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Serial ATA performance — HD Tach
We used HD Tach 3.01's 8MB zone test to measure basic SATA throughput and latency.

The RealSSD has some of the fastest read burst speeds we've ever measured, and it's clearly quicker on the 890GX than it is on the H55 Express. Even the VelociRaptor has higher burst speeds on the 890GX, but only with the Gigabyte motherboard. The Asus board's VelociRaptor burst speeds are nearly 20MB/s slower than those of the Gigabyte.

Here's where things start to get a little weird. With the VelociRaptor, average read speeds don't vary all that much from one platform to the next. However, the RealSSD's read speeds are all over the map, with the H55 Express wedged between the Asus and Gigabyte 890GX boards. The read speeds on each platform were quite consistent from one run to the next, making the differences between platforms all the more puzzling.

We haven't had much time to work with the RealSSD, but before testing it with each configuration, I ran a secure erase and a full-disk HD Tach write speed test on the drive to establish an even, used-state playing field. This should prevent things like the block-rewrite penalty from affecting our results.

The intrigue continues when we look at average write speeds, which again find the Asus and Gigabyte boards separated by quite a margin. Asus is fastest again, but neither 890GX board is quick enough to catch the H55 Express.

More troubling than the wide gap in SSD write speeds between the Asus and Gigabyte 890GX boards is the fact that both pull up lame with the VelociRaptor. The H55 Express's average write speeds are 30MB/s faster than the 890GX's when the mechanical drive is installed.

HD Tach doesn't quote a margin of error for its random access time test, but I can't help but wonder if it's more than a tenth of a millisecond. Things are pretty even here, with the obvious exception that the RealSSD's access times are more than an order of magnitude shorter than the VelociRaptor's.

There is a +/- 2% margin of error for HD Tach's CPU utilization tests, but the differences in CPU utilization are much greater than that. With both the VelociRaptor and the RealSSD, the Gigabyte 890GX scores much higher than the Asus in HD Tach's CPU utilization test.