TEST BENCH CONFIGURATION
|Motherboard||Asus Rampage III Gene SATA 6Gb/s USB3|
|CPU||Intel i7-930 CPU@2.80Ghz (OC’d to 3.2Ghz)|
|RAM||6Gb G.Skill 1600 Triple Channel|
|Graphics||MSI N460GTX DDR5 768MB|
|Power Supply||OCZ ModXStream-Pro 600w|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master Hyper 212+|
|OS||Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate|
|Wifi||Belkin Surf & Share Wireless USB Adapter|
|Monitor||Dell E228WFP 22″ Flat Panel|
|Desktop Case||BitFenix Survivor Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case (x)|
|Front Loading Mobile SSD Rack||Icy Dock SSD 4 x 2.5″ Mobile Rack (x)|
SOFTWARE AND TEST PROTOCOL
Software used for testing by The SSD Review consists of Crystal Disk Mark, HDTune Pro, ATTO Benchmark, HDTach, along with FutureMark PCMark Vantage. The first four do a great job of showing us the numbers that we want to see, or don’t want to see in some cases, while PCMark Vantage x64 is an excellent program which recreates tests that mimic the average users activity, all the while providing a medium to measure each.
For this review, we are also going to take the time to conduct a few true to form testing scenarios which will include determining the SSDs absolute best startup time through a software utility called Boot Timer, monitoring the complete installation time of Windows 7 as well as conducting a file transfer test to see how this SSD stands up to a few of the others.
In order to ensure accuracy of tests throughout the evaluations, tests may be repeated or conducted in safe mode to confim consistency throughout and eliminate any possibility of a wild card result. Safe mode may be utilized as well as any other number of set criteria to ensure that tests conducted at present do not differ from those conducted in the past. Where comparative SSDs are still in the possession of The SSD Review, we will follow every opportunity to gain fresh test evaluations from sample media.
CRYSTAL DISK INFO
The Super Talent UltraDrive 480GB SSD is equipped with 512GB of NAND flash memory of which 480GB is available to the user and the remaining 32GB proprietary to firmware use as over provisioning. Formatting of the drive reduces it another 3GB and leaves a total of 476GB available for consumer use.
1. WINDOWS 7 STARTUP TIME
Windows 7 startup time is determined by a program called Boot Timer which accounts for the startup time from the press of the on switch until the desktop is active with background activities loaded. To a certain extent, the time it takes your system to start and load applications can be one of many indicators of your systems health. On installation, many applications install components and update programs that load when the computer starts regardless of whether the individual application that installed it will be used or not. For the purposes of this review, the system start time will be determined with all system services and start up programs disabled to determine the absolute quickest boot possible with the SSD. This measurement can be duplicated by each and every reader whereas the inclusion of services and start up applications could not result in a comparable equal.
In examining some past startup ‘bests’ we have seen the Intel X25 (160GB) at 11.25 seconds, the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE (100GB) enterprise drive at 9.46 seconds and then we saw the similar consumer version of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro (120GB) start in an incredible 8.2 seconds. Our absolute best was on a Crucial C300 64Gb at 7.2 seconds, however, I cannot seem to find it around here so we are going to have to rely on that same drives reviewed best of 7.3 seconds for this comparison.
The installation of Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit onto the Super Talent UltraDrive 480GB SSD took a mere 17 minutes and our first crack at obtaining a boot time returned a great 8.424 seconds. The second was 8.6 seconds with the third reading again being exactly 8.424 seconds. Thats an absolutely amazing score.
2. FILE TRANSFER SPEED TEST
This was a simple real life test where 2.93GB of data was placed onto the test drive and then moved onto a different part of the drive to test the transfer max of that drive, given the composition of the data. The data was random and consisted of everything from zip files to music, movies, small OS applications and just about anything we could throw in there. Look closely and you will see, not only SSDs but also, a Mini-PCIe and a USB Flash Drive!!
You may notice that we switched up the competition a bit for this file test and deservedly so as the UltraDrive gave us a great file transfer speed, worthy of being placed in with some of our best scores. We also like to throw in the wildcard to demonstrate that all SSDs are not created equal and some struggle a bit more in real life testing.