Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

 

I/O Performance

There is little point of having an SSD
drive that has blazing sustained reading and writing speeds, if the drive can’t
handle reading and writing of small random files. If you intend to use your new
SSD drive to store and run your operating system, then the drive must be able
to cope with the many small random files that Windows will write to the drive
continually. So I feel it is very important to test how many of these random
files that a drive can handle in one second. I believe that anything over 1,000
I/O’s per second would be enough for most users running a consumer grade
mainstream PC, and should provide a smooth running system. But obviously, the
more I/O’s that a drive can handle, the faster the drive will feel and leave
more headroom for those huge multitasking sessions that users sometimes engage
in.

The things that I will look at are the
total I/O per second and total MB/s.

Partition alignment and sector boundaries

Windows 7 and Vista will automatically
align a partition to 4k boundaries during partition creation, Windows XP won’t.
It is imperative that an SSDs partition is aligned. Windows XP is also
restricted to sector boundaries, while Windows 7 will use 4k boundaries if it
can. The Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD is 4k boundary aware, and will use these
boundaries if possible. Of course it will also remap LBAs for compatibility
with the sector boundaries so that the drive can be used with Windows XP.

IOMeter allows us to set the sector
boundaries for conducting the tests, and I have therefore set the sector
boundaries at 4K, which means the IOMeter tests are valid for Windows 7 and
Windows Vista users. XP users will not be able to obtain such results.

I will provide a screenshot of the tests on
the review drive for those of you who like to see the actual test result. All
the comparison drive results are represented in the form of graphs.

If any of you would like to see a
screenshot from any IOMeter test on a particular drive, please feel free to request
one, and I’ll post the screenshot in the forum thread.

All the IOMeter tests create a 10GB data
set on the target drive, and each test is run for a duration of 3 minutes.


IOMeter 4K random write test with repeating data.

The first test involves creating continual
4KB random files on the target drive with IOMeter. I use a 4KB file size, as it
is believed that Windows will create and modify many of this size of file
constantly in the background during a typical Windows session. It is said that
most 4K random writes take place at a queue depth of only one.

Queue depth 1

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD (Queue depth 1)

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The result is very good.

Queue depth 4

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD (Queue depth 4)

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Again the result is very good.

Queue depth 32

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD (Queue depth 32)

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

This time the Corsair Neutron XTi shines
and is able to achieve the second best result that I have seen so far.

4K random write queue depth profile

For this
test I used various queue depths from 1 – 32 to give you an idea how this SSD
performs at different queue depths. For a normal desktop user, with lightweight
multitasking, the queue depth will rarely rise above 2. For heavy multitasking,
the queue depth is unlikely to rise above a value of 8.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The overall performance of the Corsair
Neutron XTi is very good and in some cases close to excellent for an SATA3 SSD.


IOMeter 4K random read test.

If there are many 4k files created, then
that must also mean that many 4k files need to be read. This test measures 4k
reading performance.

Queue depth 1

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD (Queue depth 1)

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

An excellent result to begin with.

Queue depth 4

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD (Queue depth 4)

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The performance of the Neutron XTi SSD is
excellent.

Queue depth 32

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD (Queue depth 32)

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The result is very good for the Corsair
Neutron XTi SSD.

4K random read queue depth profile.    

This test
shows how the review drive scales with increasing queue depths.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The performance of the Corsair Neutron XTi
is excellent up to QD8, after that it falls behind, but even then the result is
still very good.


IOMeter 512KB write test with repeating data.

Sequential writing performance is also very
important, and in this test I will be measuring the sequential writing
performance of the drive.


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD – 512K Sequential write with repeating data

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

An outstanding result for the Corsair
Neutron XTi SSD.


IOMeter 512KB read test.

This test measures 512k sequential reading
performance.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD – 512K sequential reading test

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The same outstanding performance for the
sequential read test.


IOMeter Workstation simulation (outstanding I/Os = 64).

When running applications you will find
that there is a mixture of small random files and larger sequential files,
being created and read. Not only that, it isn’t just one file at a time. In
this test I measure a simulated workstation pattern, with a queue depth of 64
(threaded).

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review


Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD – Workstation simulation

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The result is very good.

Summary

Overall the Neutron XTi is a very fast SSD,
random read results were excellent, and very good in the random write test, but
its strongest part was with sequential data where the drive was able to give
outstanding results.

Let’s head to the next page for our
power consumption test results…..