Plextor PX-256M2S SSD – Preview

MyCE Reality Suite (storage).

So what is the MyCE Reality storage test?

The MyCE Reality Suite of tests is made from real everyday
applications and real data, there are no simulated tests, and everything is in
the real world. The only thing that’s synthetic is that everything is automated
to make the tests fair, no matter which drive the tests are run on.

Recorded user sessions, by means of a script, are used to
launch the applications, load data, edit data, and then finally write that data
back to the target drive. The scripts do load the system much more than a human
could with these tests, as the scripts do not make mistakes, or pause to think
about what has to be done next.

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Measurement system (revision 2)

The measuring system is part hardware and part software. The
hardware is proprietary and under an NDA, but what I can tell you is: The
measuring system can now accommodate SATA2, SATA3, USB3, PCIe, and DMI.

Testing method.

Once all the test data files were complete, they were then
copied to a single folder. I then fitted an old 80GB HDD into the PC and did a
clean install of Windows 7 Home Premium x64. The latest hardware drivers were
installed and Windows update was run to install any new updates that were
available up to 13/05/2010. At this point the applications that were to be used
in the tests were installed and updated with the latest patches.

The folder containing the application test data files was
then copied over to our fresh Windows 7 HDD. The drive was cleaned up and then
the four test scenarios were recorded, with the scenario playback data file
which will run each test scenario saved to the desktop. A drive snapshot was
then taken of the complete HDD and the drive snapshot image copied to a second
HDD for safe keeping.

The image is then simply restored to each of the drives on
test. In the case of SSDs the partition is then realigned “on the fly” and for
SSDs that support TRIM, the free space is filled and then deleted to force
TRIM. All other HDDs and SSDs in the system are then disconnected to make sure
the complete test can only run on the drive I am testing.

A 20 minute settling time is allowed before the tests are run,
then each of the 4 tests is run and the results gathered. This process is
repeated for each of the drives I am testing.

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The test scenarios are as follows.

  • Graphics content
  • Video editing
  • Audio import and compression
  • Application multitasking

Let’s begin the tests.


MyCE Reality Suite – Graphics content.

Using ACDSee Pro 3, 100 JPG pictures with an average size of
10MB are imported into the ACDSee library, and then 12 of these JPG files are
then selected for a batch process, of resize, compress the quality to 80%, and
finally write the edited pictures back to the drive. The test is approximately
78% read and 22% write.

Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

The Plextor PX-256M2S has performed extremely well with the
graphics suite, and is the second fastest drive in this test.

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MyCE Reality Suite – Video editing.

Using Vegas Pro, a 14GB HD MPEG2 video stream is loaded into
the editor, from which 2 segments are then cut and pasted into new segments. There
is a lot of disc caching going on in this test, and the test is approximately
55% read and 45% write.

Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

The Plextor PX-256M2S is showing an excellent turn of speed
in this test, and since the PX-256M2S has excellent sequential performance,
this really isn’t a surprise.


MyCE Reality Suite – Audio import and compression.

Using Sony Soundforge 10, a batch process is run consisting
of 30 24bit (192000hz sample rate) .wav files, and 100 16bit (44100hz sample
rate) .wav files are imported and then converted to MP3 audio files with a bit rate
of 128kbps, and the converted files are written back to the drive. The test is
approximately 72% read and 28% write.

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Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

Once again, the Plextor PX-256M2S has done extremely well in
the audio editing test.


MyCE Reality Suite – Application multitasking.

For this I used several popular applications, Microsoft Word
2007, Microsoft Access 2007, Microsoft Excel 2007, Microsoft Outlook 2007,
Adobe reader, Adobe Photoshop CS3, uTorrent, Windows media player, and Internet
Explorer 8.

This session runs for approximately 12 minutes. The test is
started by downloading a Linux distribution via uTorrent, Windows media player
is then opened and a 1080p video file is opened and played for the duration of
the test. Microsoft Outlook is opened and any new emails are received, read,
then replied too, a document in Adobe reader is opened and scrolled from start
to finish, 3 Microsoft Word documents with graphics content are opened, browsed
and some sections of the documents are copied and pasted into a forth document
and then saved back to the drive. The same applies to Microsoft Access and
Excel. 100 MP3 files are imported into Windows media library. Six JPG images
are loaded into Adobe Photoshop and some minor editing is done and the files
saved back to the drive.

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Finally, Internet Explorer 8 is opened with 10 tabs, and the
contents of the 10 tabs refreshed, and browsed while the other applications are
busy in the background.

I would describe the multitasking pattern as modest to
medium.

During this test there is approximately 85% reading and 15%
writing.

Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

Multitasking at this level, demands that all 3 metrics for
SSD performance are required. That is to say the SSD requires good small file
reading and writing performance, small file threaded performance (higher queue
depth), and sequential performance. We know the Plextor PX-256M2S has excellent
sequential performance, but it is most certainly lacking in small file, and
small file threaded performance by today’s standards.

Nonetheless, the PX-256M2S is still performing well in the “Reality”
Multitasking test.

Summary

I firmly believe that the MyCE Reality Suite gives a very
good overall picture of how a drive can perform in the real world, and in this
case, the Plextor PX-256M2S SSD is performing extremely well in the real world.

 

Now let’s head to the next page, and see how well the
drive performs after heavy use….

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