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.
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
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.
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 as we can see the Crucial
MX100 is the fastest in this test.
Copy tests – 3,377 JPEG picture files (2.56GB total)
Continuing my set of tests, and this time I
will be copying 3.377 picture files that are stored in the RAM disk to the Crucial
MX100 SSD. The result is good, but in this test there are better drives.
Copy Tests – 1 MKV and 1 SRT file (3.46GB)
Copying a movie is a very common task, in
this test there are two files, an MKV and an SRT file. The Crucial MX100 is
again the fastest drive in this test.
WinRAR – Compressing and extracting a full DVD
For this test, I copied the contents of the
‘Iron Man’ movie to the hard drive, then used WinRAR to compress the movie, and
also to decompress it. In WinRAR I used the store setting. Now let’s see how
the tested SSD performs.
In this test the Crucial MX100 SSD is
showing acceptable performance.
Windows start-up and closedown based on the Event Viewer
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
state boot time measured in milliseconds.
state shutdown time, again measured in milliseconds.
The MX100 is a very fast drive, but it’s
clear that it isn’t amongst the fastest ones that I have tested, although you
have to keep in mind that over time these figures will change.
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 MX100 SSD performs
with the installation of MS Office 2007 Enterprise Edition.
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.
Crucial MX100 SSD is one of the fastest
drives that I tested, only 139 seconds to complete the installation.
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
Here is the first test run that I did for
the Crucial MX100 SSD, when the drive has only the necessary drives and
applications that I need. The first result is higher by one point compared to
what I got when I ran my synthetic benchmarks.
After filling the drive with data, up to 50%
of its capacity, we can see a very small drop in the performance, but nothing
to worry about.
It’s not a very common thing to leave less than
4GB of free space on an SSD, and it’s very unlikely to happen. However I tried
to replicate this scenario on the Crucial MX100 SSD so that we can get a better
idea of the performance of the Crucial MX100. As we can see when the drive is
pushed to its limits it loses some of its speed, the result is still very good
though. Again I will say that there is no reason to push the drive that far, and
having enough room will allow you to have an excellent experience from the
Removing all the unnecessary files and
applications, and allowing the drive to have a few minutes for TRIM to work, I
can now re-run the AS SSD benchmark. As we can see from the picture the Crucial
MX100 SSD was able to give a better result than the one I got when I first ran it.
This concludes our review. To read the final
thoughts and conclusion, click the link below….