Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

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, in this case I felt that it was
time to move into a different method of testing.

From now on I will only use the log files
from the Event Viewer to measure the start-up and shutdown of the system, and
also use filecopy to measure all my copy tests from a RAM disk to the selected
storage drive that I will be testing. For these tests I will also enable all
power savings features that are available, since I believe that this is the way
that the majority of the users will have them set on their PC.

Real
world copy tests


I will now conduct some real world copy
tests so that you can have a much better view of how the drive will perform. In
these simple tests I try to simulate what a real user does with their drives. I
will be copying some mp3 files, various picture and MKV files, and finishing by
installing MS Office 2007.

As I said earlier from now on all my test
files will be stored in a RAM disk and copied/pasted to the destination drive
using filecopy. The filecopy utility will be used from now on for all my tests,
and I’ll be using it this way to measure the time that it takes to copy the
files.

Before I move on to the test, I want to
give you an idea on how fast your RAM is. Below you can find the results.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

As
we can clearly see speed isn’t going to be an issue in these tests.

Read write tests – 259 MP3 song files (1.36GB total)

I will start this set of tests by copying
259 MP3 files from the RAM disk to the destination SSD and also from the SSD to
the RAM disk.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The write result is excellent also the read
result is very good for the Corsair Neutron XTi.

Read write tests – 3,377 JPEG picture files (2.56GB total)

Continuing my set of tests, but this time I
will be copying 2.54GB of pictures that are stored in the RAM disk to the
currently testing SSD and vice versa.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Both read and write results are excellent.

Read write tests – 1 MKV and 1 SRT file (3.46GB)

Copying a movie is very common task for all
of us, and in this test there are two files that will be copied from the RAM
disk to the SSD and again from the SSD to the RAM disk.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Again both results are excellent.

Read write tests – ISO (7927MB)

For this test, I copied ISO of the ‘Iron
Man’ movie from the RAMDisk to the SSD and vice versa.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

It’s clear that large files are what this
drive likes, both result are excellent.

Read write tests – Small files (533MB)

I have decided to adapt the very small
files test that I am using as part of my USB3 flash tests, so this time I will
be also copying all the files from the RAM disk to the SSD, and again from the
SSD to the RAM disk.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Even with very small files the Corsair
Neutron XTi SSD gives a very good performance.


Windows start-up based on the Boot Racer 5.00

Start-up time

On the next screen shot you can compare the
current tested SSD and compare it to other drives that I have tested. Below I
present the results.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The Corsair Neutron XTi SSD gave a very
good result of 31.5 seconds to boot into Windows 10.

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 the RAM disk.
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 Enterprise (full install)

Now let’s see
how the Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD performs with the installation of MS
Office 2007 Enterprise Edition.

The procedure
followed was very simple. I copied all the files from the CD to the RAM disk and
used the virtual drive as a source for the installation files.

 

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Another excellent result for the Corsair
Neutron XTi.


Speed degradation after heavy testing

On this page I will measure how the SSD
performs after heavy testing and usage.

I will run an AS SSD benchmark test when
the OS is freshly installed so that we can get a good view of how the drive
performs with the OS. After that I will fill the drive up to 50% of its
capacity, use the drive for a few days, and then re-run the AS SSD benchmark.
The same procedure will be followed once again, but this time the drive will be
filled close to 90% or higher of its capacity. To finish this test, I will
simply delete all the extra data and leave the PC idle for a few hours so that
the controller has the time to perform any necessary cleaning, then see how the
drive performs.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

In this picture you can see the test files
that I will be copying to fill the drive with data, as you can see files vary
from 8GB ISOs to very small text files.

In the picture below you will find all the
applications that were installed for this test using Ninite, and I have also installed Microsoft
Office 2007.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Now let’s start our tests.

 

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

Starting with the fresh install of Windows 10,
and running AS SSD to get an idea of how the Corsair Neutron XTi performs, we
can see that the score is very close to the one that I got when the drive was
connected as a spare for my testing with all power saving features disabled, so
with everything now enabled and also an OS running the result is excellent.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

The 32GB of over provisioning appears to do
a very good job. This result is with the drive having less than 4GB free space.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

This time the drive is half empty, and the
result is very good. Keep in mind though that I didn’t give the drive much time
to do its cleaning.

Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB SSD Review

With all the extra files deleted, and
allowing it to run idle for a few minutes, the result is again very good.

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