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.
As we can clearly see speed isn’t going to be an issue in these tests.
Copy 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.
Both results are very good, a nice surprise from the Crucial BX200.
Copy 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.
Again, and this time with various small files, the Crucial BX200 gave a very good performance.
Copy 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.
For a value drive the Crucial BX200 is right in the middle of the chart, which is a very good result for this drive.
Copy 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.
Once again the result is great, and the performance of the Crucial BX200 in this test is very good.
Copy Tests – ISO (7927MB)
For this test, I copied ISO of the ‘Iron Man’ movie from the RAMDisk to the SSD and vice versa.
In the final test the Crucial BX200 is again in the middle of the chart, and again it’s a very good result.
Windows start-up and closedown based on the Event Viewer Logs
Start-up & Shutdown time
The next two screen shots were taken after I’d installed all the drivers and software that I use every day. Below are the results.
A very impressive result for the Crucial BX200 SSD.
Shutdown times are also very impressive.
You can see some previous results here that are based on my old system when I was using a Z77 ASRock extreme4 and an Intel 2500K with 16GB of DDR3 RAM.
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 Crucial BX200 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.
I am leaving the previous graphs as reference points.
The result that I got is simply very good, 101 seconds to install Office 2007.
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.
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.
Now let’s start our tests.
Let’s start this test and run the AS SSD benchmark on the Crucial BX200SSD when the OS was just installed and see what result I’ll get.
Here I’m filling the drive with data and leaving only four GB free to see the performance, and whilst the result is again acceptable, we can see that the drop in the write speed is very big. Plus in some cases when I was copying various files the drive managed to reach a write speed of 80MB/Sec. I am sure that a couple of runs of AS SSD and I would have got that result, but not many people will be putting this sort of load on their Crucial BX200.
Removing a lot of data and leaving half of the drive empty, and the result improves. Again not the best result but for a daily drive this is a good result.
Finally, after removing all the unnecessary files, the results are very close to what I got when I first ran AS SSD.
Now let’s move on the next page where I will put some extra tests….