BENCHMARK PERFORMANCE – HARD DRIVE
We thought it smart to first test the Western Digital Black 1TB hard drive to demonstrate just how slow a hard drive is compared to an SSD, and in this case Intel Optane memory also. Don’t get me wrong; the WD Black is an excellent choice for a HDD and provides the one thing that SSDs cannot, which is very large capacity at great value.
Our end goal, however, is to draw a complete picture and allow you to determine if the difference in speed between the HDD and Intel Optane memory suits your needs.
Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, to the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.
Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples.
The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance. For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs.
ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES PROFESSIONAL
Anvil’s Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today. The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times. Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.
The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete.
HDD PERFORMANCE SUMMARY
Apologies for this and the next two benchmark pages being a bit long, however, we wanted to be able to draw a complete picture with as many examples as possible.
Examining these results for the hard drive, it is pretty easy to see that the hard drive is slow when comparing to flash media, but take a close look at the low 4K read speed in the Crystal DiskMark result at 1.3MB/s. What?!?! Yes, this is the culprit that results in your getting a coffee or some other activity while your PC is starting. This result is the cause of slow startups, shut down, and application use to name just a few. In fact, testing this drive took so long on AS SSD (software not meant for HDD), that we had to stop the benchmark. PCMark Vantage is a great example of just how slow data moves with a hard drive. Now let’s take a look at the Intel Optane Memory module…plugged in as an SSD!