HD Tune — Transfer rates
HD Tune lets us present transfer rates in a couple of different ways. Using the benchmark's "full test" setting gives us a good look at performance across the entire drive rather than extrapolating based on a handful of sample points. The data created by the full test also gives us fodder for line graphs, which we've split by drive maker. You can click the buttons below each line graph to switch between the different SSDs.
To make the graphs easier to interpret, we've greyed out the mechanical drive. The SSD results have been colored by drive maker, with the Neutrons set apart from Corsair's other offering in different shades of green.
Impressive. The Neutrons get off to a good start, nearly equaling the sequential read throughput of the fastest drive we've tested, Samsung's 830 Series. There's essentially no difference between the standard and GTX versions of the Neutron in this test. Even the line graph shows overlapping results. Things get a little more interesting with sequential writes, however.
The Neutrons post painfully low average write speeds, and it takes no more than a quick glance at the line graph to determine why. Both drives alternate between prolonged lows around 100-150MB/s and brief spikes to over 450MB/s. We see similarly erratic behavior from the drives based on recent SandForce controllers, except the lows aren't nearly as deep, resulting in higher average speeds.
HD Tune runs on unpartitioned drives, which isn't always an ideal case for SSDs. For another perspective, we ran a handful of the SSDs through CrystalDiskMark's sequential transfer rate tests, which call for partitioned drives. We used the app's default settings: a 1GB transfer size with randomized data.
CrystalDiskMark's write speed results show no indication of inconsistent performance from the Neutrons. The GTX leads the field by a fair margin, while the standard Neutron pulls up behind the OCZ Vertex 4 and Samsung 830 Series. This time around, the difference in write speeds between the two Neutrons is quite substantial—just under 120MB/s.
The Neutrons offer similar performance in CrystalDiskMark's sequential read speed test, with the GTX posting a slightly lower score than its sibling. Both Neutrons finish off the podium here.
HD Tune's burst speed tests are meant to isolate a drive's cache memory.
Although the Neutrons' 256MB DRAM caches score very well in HD Tune's read burst speed test, the Neutrons are well behind a number of other SSDs when it comes to burst writes. Interestingly, about half of the solid-state drives, including the Neutrons, have slower write burst speeds than our mechanical hard drive.