TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL
In testing, our main objective is to obtain results as pure and as accurate as possible and we want to ensure that no anomalies slip through. Simply put, we want to provide you with the absolute best results the tested hardware can provide. Repetition in testing is standard and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.
In order to validate and confirm our findings, testing is supported by industry accepted benchmark programs. All results are displayed through capture of the actual benchmark for better understanding of the testing process by the reader.
The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities and PCMark Vantage. We rely on these as they each have a way of supporting one another yet, at the same time, adding a new performance benchmark to the total picture. Much of the software is free and can be downloaded simply by clicking on the linked title.
THE LSI SANDFORCE SF-2281 CONTROLLER
The heart and soul of the SSD is its controller. In today’s SSD arena, we see consumer level SSD controllers available from companies such as LSI SandForce, Marvell, Samsung, Phison, JMicron, Indilinx (owned by OCZ) and Link A Media (LAMD), with one or two possible additions in the future. To date, the only SSD controller that uses compression techniques in it’s storage is LSI SandForce. This creates a bit of confusion when enthusiasts test the drive with random data through benchmarking programs such as AS SSD and Crystal DiskMark. The results seem to be lower than the listed specifications, when testing in highly incompressible data.
If we were to somehow utilize our PC systems with transfer of only highly incompressible data, this may be a significant point, however, computers transfer both compressible and incompressible data on a regular basis and the importance of overall scoring cannot be underrated. To choose an SSD solely on transfer results of highly incompressible data is to completely ignore the importance of system OS, application load times and performance. Throughout our testing, we will display results with both compressible and incompressible data testing to assist the reader in their own final determination of this SSD.
Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, power on information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. Having received this SSD brand new as a sample for review from KingFast, we can see that it has undergone minimal burn in and quality tests even before reaching us, as it already contained 23+GB host read/writes.