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
All SSDs are not created equal and many new SSD enthusiasts realize that when they test their new drive to confirm specifications and ensure all is in order. SandForce controlled SSDs, as in the OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD we are testing today, use compression techniques in storage whereas many others do not. 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.
An understanding of testing data samples helps as the LSI SandForce really only falls a bit short when examining high sequential test results using highly incompressible data, where in just about all cases, it is superior in it’s transfer of highly compressible data such as we might see in OS operations and software. The truth is that the high sequential writes that might show the difference between SSDs is actually very rarely used by most users and pertains to only the transfer speed of large files where this speed can be reached. It is for this reason that all of our comparison testing is done through PCMark Vantage. PCMark Vantage HDD Suite simply provides evaluation results based on transfer speeds reached through typical user patterns. Vantage provides a better testing medium, in that, it sees through the typical synthetic benchmarks and provides us with ‘true to life’ results of the drive.
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 OCZ, we can see that it has undergone standard burnin and quality tests even before reaching us, as it already contained 1TB host read/writes.