report the size of the cache will report 32Meg, and not 64Meg, why is that? it is because the software is not designed for SSD’s, plain and simple. Most benchmarks are no good for SSD’s, why is this? because they are looking at mechanical hard drives, they were designed for mechanical hard drives.

    Read Anandtechs report on ssd’s, and you will all understand, in fact any other review you will read out there states at the beginning of the benches, that the software they are using wasnt made for an SSD, and that a few programs, will actually give us close results. They also have developed different ways to bench the drives to get more realistic real world results.

    I think that Techreport is a trusted and respected review site, and i will continue reading the articles here. I just beleive that they messed this one up somehow, and wait patiently for them to report to us that they found what was causing these issues to get such bad results on the only other SSD’s recomended by all other reviewers out there besides the intel.

    Intel is the best drive out there right now, theres no doubt about that, i mean seriously, look at the resources they have. The little guys like OCZ and Corsiar, etc. do not have those resources, and as such take a little longer to get things right, but what they do have is support from their users in reporting problems, and then acting on them for solutions. This is new technology, and as such thier will be growings pains, theres no doubt about that at all. The results here though point to something much bigger than that though, and the Vertex should have shined here, like they always do.

      • eitje
      • 10 years ago

      just make sure to keep using the “reply” button on posts; it’s the courteous thing to do for the threaded folks. 🙂

    • techspec6
    • 10 years ago

    I would like to see if the cries of “old hardware” stand up.

    BTW, to those of you viewing this as “Thread” instead of “Flat”, I can tell. Many of you haven’t bothered to read the entire 175+ post. Many posting with arguements that have already been addressed.

    It’s much easier to read them ALL in “Flat” format and avoid some of the repetition even though it’s not the default.

    Jason

      • blubje
      • 10 years ago

      repetition? et tu, brute?

      even though I’m frustrated with their defense, for better or for worse I’m staying reading techreport b/c of their good news coverage.

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    Quote from another site:

    “It is possible that Techreport connected all SSD’s as single nonmember on the Raid ICH controller. If they did, they might run into the slowboot error where the Raid Bios Rom version causes iastor timeouts, and boots very slowly, on any OS.
    This error happens on ICH9R or earlier controllers on sertain SSD’s, and can be fixed by updating the Raid Bios Rom.

    Another Quote:

    “7.5.0.1017 was the one giving me problems, and the only way to fix it for me was to modd the mainboard bios and remove the 7.5.0.1017 and add the newer one. My Raid bios now posts as a ICH10R with some new features, but they are completely compatible, and every utility shows the controller as a ICH9R. Just horrible that no official updated Raid Rom has been posted for all ICH9R boards, considering the problems and errors this 7.5.0.1017 Rom is producing…

    No iastor timeouts, and going from 40+ seconds boot to 9.36 seconds after the Raid Rom change. It was a relief to find out that my suspicions was spot on, and I suspect there are alot of issues out there caused by this or earlier Raid bioses with newer disks, and users desperately trying to fix them… ”

    Last quote:

    “Over at hardware.no we have a 153 page thread with 3100 posts and 91000 views, and a 33 page Vertex only thread, and I can assure you that this review was quickly dissmissed as a pretty bad one, with some results being proven as just plain wrong. I’m sure most, if not all, SSD tech threads will do the same. The SSD specific forums around the world get loads of posts from users in doubt whether to go for SSD or a mechanical drive (happens almost every day in our threads), and the main characters in those threads will sell more SSD’s for you and others alike then reviews like this can move them away from SSD tech.

    Do not loose any sleep over this review, the word about it’s relevance and quality is already out everywhere, not only here, in fact it was dead and burried in our threads before it was even discussed here in your forums.”

    • Dissonance
    • 10 years ago

    Although we’re still conducting further testing, I have some preliminary results to share. We wiped the Vertex, flashed it with the latest 1370 firmware, and ran it through the full test suite again. On our test system, the drive’s performance with this latest firmware rev is identical to that of the 1275 firmware revision used initially.

    Testing continues, and we should have more results to share soon.

      • GokuSS2
      • 10 years ago

      I take it you are using the same hardware?

      • no51
      • 10 years ago

      If it’s not too late, maybe test the Vertex and the Intels (and maybe the Raptor) on both the hdd test rig and a newer rig to see if the cries of “old hardware” do stand up.

        • adisor19
        • 10 years ago

        I second that.

        Adi

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    Every SSD out on the market today has all the same issues basically, at least any MLC nand based. Yes even the Intel, before the last FW the famous Intel drive was brought to its knees by another review site. They had found a problem that no one knew about.

    Yes, the first series of drives from all manufacturers sucked, however, they didnt all have Intel backing them. Again, that does not make these drives any less better than a normal HD, the stutering was due to not enough cache onboard, problem easily solved by a few tweaks. I think somehow, Intel figured out how to force a trim on the delete command in their FW, who knows. Maybe this is why their write times arent as good as other SSD’s. There is a price to pay somewere. The bottom line is, how is it performing for you? I like instant IE, instant Word, intsant everything. I like being able to search for a file with indexing turned off, and it takes seconds to search the whole drive. I like to be able to run 12 programs, all at light speed, without trashing the HD.

    The major point here, is that all SSD’s will be awsome in a few months, because windows 7 is supporting it. Bottom line has always been, will the operating systems come around and be SSD freindly. yes Win7 is already, now the manufacturers have to implement it. Just like the raid card companies have to modify their drivers to allow raid trimming, another story alltogether lol.

    Like i said, for now, yes, a little more work to have a kick ass SSD, but soon, it will do it on its own, with no user intervention. Thats when the other SSD manufacturers will shine even brighter, and bring the Big Blue machine to reasonable prices again.

      • no51
      • 10 years ago

      I don’t know if you are replying to someone or just making a new post; either way you need to learn how to use the reply button because the default view is threaded, not flat.

        • Wickedt
        • 10 years ago

        srry new here 😉

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    There is a new FW at ocz coming in the next few days to support the trim that is already built into Win7, this will do it at deletion time, taking a little longer, but not hurting you in the write times. So basically it should be unoticable. With the brute force Trim, it takes maybe 15 to 20 seconds, depending on how long you go before you use it. Most SSD drives that use mlc, limit the size of the drive to 120 gig leaving 20 gig untouched for the wear leveling mechanism to use. I run it manually maybe once a week, depending if ive had a lot of activity on the drive, downloading or what not. The other important thing about SSD’s is that its a good ideal to move small writes of the disk, thats why we tweak them the way we do, IE, Firefox, programs like that, have a lot of small writes. Most people using XP, have 4 gig of ram, and as such, the system only sees 3 gig, freeing up 1 gig to play around with a cache file that writes to the HD on closing down, and reloading at startup. remember these operations go fast, its an SSD. Like superfetch and prefefetch, File indexing, why use these services, which take a lot of cpu cycles, when the drive is so fast at searching. This is why we tweak, longer life for the drive, better wear leveling, and better overall performance.

    Even if you didnt run trim, most of these drive with the newer versions of FW will still be a hella lot faster than a regular HD in random read/writes. So even once it bogs down, which will never happen once all manufacturers allow native trim in windows 7.

    When this happens,no more user inmtervention, wont be needed, in win7 by default it turns off defrag when it detects an SSD, along with a few other services that are not good for the drive. Soon we will be in a true plug and play SSD world 🙂

    This is just one of many reviews, but it just came out, again, the performance is hugely different then what weve seen here. yes they are clean drives, but the difference is the vertex can be trimmed, and you will stay at that lvl a long time.

    §[< http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editorial/article.asp?Article=articles/archive/c0907/17c07/17c07.asp&tid=cpu<]§

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      l[< The other important thing about SSD's is that its a good ideal to move small writes of the disk, thats why we tweak them the way we do, IE, Firefox, programs like that, have a lot of small writes.<]l This is unnecessary. While i agree with the the fact that there is something OFF with this review and that small file random write/read performance is the most important thing when buying an SSD, the above paragraph is just unnecessary. While i understand why you would do that, the whole point of getting an SSD that's reasonably ok at small random write performance is to alleviate the slowdown associated with writing those small little cache files. I'm sorry but an SSD IS the holly grail of storage and when buying a good one like the X-18/X-25, there is no need for any optimization whatsoever as the SSD makes any write/read operation seamless. The Vertex has acceptable performance for writing small files and you would indeed gain some time by doing the above, but you would gain nothing by doing this for an x-25 drive as it doesn't have the performance issue that the Indilix controller based drive have. Adi

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    Your analogy is good jackaroon, however, what happened here by not updating the fw to the most rescent, and by not using the trim tool available, they took this jeep out in the forest, with the 4 wheel drive turned off (Trim), and a defective engine (FW).

    Then they comapre this to a Lamborghini driving down the highway(intel).

    Funny, the jeep lost in all the speed tests, wonder if it was the trees, or the mud lol

      • barich
      • 10 years ago

      So, in other words, you’re upset because the drive that you bought is finicky enough to need a trim utility run to maintain decent performance, and the Intel drive doesn’t, and this somehow invalidates their review? I sure as hell am not going to run this utility on a regular basis, and if that means spending a little more on a drive that maintains its performance in the course of normal use, so be it.

        • jackaroon
        • 10 years ago

        I should probably know this by now, but how long does it take to run TRIM on a 256G SSD, and can it be allowed to run while other work is going on?

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 10 years ago

      When I buy a drive it should just work, I don’t want to maintain and shouldn’t have to maintain a drive to get the performance I want. A good example is when OCZ first relased its mlc drives with that crappy controller. They suggested turning off all of the services that might cause the drive to stutter, so users could get reasonable performance. Forget that, I purchased an slc instead so I didn’t have to deal with that crap.

        • HammerSandwich
        • 10 years ago

        /[

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 10 years ago

          No, never really have.

            • indeego
            • 10 years ago

            * S P L I T I / O ‘ D g{<*<}g

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          With Vista defrag is automatic, with XP it can be scheduled. TRIM will be the same with Win7 most likely, we just aren’t there quite yet is all.

        • adisor19
        • 10 years ago

        That problem had NOTHING to do with the fact that it was an MLC based drive. It was just the BS controller. There is nothing inherently wrong with an MLC drive. Up to this day, the controller is the most important part of an SSD.

        Adi

          • thecoldanddarkone
          • 10 years ago

          I’m not saying mlc ssd were inherently bad, I’m saying the first ones that came out were.

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    The reason i stated that, is because there is so much information out there about SSD’s now. You are right about one thing, yes i think this is a legit review, based on an old system, and favoring Intel all the way.

    The sadest thing is reading all the comments that say, great article, and good job, blah blah blah.

    I think its very sad to misslead people like this, because that is what this is. It is missleading, and if i was an average consumer, i would come away from this saying, wow, only Intel does a good job, the rest suck bad.

    Yes i am mad, because you are saying my SSD sucks, and i beg to differ, it rocks! If anybody wants to see real benchmarks on a Vertex 120 with the proper firmware updated like the intel drive was updated, and after filling the drive 3 times, i will run a trim, and run the benches again.

    What is the sense of me buying a $600 video card to put into a p3 system? Would i not be an idiot for doing this? This is what this article did.

      • jackaroon
      • 10 years ago

      I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. I’ll just ignore the fact that $600 is too much for anyone to spend on a video card, and that a P3 probably won’t have a PCI-E slot anyway. Look at it this way – The CPU, RAM and video cards are the fastest parts of a computer. A disk drive has traditionally been the slowest. The way developers get faster speed in applications is by using the permanent storage less often, but of course it is still the foundation of anything on the computer that needs to last beyond a reboot. It’s the one bottleneck that everyone has had in common for many years.
      Even if some “typical user” isn’t doing video encoding, isn’t playing games, running a high-demand database, or anything else the nerds need or like to do, they still have to wait for programs to access the permanent storage medium. Admittedly, that’s not worth as much to some people, but we can all think of users who don’t care about a faster CPU, don’t care about faster graphics, won’t get much from dual or quad cores, and sure as hell don’t care about their memory timings, but they all would be happy to see the computer boot faster, or for programs to start faster. That is absolutely a reason (still, offset by cost, at this time) for everyone with any old computer to want an SSD . . . if it would work, anyway. Whether you’ve got a SATA 1.5 or 3.0, it seems (seemed?) like a logical assumption that there is room to grow above the performance of your mechanical disk. Apparently, that’s wrong, though . . . before this review, I wouldn’t have thought so, myself, but now I’m still just wondering why.

      And now, for the cheesy car analogy: If one car reviewer wants to take a jeep out on the highway, and another one wants to drive it through a muddy forest, I don’t see a problem with those two realities co-existing.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      q[

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 10 years ago

      Do you think people just buy ssd for systems that are newer or high end. I purchased one for my tablet. Guess what, it was limited because the motherboard didn’t work very well with. You know what else, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who couldn’t get full performance from a laptop because of a chipset problem. The reality is the Vertex didin’t perform the way you wanted it to on their testbed. So next time you complain about a review, think it all the way through. Your ssd is just a ssd, it might be a fairly decent performing drive, but it’s still not as fast the intel ssd on this testbed.

    • Wickedt
    • 10 years ago

    Im guessing the last few posters do not get on the internet much.

    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 10 years ago

    The defensive nature of Damage’s reply is shocking to me. 🙁

    • S_D
    • 10 years ago

    Perhaps it’s not the hardware platform that’s causing these ambiguities, but rather the chipset and/or RAID/AHCI driver versions. The versions used in this review seem very old now – try the latest versions on the same hardware and see if the performance improves.

    • techspec6
    • 10 years ago

    Nah, I view this thread in “flat” view. It’s an option afterall. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt anyones feelings.

    Jason

      • blubje
      • 10 years ago

      It’s just inconvenient, and makes your messages take up more screenspace. I think everyone is beginning to repeat the same arguments here (and please read my #69).

    • techspec6
    • 10 years ago

    #131, don’t be such a TR fanboy. LOL

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Ever used a reply button before in your life?
      Besides, #131 is right.

    • techspec6
    • 10 years ago

    If you’re in the market for an SSD and it cost more than your computer is worth, don’t bother upgrading. Ok, thanks TR for that valuable information.

    I understand reviewing on a stable system, but 4 years old? That system could have been upgraded with spare parts from my closet and still been stable.

    I can’t help but comment on Damage’s post #83. I had already mentioned that I considered the review unprofessionally done but by slipping in that thing about “the fanboy phenomenon” which wasn’t necessary info, the unprofessionalism went to a whole different level. Well done. So much for Damage (control).

    Jason

      • eitje
      • 10 years ago

      you are lame.

    • blubje
    • 10 years ago

    Funny, you test on a Pentium 4 and ICH7 and everybody here wonders why the results are so different from other sites? On top of that, reviewer, you clearly have no idea what characteristics of SSDs make them faster than mechanical drives. I make no exaggerations when I assert that this is the single worst SSD review I’ve ever read. I’m no fanboy, I own a Vertex, but I’m just as shocked at the poor treatment you gave the Kingston (X-25M). Ever consider that when your review goes in direct opposition to every other review on the internet maybe, just maybe, you suck at your job?

    People, go read Anandtech’s SSD article, and ignore this pile of rubbish.

      • no51
      • 10 years ago

      Pretty harsh words. Ever thought that this review is valid for the set of hardware they tested it on? It may not be relevant to what you’re looking for (which may be validation for your purchase, and if so that makes you a de facto fanboy), but valid none the less. Also, it seems that most of the complaints are specific towards the Vertex. So either they got a lemon, or it still has some bugs in there.

      • Wickedt
      • 10 years ago

      I think that the one thing missing here is the fact that Windows 7 Rc has trim support for MLC based nands, and OCZ is about to release an FW to support it. OCZ also has given its users a Trim tool usable now for most people, using a brute force trim. I am the onwer of a Vertex 120, and i spent almost a month researching all SSD’s. Intels drive does not impress me that much to be honest, as they seem to be more towards servers and such. They are a good drive, i agree, but look at the price differences, they are priced way higher than anybody else, and the vertex is not far behind it.

      Im sorry but to me this review is extremely flawed in that it does not even mention anything about trim support in win7 rc, and the fact that OCZ has a trim tool available to its customers.

      disapointed

        • MrJP
        • 10 years ago

        You must have been so busy being disappointed that you didn’t read the last part of page 2 properly:

        “TRIM requires a compatible operating system, and it looks like Windows 7 will support it. OCZ has also produced a TRIM application for its Vertex drive that clears any occupied pages marked as available. However, this app is very much in beta form, and it can only be run manually.”

        §[< https://techreport.com/articles.x/16848/2<]§

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    In your review you link to a TR article where Intel lowered their prices recently for the -M 80GB model to $325. but they’ve already lowered the price since then, now it’s g{<$<}g315.

      • travbrad
      • 10 years ago

      Yep, SSD prices are dropping really fast. For example:

      OCZ Vertex 120GB is $20 cheaper than it was 10 days ago
      Intel X25-M 80GB and 160GB are both $10 cheaper than 10 days ago
      G-Skill Falcon 128GB is $10 cheaper than 10 days ago
      G-Skill Falcon 256GB is $20 cheaper than 10 days ago

      and if you look at a more long term effect, the Intel X25-M has dropped an AVERAGE of about $10 per week in price since it was released. At this rate they will be FREE by the holiday season 🙂

    • Dissonance
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve updated the testing methods section of the review with firmware information on the drives tested. We’re still sussing out the firmware versions for the Apex and Transcend drives, which isn’t as straightforward as one might expect.

    Testing continues, with the Vertex’s latest 1370 firmware benching now. Stay tuned.

      • travbrad
      • 10 years ago

      Thanks for the update, but I’m even more confused now than I was before 😉

    • barich
    • 10 years ago

    Could someone explain to me why an ICH10 or whatever should perform signficantly differently than an ICH7 when they both support SATA 3Gb/s and NCQ? Especially considering that the CPU/platform can’t be limiting disk (er, whatever) subsystem performance because, if it were, the X25-E wouldn’t have performed as well as it did?

    • wibeasley
    • 10 years ago
    • eitje
    • 10 years ago
    • Ushio01
    • 10 years ago

    The file copy test from my understanding is primarily random writes of various block sizes which it seems the Indilinx has problems with.

    Now most people questioning the results use AnandTech who have done two reviews, The first review used firmware 0112 and they recommended the Vertex even though when they did the same file copy test that techreport has used there results where similar.

    Techreport – file copy test – copy – iso 11.37 MB/s

    AnandTech – file copy test – copy – iso 14 MB/s

    Techreport – file copy test – copy – MP3 15.06 MB/s

    AnandTech – file copy test – copy – MP3 24.6 MB/s

    So why all the complaints?

      • travbrad
      • 10 years ago

      Because with the “new” 1275 firmware (which Anand had in March) it looks like this:

      Techreport – file copy test – copy – iso 11.37 MB/s

      AnandTech – file copy test – copy – iso 78.9 MB/s

      Techreport – file copy test – copy – MP3 15.06 MB/s

      AnandTech – file copy test – copy – MP3 57.1 MB/s

      Which is why I was curious which firmware they used for the indilinx drives. If they used the older firmware then it makes a lot more sense (although 25MB/S vs 15MB/s is still huuuge difference)

      I do understand the idea of “it should just work out of the box”, but on the other hand these are cutting edge technologies and mainly enthusiasts are buying them at the moment (who should have no problem flashing/updating firmware)

      EDIT: Apparently they used the same 1275 firmware that Anand used, so now I really have no idea what could cause such big differences.

        • Ushio01
        • 10 years ago

        I’ve never had any luck updating firmware before a bit to risky for me i’m not wealthy enough to risk damaging hardware like that.

          • travbrad
          • 10 years ago

          Do you intentionally unplug your PC in the middle of a firmware update or something? I have never had any problems updating any sort of firmware, and I’ve done it hundreds of times.

          Routers, mobos, video cards, you name it. As long as the firmware is from the manufacturer (ie, not a “hacked” firmware) you should be pretty safe, although nothing is ever 100% safe of course.

          It looks like the Vertex drives are shipping with the 1275 firmware though, so it’s not really even an issue anymore.

    • Damage
    • 10 years ago

    Guys,

    I appreciate the feedback most of you have given us on this review. Let me address a few of the issues.

    Looking over it, I don’t think most or all of our results are way off or somehow completely wrong. But it does appear that, in our test config, the Indilinx-based drives exhibited some of the same performance problems that they have demonstrated elsewhere. In other configs, those issues were largely resolved by the 1275 firmware revision. I believe the OCZ Vertex drive we tested came to us with the 1275 firmware rev onboard, which we used for testing. It would seem this firmware rev still exhibits performance problems in our test config.

    Obviously, Indilinx and its partners are new players in the storage industry and almost certainly lack the robust validation testing that the bigger firms have. The fact that such problems are present in shipping products comes as little surprise. What’s funny is how some folks are so upset with us for running into this problem. We do need to get things right, of course, but at the end of the day, our presumption for a consumer product is that it *ought* to work right. If it does not, the company that makes it needs to fix the problem.

    Many of the folks coming in here from vendor sites have turned that presumption on its head, which is in no way good for consumers. One pauses to consider how strange the fanboy phenomenon really is.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t get things right. We absolutely should have been conversant in the Indilinx firmware issues, and we should have documented SSD firms revs up front.

    We also should have considered using another test platform. We have stuck with our existing, stable testbed over time because it allows us to do direct cross-comparisons with many, many drives, and because the SATA 3Gbps spec hasn’t really changed since its ICH was produced. Obviously, we’re still seeing much higher performance out of faster drives (Intel X25-E, for instance) with this testbed, so it still serves its purpose in a basic way just fine. We had hoped to hold out with this setup until Windows 7 and SATA 6Gbps were widely available. Given that this review had almost exclusively new results for recent products, though, going with a newer testbed here might have been a better choice.

    That doesn’t mean, I must add, that the Indilinx drives have no need to work well with WinXP and/or this storage controller. Those products ought to perform well with such a config, and the fact they do not is a problem to be addressed by Indilinx and its partners.

    I’ve asked Geoff to take several steps to look into these issues on our end. The first is to add SSD firmware revisions to the Testing Methods section of the review. He’s collecting that data and should have it posted later today. Also, testing of the 1370 firmware on the Super Talent drive is already underway. I’ve also asked him to work with OCZ on finding a resolution to this problem, within limits. Testing just one drive config takes many hours in our test suite, and there are no shortcuts when the empty/full state of SSD has a bearing on performance. With luck and some effort on the part of the drive makers, perhaps we can document a fix.

    For now, though, I would caution users that the problems we encountered were real. Our evaluation of the product as tested stands. You may not run into these problems in our own system–but you might. I’d consider that possibility seriously before buying an SSD based on this type of disk controller.

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      Can I request this test be added to routinesg{< ?<}g s[http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc742157.aspx<]§ edit: better link.

        • Wickedt
        • 10 years ago

        OCZ Vertex 120 gig

        C:\Windows\system32>winsat disk -seq -read -drive c
        Windows System Assessment Tool
        > Running: Feature Enumeration v1.0.0.0 ”
        > Run Time 00:00:01.39
        > Running: Storage Performance Assessment via Profiling v1.0.0.0 ‘-seq -read -drive c’
        > Run Time 00:00:06.82
        > Disk Performance 230.15 MB/s
        > Total Run Time 00:00:08.64

        C:\Windows\system32>winsat disk -seq -write -drive c
        Windows System Assessment Tool
        > Running: Feature Enumeration v1.0.0.0 ”
        > Run Time 00:00:00.73
        > Running: Storage Performance Assessment via Profiling v1.0.0.0 ‘-seq -write -drive c’
        > Run Time 00:00:07.14
        > Disk Performance 181.27 MB/s
        > Total Run Time 00:00:08.27

        C:\Windows\system32>winsat disk -ran -write -drive c
        Windows System Assessment Tool
        > Running: Feature Enumeration v1.0.0.0 ”
        > Run Time 00:00:00.75
        > Running: Storage Performance Assessment via Profiling v1.0.0.0 ‘-ran -write -drive c’
        > Run Time 00:00:06.85
        > Disk Performance 62.06 MB/s
        > Total Run Time 00:00:07.99

        C:\Windows\system32>winsat disk -ran -read -drive c
        Windows System Assessment Tool
        > Running: Feature Enumeration v1.0.0.0 ”
        > Run Time 00:00:00.70
        > Running: Storage Performance Assessment via Profiling v1.0.0.0 ‘-ran -read -drive c’
        > Run Time 00:00:06.24
        > Disk Performance 107.58 MB/s
        > Total Run Time 00:00:07.33

        This is in a laptop Toshiba, 2.4 Ghz Duo,4 Gig ram, running Vista 64, no Ramdisk, only tweaks done are turning off prefetch, file indexing and turning off superprefetch.
        These drives are so fast you dont need it, also the uneccesary writes only shorten the life of the drive. these are wise to do with all MLC based drives, even Intel SSD’s.
        r[

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      Thanks for the reply Damage. I will wait to see what Geoff finds out in a future update.

      Adi

      • Freon
      • 10 years ago

      “our presumption for a consumer product is that it *ought* to work right”

      I think that’s the core point here that many of the article’s detractors need to understand. There’s a line everyone has to draw on how many hours they’re going to put into careful setup and tweaking if their drives and OS to make them work acceptably or optimally.

      It’s actually nice to have some perspective from different system config than everyone else is using. It’s still perfectly valid to test a drive in an older system. Perhaps this is less likely scenario as anyone who has the money for an SSD probably has a newer system, but it is still of interest.

      It will be interested to see what the 1370 firmware and any OCZ “fixes” do to impact performance.

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      l[

        • Ushio01
        • 10 years ago

        I bought a 64GB mtron pro for a Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (manchester core) last year since the negligable random access time of an ssd has a larger impact in improving day to day performance than a processor upgrade.

          • VaultDweller
          • 10 years ago

          I suspect that you and others in the same boat represent less than one percent of SSD users.

            • eitje
            • 10 years ago

            evidence? references? anything other than your gut feeling?

            • no51
            • 10 years ago

            They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time it works, every time.

            • VaultDweller
            • 10 years ago

            Why on Earth would I need to provide evidence for a statement I prefaced with “I suspect?”

            • eitje
            • 10 years ago

            I suspect that you’re not worth much more attention from me.

            • VaultDweller
            • 10 years ago

            Ohhh….. kaaay?

            • Dissonance
            • 10 years ago

            While this of course doesn’t pertain to SSD users specifically, according to Google Analytics stats for the last month, 56.5% of Windows-using TR readers were on XP with only 32.93% running Vista.

            • VaultDweller
            • 10 years ago

            Note that at no point have I mentioned the operating system selection. XP test results are of value since XP is obviously still a very popular OS. XP does underperform with SSDs due to the partition alignment, but this makes SSDs in general look weaker against mechanical drives – no so much impact when comparing one SSD to another.

      • blubje
      • 10 years ago

      l[

        • pmonti80
        • 10 years ago

        Lately it is as easy to find fanboys everywhere than it is to find someone accusing another of being a fanboy with no other argument.

      • HammerSandwich
      • 10 years ago

      Yes, vendors need to work like hell to ensure their products don’t require special setup, and they definitely need to provide good instructions for products which /[

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      The only fault I can find is that I think Vista SP1/SSD introduction should have been your storage testbed change point, not 7 Gold/Sata6Gb/s.

      The reason for this is:
      1. 7 will not be mature on release. No Microsoft Gold OS is ever as refined as its SP1 variant. Setting up whatever MS Desktop is at SP1 for the test environment I think is a good gauge of what most enthusiasts will be doing themselves.
      2. The rapid introduction of SSD’s at the end of last year/beginning of this year really is building popularity for the tech. Your comments have been getting grumblier and grumblier that people can’t compare the tests with their own systems.
      3. The first SATA6Gb/s will likely be immature and require tha same types of hacks we see now with firmware upgrades for SSD drives.

      At some point, you have to cut the cord with some of your older drives (say 2+ years or older is out.)

      You do the same for GPUs and CPUs (cut out the old ones, perhaps it it time to come up with a better methodology than waiting for IEEE to get off their buttsg{<.<}g

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        You’re right, Vista SP1 would have been a good time to change over. Sure we might lose a few older drives but it only would have been painful for the first few reviews and they could have tested the best of the older drives. The switch to Vista x64 SP1 was done a long time ago for video cards, some people cried foul then but most went with it and Scott justified i[

    • esterhasz
    • 10 years ago

    For political correctness’ sake, y’all should really write “fanperson”, or, if the age element is important to you, “fanolescent”.

    • techspec6
    • 10 years ago

    Rather than slamming me for suggesting OCZs forum for information, how about suggesting another forum that also has a wealth of SSD information that’s active? The end result is educating the end users (and in this case the reviewer).

    When I was researching SSD tech, I went to each of the vendors forums before I purchased. You are living in a different reality than I if you want completely unbiased, free information. Everyone has an opinion and even reviewers are human.

    There are way too many uninformed users on this forum. If you are unable to go to a vendor site to learn about technology, then I suggest you find a different hobby. Educate yourselves.

    Jason

      • Freon
      • 10 years ago

      It is a technology that is intended to replace existing magnetic disk drives. Thus, it isn’t unreasonable to treat it as such. There has to be a line drawn by every reviewer on how far they’re willing to go to tweak their system to make a particular product work well.

      Do these drives come with big warning stickers when you buy them or open them that says you’ll have to spend hours specially configuring your system?

      Even as a moderate enthusiast and an IT professional I don’t think I should have to go though a 40 step process to make the drives work well. It’s important to know what happens when you don’t spend an entire Sunday afternoon tweaking your system with special settings to optimize performance. I think there needs to be some expectation of the manufacturer to produce a drive that is as seemless as possible to integrate.

      I read some of the sticky threads on the forum. One started going into all sorts of tweaks like using RAM disk, moving IE/FF cache, etc. This is all stuff that could drastically improve performance on a magnetic disk as well. But how many people here have been running RAMdisks for the past 20 years with their magnetic drives?

      I still us XP on my home machine. I feel no particular rush to go out and buy a $160-200 OS (I’ll pass on the $90 “system builder” license) that I will have to adjust to anyway on top of the $$$$$ drive. I’m perfectly happy with XP.

      I reject that a review should only be a test under the best possible circumstances for the product. Every reviewer needs to draw a line, and having a spectrum of reviews out there is a good thing for consumers so they can gauge how much crap they’re willing to go through to make the product work well.

      • eitje
      • 10 years ago

      I’m not going to argue with you about my education regarding SSDs or my choice in hobbies, and I’m certainly not going to waste any of my time trying to prove something to you when you’ve already formed a pretty well-defined opinion.

      If you think you have something to offer the writers of Tech Report, though, sending them an email to their posted addresses is a more assured form of communication than posting here.

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      I think it comes down to Forums = amateurs peppered with experts that know what they are doing. s/n ratio sucks, but real world use information is good. Finding out about gotchyas are good in forumland, where reviewers might miss it based on low sample rates.

      Review sites like TR and anandtech have close to 20 years combined reviewer trust, so most of us give them the benefit of the doubt. They also *should* have stable test platforms that are dedicated to testing, not end-user machines where the controls aren’t stableg{<.<}g

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah a vendor supplied forum. That is sure to be unbiased.

      Just ownership of /[

      • eitje
      • 10 years ago

      q[

        • pmonti80
        • 10 years ago

        I’d like to point you that most people complaining here don’t complain because OCZ products have bad results. Most people complain that the results show OCZ Apex (or Trascend) almost as good as OCZ Vertex (or Super Talent). These are not the expected results based on other reviews (including good reviews like anand’s).

          • eitje
          • 10 years ago

          And I think it’s worth pointing out that sending people to a vendor-specific forum to get information on SSD technology is disingenuous at best.

    • techspec6
    • 10 years ago

    Geoff was correct. The results were “interesting”. =)

    • _Sigma
    • 10 years ago

    Would really like to see the “oddness” addressed on the next podcast, perhaps putting forth some hypothesis as to why these results diverge from the general ‘vibe’ on the internet.

    • crazybus
    • 10 years ago

    I think Windows XP was the wrong OS to do this test on. By default, XP partitions disks with a 32256 byte starting offset.The partition allocation units will then be out of line with the page size of the flash memory. This can cause significant performance issues (along with needless wear) since writes may be unnecessarily split among multiple pages.

    Vista’s partitioning tools default to a 1MiB starting offset so this problem should be minimized. If you use diskpart.exe to partition disks in XP you can explicitly set the starting offset to whatever you want.

    Other problems with testing in XP are the various features enabled by default which are there to improve HDD performance but are detrimental or useless for SSDs — prefetch, boot optimization, etc.

    • wingless
    • 10 years ago

    Please redo this entire review on MODERN hardware from either AMD or Intel.

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      Seconded.

      Adi

    • GokuSS2
    • 10 years ago

    I have to say. This is the first review on TR where I think something is VERY wrong with the results. There are far too many reviews of the OCZ Vertex out there that do not correlate in the least with what Geoff has posted.

    I don’t not own a Vertex but when the drive was reviewed by Anand I was interested in it. I have read many reviews. The data simply doesnt make sense.

    My other question would be where is, and maybe I missed it, the Random write speed test. (kind of important)

      • BmUs
      • 10 years ago

      It is not just an issue with the Vertex, but with the whole SSD bunch.

      Look at the boot times. The 7200RPM HDD leads even the SLC based Intel’s drive!!

      This is more how it should be like §[< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt6VbOY3xE0<]§ even on an old OS like XP boot.

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, something is amiss. TR should have clued in that something wasn’t right when they found mechanical laptop drives beating all of the SSDs in booting time – this is where even the worst SSDs have always managed to look great.

      I also don’t see any solid random write performance, unless they’re counting iPEAK or something for that? 4K random write tests are what separate the boys from the men when it comes to SSDs. These tests will show you which drives offer a smooth user experience, and which ones will have you pulling out your hair because of constant pauses and access stuttering. It’s where the Intel drives dominate, the Indilinx drives come in at a respectable second place, and the Corsair/Samsung drives come in with an “OK” third. Any SSD review should cover this with CrystalDiskMark or the appropriate HD Tune tests. Without these results, I don’t think any SSD review is even worth looking at.

        • Dissonance
        • 10 years ago

        /[https://techreport.com/articles.x/16848/2<]§

          • GokuSS2
          • 10 years ago

          Its in ms???
          really??

          I was expecting it in a MB/s format. Like most every other site.

          §[< http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3531&p=25<]§

            • Dissonance
            • 10 years ago

            Yes, really. IOMeter spits out all sorts of data, including the response time in ms, the transaction rate in IOps, and a throughput result in MBps. Since the block rewrite penalty adds to the time it takes to complete a write request, we elected to report each drive’s response time rather than a transaction rate or throughput for the random writes test.

          • VaultDweller
          • 10 years ago

          Thanks, I didn’t see that.

          So, my modified suggestion is:

          Please structure the article such that 4k random write results are placed together with the other benchmark results. I skimmed the IOMeter results page, which is where I would have expected these results to appear if they were available. The results currently appear before the testing methodology page (which is the last place I’d look for test results), with a page heading that does not suggest that it has the random write results.

            • wibeasley
            • 10 years ago

            l[

            • VaultDweller
            • 10 years ago

            So? Do you think it’s unusual for people to go straight to the results pages to look at the data? I think that’s what almost everyone is looking for. I’m not interested so much in the commentary.

            • wibeasley
            • 10 years ago

            I don’t think it’s unusual to jump to the end; I don’t even think that approach is criticizable if the reader wants a quick summary.

            But I do think it’s criticizable now in this situation. You’re evaluating small (but possibly important) details of the article, without reading all the details of the article.

            By the way, I do think you have a good point that the configuration isn’t cutting edge. But’s not an uncommon config, and it’s certainly not ‘cooked’ to take advantage of a specific drive’s flaws. And I didn’t see this type of outrage when four SLCs were RAIDed (https://techreport.com/articles.x/16291).

    • Waco
    • 10 years ago

    These results are so wildly different from EVERY other SSD review I’ve seen that my faith in TechReport has been shattered.

    • BmUs
    • 10 years ago

    For the SSDs to be slower than mechanical HDD, especially in boot time, is nonsensical.

    Even if the blocks have been filled and no block is therefore free to be written without prior cleaning, boot operation is mostly more read than write so the logical block full state should have little to no impact.

    Something is a miss in this article.

    If we had not known any better, based on this article alone, you’de better be off with a HDD than with a non Intel SSDs in most tasks.

    • danny e.
    • 10 years ago

    If Nvidia / ATI fanboys were like OCZ fanboys:
    “ugh! you tested that video card with games where the card is not KNOWN to shine!!! Why didnt you use GAMENAMEHERE?? After all, that’s where the card really shines! Who cares that the majority doesnt play GAMENAMEHERE.. it’s what should have been benchmarked because Nvidia/ATI spent time optimizing there! ugh.”

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      No.

      This would be a good point, except that the tests where the Vertex shines (almost as brightly as the X25-M) are exactly the ones that DO matter. In fact, I’d say they’re the only ones that are important to compare at this point. When I look at any SSD review, I look for the page with 4K random write test results (such as with CrystalDiskMark or similar). If the drive tested does not have good results here, there’s no point in looking at the rest of the review. If the review does not have said results, there’s no point in looking at the review at all.

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        Except most people do not spend their day randomly writing data in that specific pattern.

        As generic as it is, the Worldbench app is probably the best test to use, since we all read and use programs/program data a lot more than write it out randomly. Of course there are exceptions, but I for one spend the vast majority of my time in office apps just like those tested, and evaluate for people based on those appsg{<.<}g The file copy tests are important. Amongst the biggest frustrations for me as a sysadmin are backups and their stress/impact on the end-user. The system boot times are silly, and I think should be removed. People really should be training themselves to sleep or hibernate their systems. Most reboots are from an install or patch prompt, in which case other factors like compiling or logwriting come into play anywayg{<.<}g

          • blockhead
          • 10 years ago

          l[

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 10 years ago

            I agree with that. XP especially. Vista didn’t seem to have any problems with it, but my IT is very slow in rolling stuff out. We’re still on Sharepoint 2003. *grumble*

      • danny e.
      • 10 years ago

      I stand by my assessment of the situation.

      • Wickedt
      • 10 years ago

      @indigo

      You are just not getting the gist of what this is all about. Drives that perform well at the random 4k read/writes are the ones that matter. Sequential writes mean nothing in terms of real life performance.

      A big note here also, the software to test traditional hardware fails completely on SSD’s, they were not written for this at all.

      It takes me 2 seconds to open a word document, 1 second for excel.

      @danny e

      WTH does liking a product manufacturer have to do with anything here? My SSD was the first product i have ever bought from OCZ, i was completely unaware of how these drives worked, etc. I went into the forums and was blown away by the technical support they provide. Try this with Intel! The analogy of the Video card, was to point out that why the hell would you put that kind of video card into a system running on a pentium 3 with 256 meg of ram, complete waste of money.

      That is why this review is so flawed, the only drive that was upadted was the Intel. When we see normal mechanical HD’s booting faster than an SSD, there is something very wrong with the testing methods. Also important to note, is that most sata controllers have issues with SSD’s, they were not designed for them, especially older motherboards.

      This is why, if you are going to do a review on new technology, then back it up with new technology that supports it, otherwise major fail like we see here.

        • danny e.
        • 10 years ago

        haha listen to yourself:

        l[

          • danny e.
          • 10 years ago

          i’m not saying there arent some valid points.. but all those are drowned out in a sea of stupidity.

            • Wickedt
            • 10 years ago

            Danny you are an idiot, do everybody a favor, and use your brain for something better than what your doing now. You flame people rudelly with comments that have nothing to do with the issues. You take peoples comments, and use them out of context.

            if i at least thought you had done some research on this, your opinions would be valid, all your opinions to everyone here are stupidity based on branding, ignorance and nothing else. salesmen must see you coming from miles away.

            What i am saying, as well as others, and this has been written in almost every review from respected sites ive read them on is that the software available for testing harddrives is old technology, it was never written to test ssd devices, bottom line! Are you going to trash the reviews done by these people? Anandtech, Tom’s hardware, the list goes on.

            Waste or time here, srry all, im done.

            If i say black, hes gonna come back with red, cant win with people like that.

            PS I hope your job at Intel lasts “FANBOY”

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            You may be right that the benchmarks weren’t ‘made for SSDs’ but if they reflect real-world use so what? That’s what matters in the end, not some optimized benchmark.

            • danny e.
            • 10 years ago

            you’re wrong. simple as that.

    • Freon
    • 10 years ago

    Still going to hold out a bit longer. X25-M 80GB for $199 and I’m in. I think they’ve already blazed ahead of the rest and made it clear they know what is up with making a proper SSD drive. Smart engineers, Intel has.

    • no51
    • 10 years ago

    Looks like the OCZ goons are starting to trickle in. I’m waiting for Geoff’s official word on this.

    • Tarx
    • 10 years ago

    The Transcend results seems… strange.
    The controller appears to be the same type as drives noted to have serious issues (e.g. stuttering). I have a similar one (patriot warp 2) and after 4 months of heavy use (i.e. it is a very dirty drive despite leaving 10GB free), it is beyond painful as an OS drive (it was not so great at the start – and yes it had the alignment and all the optimizations). BTW, I will wipe that drive next weekend and use it only for programs files and read-only files as it really is fast doing regular reads (140MB/s+ and 0.2 access).
    Has Transcend done something different? Also the reads & writes specs are way slower than others with similar drives have posted for their drives. Maybe they added some built in trim command?
    Also, I understand why that test setup was used (to compare it with the mechanical drives), but in this case, I think a modern hardware and OS would have been a better choice as I keep wondering if we’re not seeing the whole picture. A few quick tests with a modern system would at least allay fears that the test bed is not obsolete.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    *[

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      g{

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 10 years ago

        Using a Linux box with tons of RAM worked for me!

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          I use Windows, where half a ton of RAM was enough! 😉

        • Freon
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, am I missing something?

        My laptop (Penitum M 1.7) sometimes isn’t that snappy with the start menu or otherwise, but I don’t have any issues with my desktop. I don’t have any special HDD setup besids having several drives and keeping OS, games, and general data on separate physical drives. No RAID, just normal 7200rpm drives running as singles.

        The only delay is the fade-in effect.

        • Pettytheft
        • 10 years ago

        If your hard drive spins down after a certain period of activity it may take a couple of seconds to fire up. That’s the only scenario I can think of that he may be referring to.

        • VaultDweller
        • 10 years ago

        Context menus actually can be very slow to appear in certain circumstances, such as when right-clicking on a very large number of selected files. I’d guess it takes some time to check meta data on the files to determine what appears in the context menu.

        If SSDs get rid of this, that’s certainly a perk, but it wouldn’t matter much to me until SSDs are cheap enough for bulk storage in my file server, which is where such large file collections are stored.

        • Chrispy_
        • 10 years ago

        /facepalm @ sarcasm troll.

        Here’s just ONE example, windows explorer performance on a mechanical disk.

        Reboot so you’ve cleared Explorer’s cache. Find a folder with lots of files and folders – Nothing insane, just an ordinary folder like c:\windows with maybe 500 files and folders in it. Open it. Instant? No. Not the first time. it takes a little while, maybe less than a second but it takes time.

        Okay, select all, and right-click. Instant? No. It takes time to display the menu. Your hdd light will flash the first time because until Windows caches your folder, it HAS TO READ THE DISK. Sure, once it’s cached everything is instant, but then why the heck are you arguing when this is about disk performance.

        Now the obvious one: Click properties from that explorer menu. Can you hear that disk crunch away? Crunch crunch crunch crunch, right. Oh, is that 2000 folders? Did your disk just have to read 2000 folders? I supposed it gave you results instantly did it, with no need to read information on 25,000 files from the FAT?

        So yeah…. Try it on a folder with 5000 objects and the delays are significant, and that’s just explorer doing practically nothing. You’re just reading file information which is barely a tremor on the hard disk Richter scale.

        WHENEVER you hear or see your disk thrashing, that is your disk wasting about 10ms of your life per “click”. Get an SSD, use it, and tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about, then I’ll take you seriously (though I guess you’ll have to stop making baseless and incorrect comments to your other TR posts before I actually do that)

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Sorry, but I can’t replicate what you just said. I can imagine losing 10 ms to things like this sometimes, but you should understand that it’s an extremely short amount of time that should count as negligible.The only thing that /[

      • grantmeaname
      • 10 years ago

      r[

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        Well, by default they aren’t. But they can be, if you’re talking right-clicking on files in Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer allows 3rd party context menu handlers. Some people install a lot of them. Some of them are very badly written. Depending on what they do, a lot of code and/or data could get loaded while of populating the menu. That’s particularly true if the system is overcommitted and the data has been swapped out; and if you’re that special kind of user who insists on disabling the page file, all that context menu handler code may have been discarded and have to be reloaded from all over the disk. Under those circumstances, the low random access latency of an SSD could make a noticeable difference vs an HD. But they’re certainly not everyday circumstances for most people.

          • GreatGooglyMoogly
          • 10 years ago

          Nevermind. Misread.

          • Chrispy_
          • 10 years ago

          Yeah, context handlers cause problems sometimes. For yet another example, browsing start menus on most XP machines at the office is slow (no, that’s not the pop-out delay, I turn that off) since it’s reading folders from disk, typically at the same time you’ve either just closed an app and it’s clearing swapdisk space or something.

          You don’t have to disable the page file (why would you?) to experience disk delays, you just have to be using the disk for something else at the same time, and have no cached copy of what you’re looking at.Typically I find that the cache is frequently missing what I need because day-to-day I’m running VM’s and having about 5-6 applications open at once on a 2GB RAM machine.

          At home, with the SSD, the difference is more obvious between mechanical and SSD, mainly because my home install is W7 which bashes the disk more than XP does (though it’s a lot better than Vista ever was).

          I have to admit, I really like the way that when TR releases questionable results, they DO take it personally and retest. Sure, the outdated platform and OS are a big bottleneck here, but that doesn’t make the results any less valid. I still feel that the test missed the point of performance SSD’s, but there are plenty of other sites that tell you how it works with cutting edge hardware – and not all of us have cutting-edge hardware.

      • shank15217
      • 10 years ago

      Except they cant explain the relative performance of the other drives. What a bunch of fan boys.

        • no51
        • 10 years ago

        Maybe there’s some Nvidia-style benchmark boosting going on.

          • pmonti80
          • 10 years ago

          I don’t think so. I don’t really know what is the “problem”, but there are some strange results with some benchmarks. In particular the bad results of Idilinx based SSD’s and the good results of Jmicron based SSD’s (for some reason I don’t quite believe the IOmeter incompatibility).

          The most obvious difference is the fact that almost no one bothered “dirtying” the drives before testing. This could be the real reason if it weren’t for the fact that Anand also “dirtied” his drives before testing and had different results.

          Second most obvious difference is the system used. It may not be because of performance of the CPU, but maybe some kind of incompatibility or a setting not liked by some drives.

          Third most obvious difference is the firmware versions used in the tests. But this is so obvious that it doesn’t seem like a mistake that TechReport would do.

          Suggestion: if there is really an incompatibility with IOMeter, then maybe you can try another test: CrystalDiskMark random write results; or a manual copy of 1000 (or more) files of 4kb (or less). If this test is already somewhat present in the benchmarks I didn’t notice it, sorry if that is the case.

    • deepthought86
    • 10 years ago

    Also, the G.Skill Falcon is identical to the OCZ vertex for a cheaper price.

    • deepthought86
    • 10 years ago

    The Apex outperforms the Vertex in a number of tests? And a notebook drive outperfroms the Vertex? I think something is wrong in your setup, maybe the motherboard has a problem with these drives. Your results are very different from what other sites are finding.

      • jackaroon
      • 10 years ago

      I too, am suspicious that there was some sort of “error” in the tests, because the OCZ Vertex had been receiving so much praise, elsewhere . . . On the other hand, I’m still glad to see this happening here, because whatever is slowing them down, well, I have just that kind of luck myself so it’s probably more realistic reflection of what I’d get. :o)

      Maybe we’ll all learn something important from this.

    • techspec6
    • 10 years ago

    #24,

    I firmly believe a product is only as good as it’s support. OCZ’s SSD community is as good as it gets.

    On newegg, it’s not $100 price difference, it’s $71 on 5/18. I’d gladly pay that amount for OCZ’s level of support and especially for a company that speaks english. I’m tired of having to spend hours explaining a support issue to someone that doesn’t speak my language. If you are on the cutting edge, you will need that support.

    As for the test review here, I believe there are several issues rendering it useless. Most of which have already been stated.

    Thanks,
    Jason

    • Sunburn74
    • 10 years ago

    I can’t believe they didn’t review the G Skill titan using the new indilix controller. I’m really disappointed; techreport needs to do its homework as the gskill drive is probably the best overall consumer ssd in terms of pure value. No stuttering, incredible speed, increadible size and meager cost in comparison. The ocz vertex which uses the same controller costs 100 dollars more and gives less performance in pretty much every test. (gskill titan goes for $300 in a 128 Gb capacity)

    edit: falcon, not titan…

      • LeGoulu
      • 10 years ago

      The drive you’re talking about should be the G.Skill Falcon: the G.Skill Titan is based on dual JMicron controllers, not Indilinx.

        • Sunburn74
        • 10 years ago

        yeah. I got carried away and didn’t check my post. Falcon > vertex

        BTW, ditch the obsolete system; i knew something was up as soon as I saw the boot time result. I mean a single core p4?

    • Ushio01
    • 10 years ago

    Well so based on this review MLC SSD’s are worthless and to be avoided with even the Intel falling behind HDD’s in most benchmarks.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 10 years ago

    Maybe you guys should stop using this outdated system for SSD testing, because a multitude of other sites suggest your OS booting times are bullshit. You’re all so high and up about ‘realistic’ testing of *[

      • LeGoulu
      • 10 years ago

      Although I agree that some tests on a more recent platform (hardware and/or OS) would be very interesting as a complement to this review, I’m not sure the results on older systems are pointless: we’ve been told for years that the hard drive is often the slowest component and main bottleneck in a PC, and upgrading 5 year old computers with a decent SSD could be a meaningful update to such systems. Many home PC from the WinXP generation would not run office applications much faster with a quad core or Win7, but an SSD might be salvatory.

      As for the TR test platform itself, the hardware specs seem more than enough to handle 200-250MB/s flows with ease, so I’d bet on an improper configuration rather than outdated hardware/OS to explain the results.

    • blubje
    • 10 years ago

    interesting, other sites seemed to indicate that the Vertex was a good competitor.

    Why is the file copy test so slow? Is this perhaps a Windows thing?

    Could you kindly integrate some Linux benchmarks (with different file systems, too)? I don’t mean to spread too much FUD about NTFS, but it is an older file system (and, for example, Windows has other quirks, like starting to use the page file before it consumes all of RAM).

      • travbrad
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, I am wondering whether they tested with the latest firmware on the Vertex drive? Anand got enormous performance improvements in file copying simply by updating their firmware (and it was even faster than the X25-M in those tests)

      Link to what I’m talking about: §[< http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3535&p=5<]§

        • LeGoulu
        • 10 years ago

        Some useful information is missing to know where those strange results (mainly under-performing Indilinx drives) come from: firmware version for non-Intel drives, SATA controller/OS configuration (AHCI enabled or not?)…

        I’m also a bit puzzled that the TR people did not find those results surprising in the first place, given that other well-known sites obtained completely different outcome from the same benchmarks… Do the TR guys have a look at their peers’ sites before reviewing similar products? I don’t consider the TR results are necessarily “wrong”, because that’s obviously how the drives actually perform in their own system, but they deserve further investigation to understand why they are so different from what many readers expected: some sort of incompatibilities between particular drives and MB/drivers/whatever? suboptimal configuration (old firmware, wrong AHCI mode)? I hope an update to this article will follow to clear that up.

          • pmonti80
          • 10 years ago

          I completely agree with you, couldn’t have said it better.

          • adisor19
          • 10 years ago

          I agree with your post. Something in here doesn’t add up. It could be the firmware on the Inidilix drives that’s old or just the system they were tested in..

          I just can’t belive the Indilix drive is so slow…

          Adi

            • 5150
            • 10 years ago

            I’ve been waiting a long time for a review from TR on SSD’s, and personally, I think TR’s street-cred is going to drop for this one.

      • blubje
      • 10 years ago

      if there is a re-review due to OCZ stuff, please add linux vs. windows benchmarks. I couldn’t find *any* sites which currently contain this information (pertaining to SSDs). There are a few sites indicating Vista and particularly Windows 7 perform better than XP.

      EDIT: if anyone can find a link for the above that would be very cool.
      EDIT: filesystems I’d like to see: ext3, ext4, crypto on ext3, software raid modes, xfs, and btrfs.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 10 years ago

    Doh, there’s no 5,400 RPM laptop drive in there!

    Seeing as the difference is pretty much only 1 watt with the 7,200 RPM drive and the better SSDs, it would have been nice to know if that pretty much vanishes altogether at a lower speed.

    Pretty much kills the power saving argument, regardless, so still nice to know.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      These days the difference between 7200rpm and 5400rpm 2.5″ drives is pretty minor, though you can save as much as half a watt if you go for the thriftiest drive (the WD Scorpio is among the most power hungry).
      §[< http://www.storagereview.com/Hitachi250WD320.sr?page=0,5<]§

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 10 years ago

        Thank you, I forgot all about Storage Review.

        That pretty much confirms what I was thinking. At least at idle, a 5,400 RPM drive can definitely match a good SSD, so it’s probably not going to make any real difference.

        Unless, of course, you’re going for performance on a laptop drive, for some weird reason.

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 10 years ago

    Is there any particular reason why these drives are slower at boot, although faster at game level loading?

    Not that boot time is particularly important, I’m just curious.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 10 years ago

      It’s probably a Windows XP thing.

      Too bad they didn’t also test Windows 7 for that. 🙁

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 10 years ago

        I can’t understand the reason why you care about boot time scores.

          • TravelMug
          • 10 years ago

          This right here. I reboot my Vista machine maybe once every two weeks. Sleep mode FTW!

    • Maximus_is
    • 10 years ago

    Just wondering about the performance of the OCZ drives, especially as I have read other reviews that show that it’s performance is better than what is shown in this review. It might be a difference in drivers but the Vertex drives show much better performance in these two reviews, especially with new drivers:

    §[< http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3531&p=1< ]§ §[<http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/05/15/ocz-vertex-ssd-review/1<]§ Cheers, Max S

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 10 years ago

    Surely 5 significant figures on some of those charts is at least one too many…

    And the charts on page 2 could have done with splitting off the ~200+ms response times, to give a better feel for the other numbers.

    Also, re the comment “The random write performance of the Apex and Transcend SSDs changes very little when the drives are used, regardless of the IOMeter config”, isn’t the salient point that their performance actually i[

    • travbrad
    • 10 years ago

    Thanks for the review and benchmarks. Testing that many drives must have taken awhile, but it’s great to get some real world results for so many drives.

    After seeing the results I wish there was a smaller capacity drive available using the Samsung controller. I could easily get by with an 80GB (or possibly even 60GB) SSD as my OS/app drive, and use a mechanical for storage. I’m still a bit puzzled about how poorly the indilinx drives performed though.

    Even so, they are still just a bit too pricey for me, but I can definitely see myself getting one by the end of the year (if prices keep dropping). The 60/80GB offerings are starting to creep towards that “expensive but can’t resist” price.

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Nice review. I’ll bide my time, I am in no rush to have one of these.

    • firstadopter
    • 10 years ago

    Does anyone know if the 128GB version of the Corsair going for $299 on Newegg uses the same technology as the Corsair used in this review?

      • Ushio01
      • 10 years ago

      No it uses the previous generation Samsung controller 90MB read and 70MB write.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 10 years ago

    Thanks for the review. Been wanting to see all these SSD’s go head-to-head now for a while.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    Thanks for the review, it must have been a lot of work to do so many drives at once. Still not there yet for me though, I figure by the time a ~250GB drive hits my price point that there will be plenty of controller advancement across the board too.

    • ucisilentbob
    • 10 years ago

    Spectacular! I’ve been curious about these drives and now you’ve answered my questions. Thanks for the well written review!

    • bjm
    • 10 years ago

    Great article, Geoff!

    Even considering the great showing the Corsair/Samsung drives made, the Intel X25-E/M duo is looking like the 8800GTX of SSDs. It’s been out since September of last year and its still whooping all the new comers. Granted its price was higher back then. But still, given that it was way back in September for the X25-M and November for the X25-E, I can’t wait to see what Intel will do once the competition starts to get burning.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    What is the purpose of a street price if it’s just empty for all drivesg{

      • bjm
      • 10 years ago

      Works fine for me here, except for the Samsung. Since its been mentioned in the article that its not available as a bare drive, makes sense.

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        Figured it out… nevermindg{<.<}g

          • Ruiner
          • 10 years ago

          ABP FTW!

          8 9 10

    • bjm
    • 10 years ago

    /[<"They're *[<256MB<]* drives, so the cost per gigabyte works out to only $2.73—expensive by mechanical standards, but markedly cheaper than the more than $4 per gigabyte you'll pay for 80 and 160GB versions of Intel's X25-M."<]/ Alert, typo police! A little heads up on that one, I'm sure you mean 256GB. (Okay, I went to the conclusion first, so what?!)

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