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Our IOMeter workloads are made up of randomized access patterns, presenting a good test case for both seek times and command queuing. The app's ability to bombard drives with an escalating number of concurrent IO requests also does a nice job of simulating the sort of demanding multi-user environments that are common in enterprise applications.

The SF-1200 absolutely dominates three of four IOMeter workloads, offering transaction rates several times higher than the next closest contender. Our X25-M and X25-V RAID configs prove substantially quicker with the web server test pattern, but the SandForce drives still manage a rough tie for third place. The fact that the web server test pattern is made up exclusively of read operations, while the others have a mix of read and write ops, suggests the SF-1200 owes its strong showing in other patterns to superior random-write performance. The data generated by IOMeter may be particularly amenable to DuraWrite compression, as well.

I was expecting the Force F100 and Vertex 2 to surge ahead of the firmware-capped Agility 2 in our IOMeter tests, but there's little difference in transaction rates between the three drives. We don't have a test pattern made up exclusively of random writes. However, even with the web server test pattern, none of the SandForce drives managed much more than 8,000 IOps.

As one might expect, the SandForce drives consume more CPU cycles than the others with the file server, database, and workstation access patterns. These results are better presented in terms of efficiency, so we've graphed the number of IOps per percent CPU utilization below.

Obviously, our X25-V RAID array is the most efficient configuration here. The Intel SSDs have a higher efficiency than the SandForce drives with the web server test pattern, as well. Still, the single-drive setups are largely bunched together with the other test patterns.