It has become clear 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 just fast sequential
read and write speeds.
Real world copy
I will now conduct a few real world copy tests. These tests
simulate what real people do with their drives. I will be conducting writing
tests, using a large single file and a multiple file copy of various file
sizes. Then I will round off the tests by copying a folder of MP3 audio files,
and also a folder of JPG pictures.
I should point out that this is not a scientific way of
measuring performance. These timings were taken with a stop watch; I 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.
I will once again be comparing the obtained results with our
comparison drives, and will present the results in the form of graphs.
Multiple file copy writing test
For this test I copied the Nero Burning Rom install folder
from our review PC to the OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB SSD, and then copied the
contents from the RevoDrive X2 to the Corsair Neutron GTX SSD and our other
Our test copy contained 1,772 files of various sizes with a
combined capacity of 307MB.
The Corsair Neutron GTX is showing excellent performance,
and is in second place in this test.
Single large file writing test (7.95GB)
For this test I used a single DVD9 ISO file which had been
copied to the OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB SSD. The file was then copied to the Corsair
Neutron GTX SSD and our comparison drives.
The large ISO file contains quite a lot of incompressible
data which is quite a handicap to the SF-2281 based SSDs. Incompressible data
is no problem for the LAMD controller, and the Neutron GTX is showing excellent
Write a folder of JPG picture files.
For this test I copied a folder of JPG picture files from
our OCZ Vertex 3 SSD to the Corsair Neutron GTX SSD, and our other comparison
drives. The folder contained 3,714 JPG pictures, with a total capacity of
Once again, the Corsair Neutron GTX is showing excellent
performance, and is the fastest SSD in this test.
Write a folder of MP3 audio files.
For this test I copied a folder of MP3 audio files from our
OCZ Vertex 3 SSD to the Corsair Neutron GTX SSD and our other comparison
drives. The folder contained 851 MP3 audio files, with a total capacity of
This time the Neutron GTX is in second place, although it’s
still showing excellent performance.
We already know the Corsair Neutron GTX has excellent
writing performance, and basically these tests are based on writing
performance. What these tests do show is that even in the real world the Neutron
GTX maintains this excellent writing performance.
Single drive copy tests
These tests are to simulate a single drive in a PC or
laptop. In other words, I 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. I also want to make this a realistic test,
so I have used a folder of 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)
With this test that SSD has to read and write data, and what
this test does show is the Corsair Neutron GTX has excellent performance
finishing the test in first place.
Single drive copy tests – 3,714 JPEG picture files (5.16GB total)
Once again, the Neutron GTX finishes at the top of the
Windows start-up and closedown
For these tests, I 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
There is very little difference in the time taken to boot
Windows 7 between the modern SATA 6Gbps SSDs, and the same applies to the time
taken to shut the PC down.
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 an OCZ Vertex 3 240GB 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 HDD
drives, which were all running mirror image installations of our Windows 7 Home
Premium 64-bit 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 one 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
The Corsair Neutron GTX showed an excellent turn of speed
when installing this large office suite, and finished the test at the top of
Adobe Fireworks CS3
Adobe Fireworks CS3 is another popular package. Let’s find
out how our drives coped with installing this application.
There isn’t a huge margin in the amount of time taken to
install this application with our modern SSDs. However, the Corsair Neutron GTX
finishes in second place in this test.
Our real world tests, though not scientific in nature, I
feel are more realistic than simply running benchmarks. What is clear from these
tests is that the Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD has very good performance in
the real world.
Let’s check out application and game loading performance
on the next page of this article…..