Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review

Speed degradation after heavy testing

On this page I will test how the SSD performs after heavy
testing and usage, and also how the SSDs perform when the amount of data stored
on the SSD increases.

I now have a new policy as to how I go about testing an SSD.
In the past I would deliberately try and get an SSD into a “used state”, by
filling the drive several times before starting the tests. This seemed to work
quite well up until the SandForce based SSDs appeared, but because of the way
the SandForce controller works, it was near impossible to tell if deliberately
trying to get a SandForce based SSD into a “used state” had actually worked or
not.

A new strategy was required. So now I begin the tests with
the SSD in a clean state and allow it to look after itself during the testing
period. I start off the tests by running AS SSD benchmark. This gives me the
“as new” reading and writing performance of the SSD.

Once all the tests have been completed, the drive is then
tested as a system drive, and just used normally for many days which will also
includes idle time (which is something I have always done with a review
sample). At the end of the period, the drive is filled to capacity and then all
files are deleted from the drive and then a “quick format” is performed.

The last test is a rerun of AS SSD benchmark, and the result
from the final test is compared with the first run when the SSD was in an “as
new” state.

Let’s find out.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
New state 03/09/2012

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
Used state 13/09/2012

With 3.84 Terabytes of data already written to the drive
during a testing period of ten days, one would have expected the performance to
have dropped off slightly, and this was certainly the case. It’s not a large
drop in performance, and in fact is not noticeable in the real world.


Filling up the SSD with data

For obvious reasons, when an SSD is tested, the drive is
always tested as a spare drive, and is generally always empty (no data on the
drive) during the synthetic benchmarks. There is no other way of having a level
playing field for all the SSDs under test. This of course changes during the
real world tests we conduct here on MyCE.com.

Real users of course don’t buy an SSD for it to remain
empty, and how full the SSD will eventually become varies from one user to the
next. What I thought would be useful is to run tests on the SSDs with real data
on the drives, and at different levels regarding how full the drive is.

For these tests the SSD is connected as a spare, and I test
at three different levels.

  • Level 1: There an operating system installed on the
    SSD, and all the applications that I use are also installed. In my case
    that amounts to approximately 53GB of data on the SSD.
  • Level 2: The SSD is filled to 60% of its formatted
    capacity.
  • Level 3: The SSD is filled to 80% of its formatted
    capacity.

For the 60% and 80% tests, the type of data varies from
compressible to non compressible data, and file sizes range from a few
Kilobytes to very large files of several Gigabytes, then a single run of
Anvil’s SSD Benchmark is run (100% incompressible).

Since this is a new test, I have included a screenshot of
the actual test run, with the two SSDs that I have tested in this way, so we
can use these results as a reference. Future reviews will only contain a
screenshot of the SSD which is being reviewed, and all other results will in
the form of a single graph.

It is also worth noting that the larger capacity SSDs will
tend to slowdown less than their smaller counterparts, as the larger SSDs will
have more free NAND available to work with.

 


Level 1: Operating system and applications installed.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB – Operating system and applications installed.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB – Operating system and applications installed.


Level 2: SSD filled to 60% of its formatted capacity.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB – Filled to 60% of the drives formatted capacity.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB – Filled to 60% of the drives formatted capacity.


Level 3: SSD filled to 80% of its formatted capacity.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB – Filled to 80% of the drives formatted capacity

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB – Filled to 80% of the drives formatted capacity.

In the graph below, I present the results.

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Review

As we can see, as the SSD fills with data the drive slows
down slightly. The slowdown is not a large one by any means, but the drives do
slow down a little when filled with data.

This concludes our review. To read the final thoughts and
conclusion, click the link below….