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OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD Review update

Author

Wendy Robertson
Senior Administrator and Reviewer
Article posted 18 Mar 09 20:33

Real world tests

  

 

It has become clear recently that simply conducting endless benchmarks on SSD drives is pointless. Real users may run a few benchmarks when they first fit their SSD drive, but most users just want a drive that performs well in the real world. They want their drive to work "out of the box" and work fast and smoothly.

Most of the latest SSD drives can deliver very fast sustained reading and writing speeds, but these alone tell you very little about how the drive will perform in the real world.

If you intend to use your SSD as your primary system drive, with an operating system and applications installed and running from the drive, real world performance becomes much more important than fast sequential read and write speeds.

In the following section in the review, will use real world user testing, later in this section, which we will explain in more detail later.

 

Real world copy tests


We will now conduct a few real world copy tests. These tests simulate what real people do with their drives. We will be conducting writing tests, using two large single files and a multiple file copy of various file sizes.

We should point out that this is not a scientific way of measuring performance. These timings were taken with a stop watch; we have however ensured that the reading drive is well able to supply a data stream to our writing drive, which is high enough not to be slowing down the performance of the writing drive.

We will once again be comparing the obtained results with our comparison drive’s results. We will present the results in the form of graphs and tables.

Multiple file copy writing test

For this test we copied the Nero Burning Rom install folder from our review PC to the D: drive (OCZ Technology Core series V2 RAID 0 array) and then copied the contents to the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD and our other comparison drives, and once again, we added the results from Vertex with 1199 firmware.

Our test copy contained 1,772 files of various sizes with a combined capacity of 306MB.

If we compare the results of the OCZ Technology Vertex with the shipping firmware and the new 1199 firmware, the 1199 firmware is the faster of the two.


Single large file writing test (4.37GB)

For this test we used a single DVD5 ISO file which had been copied to the D: drive of our review PC. The file was then copied to the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD and our other comparison drives.

Once again we can see a significant increase in sequential write speed for Vertex 1199 firmware.


For this test we used a single DVD9 ISO file which had been copied to the D: drive of our review PC. The file was then copied to the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD and our comparison drives.

Once again the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD with firmware 1199 is the fastest, and reaches an impressive 185.52 MB/s


Summary

Once again, we can see that Vertex firmware 1199 is faster than the original Vertex shipping firmware, when we measure sequential writing performance.

Vista start-up and closedown
 


For these tests, we simply used a stop watch and tested the amount of time taken for a full installation of Vista to boot to the “Vista welcome” screen, and then timed how long was taken to close the PC down from the Vista “shutdown” option in the start menu.

In the case of the start up test, the timings were started once the RAID card had initialised. We do however point out, that the RAID card has to initialise before any of our tested drives could start to boot the operating system.

We simply added the results from our tests of Vertex firmware 1199, to our previous Vertex review results.

There is not a huge difference in the Vista start-up and shutdown times, between Vertex shipping firmware and Vertex firmware 1199, but the marginal difference is in the right direction, and Vertex firmware 1199 is slightly faster than the original shipping firmware.

Installing applications
 


Installing applications is possibly something you don’t do that often. But should you replace your system disk, then you will most likely have to re-install your applications. Most of the SSD drives I have tested up until now are quite slow at installing applications, most likely because their I/O performance was quite limited.

For these tests, we picked some popular applications and copied the entire contents of the CD or DVD media to our Core V2 SSD RAID 0 array. We did this to make sure that the reading speed would not hamper the performance of the installation drive.

We then installed these applications onto our comparison HDD drives, which were all running mirror image installations of our Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit installation, and timed the amount of time taken to install the application with a stop watch on each of the drives.

Windows Vista service pack 1 (64bit)

For anyone who has installed this service pack, you will know how time consuming it is. The PC has to re-start several times during the installation. So any time savings here is a big bonus.

No real surprises here, Vertex firmware 1199 is a bit faster than the original Vertex shipping firmware.


MS Office 2007 Professional (full install)

MS Office is another of those applications that make you cringe at the thought of re-installing it.

Let’s find out how our drives coped with the MS Office 2007 full install.

The difference in the time taken to install Microsoft Office between Vertex firmware 1199, and the original Vertex shipping firmware is marginal, but Vertex firmware 1199 is slightly faster.


Kaspersky Anti Virus 2009

Kaspersky Anti Virus 2009 is not a big application, but none the less, it is a popular one. So let’s find out how our drives dealt with installing this application.

This time the result is exactly the same.


Adobe Fireworks CS3

Adobe Fireworks CS3 is another popular package. Let’s find out how our drives coped with installing this application.

Once again, we can notice that Vertex firmware 1199 is the fastest, although the difference is small.

Real user – Multitasking tests


For this test we will use a real user (the reviewer) to run two simple multitasking tests, to check the OCZ Technology Vertex series 120GB SSD.

We would like to point out, that this is not in the least bit scientific in its method or approach. But we would also like to point out, that neither are most PC users, and we also feel this is more useful as a guide to real multitasking performance, than running a benchmark.

  • A light load multitasking test. All drives should be able to pass this test.
  • A heavy load multitasking test. To really stress the drive and SATA bus system.

Light load – multitasking test

The light load multitasking test consists of the following applications all being run at the same time.

  • Load an audio track list of 10 songs into Windows media player and play the tracks.
  • Run a full virus scan on the SSD drive.
  • Open 6 tabs on Internet Explorer and browse the Internet
  • Open a large MS Word document and scroll and edit text and graphics

We will simply carry out these tasks like any normal PC user. We will watch and listen for any problems with system freezing or stuttering in Internet Explorer and listen to our playing audio tracks for glitches in the sound.

We ran the light multitasking test on the OCZ Technology Vertex SSD with firmware 1199 for 15 minutes. No problems to report. The system remained stable and smooth, with no hint of stuttering or freezing.


Heavy load – multitasking test

The heavy load multitasking test consists of the following applications all being run at the same time.

  • Load an audio track list of ten songs into Windows media player and play the tracks.
  • Copy a 700MB AVI file to the Vertex drive and encode the file to MPEG2, writing the file back to the Vertex drive.
  • Rip and trans-code a Video DVD from an optical drive to the Vertex drive.
  • Open 10 tabs in Internet Explorer and browse the Internet.
  • Open MS Word with a large document, scrolling and editing the text and graphics.
  • Copy our 1772 small files to and from the Vertex drive, repeatedly, throughout the test.

We will simply carry out these tasks like any normal PC user. We will watch and listen for any problems with system freezing or stuttering in Internet Explorer and listen to our playing audio tracks for glitches in the sound.

Because the above test will place a heavy load on the CPU, we would expect some slowdown in the applications we are using, however, any freezing or stuttering whatsoever would be classed as a fail.

We ran the heavy load multitasking test with Vertex firmware 1199 for the time taken to encode our MPEG2 file (around 23 minutes). There was some slowdown in system performance as expected, but absolutely no hint of system freezing or stuttering, and our track list of 10 songs played perfectly.


Summary

In our real world test section, we have seen that Vertex firmware 1199 is for sure the faster, when we compare it with the original Vertex shipping firmware. Sometimes the speed difference in favour of Vertex firmware 1199 is quite a lot, and in other cases, the speed difference is quite marginal.

This concludes our head to head comparison of Vertex firmware 1199 and the original Vertex shipping firmware. To read the conclusion, click the link below….


 

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