It has become clear recently that simply conducting endless benchmarks on SSDs is pointless. Real users may run a few benchmarks when they first fit their SSD, 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 run fast and smoothly.
Most of the latest solid state 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 just fast sequential read and write speeds.
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; I have, however, used the fastest reading drive that I have access to (OCZ Vertex 2 100GB) but even this drive will be to slow to really load the RevoDrive X2 with large sequential files.
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.
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 Vertex 2 100GB) and then copied the contents to the OCZ RevoDrive X2 SSD and our other comparison drives.
Our test copy contained 1,772 files of various sizes with a combined capacity of 307MB.
The OCZ RevoDrive X2 was the fastest drive when writing our small file set.
Single large file writing test (7.95GB)
For this test we used a single DVD-9 ISO file which had been copied to the D: drive of our review PC (OCZ Vertex 2 100GB). The file was then copied to the OCZ RevoDrive X2 series 240GB SSD and our comparison drives.
The OCZ RevoDrive X2 is the fastest drive, but it's being held back by the reading speed of our drive serving the large sequential file.
Write a folder of JPG picture files.
For this test we copied a folder of JPG picture files from our OCZ Vertex 2 SSD to the OCZ RevoDrive X2, and our other comparison drives. The folder contained 3714 JPG pictures, with a total capacity of 5.16GB.
Again the RevoDrive X2 is the fastest drive, but it's once again being held back by the speed of our reading drive.
Write a folder of MP3 audio files.
For this test we copied a folder of MP3 audio files from our OCZ Vertex 2 SSD to the OCZ RevoDrive X2 and our other comparison drives. The folder contained 851 MP3 audio files, with a total capacity of 3.85GB.
With the MP3 files being smaller in size, the reading drive does much better, and we begin to see that the RevoDrive X2 is extremely fast.
If we use the MP3 audio files write test as an example, then is shows how fast the OCZ RevoDrive X2 is at writing files.
Windows 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 Windows 7 to boot to the desktop, and then timed how long it took for Windows 7 to close down by the normal start menu method.
The timing was started once the BIOS had initialised and reached the “loading OS message”.
Windows 7 boot time
Windows 7 closedown
The OCZ RevoDrive X2 is marginally the fastest drive to boot and then close down the PC, with the Vertex 2, Intel, and two Indilinx-based drives being close on the RevoDrive X2's heels.
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. The majority of the SSDs I have tested up until now were 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 an OCZ Vertex 2 100GB SSD. We did this to make sure that the reading speed of our CD/DVD reader would not hamper the performance of the target drive.
We then installed these applications onto our comparison hard disk drives, which were all running mirror image installations of our Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit installation, and timed the amount of time taken to install the application with a stopwatch on each of the drives.
MS Office 2007 Professional (full install)
MS Office is another of those applications that makes 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 OCZ RevoDrive X2 has won by a comfortable margin.
Adobe Fireworks CS3
Adobe Fireworks CS3 is another popular package. Let's find out how our drives coped with installing this application.
Most drives will struggle with this installation, but once again, the OCZ RevoDrive X2 took the task in its stride, in fact the Vertex 2, Intel, and the two Indilinx based drives also coped very well with the Fireworks CS3 install.
Single drive copy tests
These tests are to simulate a single drive in a PC or laptop. In other words, we will copy a series of files from one folder on the tested drive to another folder on the same drive. This means the drive is simultaneously reading and writing during the tests. We also want to make this a realistic test. So we have used a folder or MP3 music files, and then repeated the test with a folder of JPG picture files.
Single drive copy tests – 851 MP3 song files (3.85GB total)
Even though the MP3 files are already compressed, the RevoDrive X2 makes a mockery of this test, with insane speed compared to our comparison drives.
Single drive copy tests – 3714 JPEG picture files (5.16GB total)
There are no surprises here, and once again the OCZ RevoDrive X2 is by miles, the fastest drive.
The RevoDrive X2 has extreme performance, and that is shown quite clearly with the single drive copy tests, where even the very best single SATA SSD will struggle when copying data from one folder to another.
Now let’s round of this article with our new MyCE Reality Suite tests on the next page.....