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Super Talent RAIDDrive upStream 220GB PCIe SSD Review – Plug and Play, Bootable and 1GB/s Speed

TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

As luck may have it, this report will also see the initiation of our new X79 Test Bench. A quick click on any picture in our report will bring up pictures of a higher resolution.

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.

We would like to thank ASRock (Fatal1ty Extreme 7), Intel (Core i7-3820), Patriot (Viper Extreme), Corsair (600T/H80), OCZ (Fatal1ty PSU) and Be Quiet (Fans) for supporting the build of our X79 Test Bench.

SSD COMPRESSION AND TESTING FLUCTUATIONS

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 Super Talent RAIDDrive upStream 220GB PCIe 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.

The results actually present a false portrayal of the drives ability when compared to other drives such as Samsung, Crucial or Intel. 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.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for todays analysis are typical of many of our reviews and consist 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.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

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.

Remembering that this upStream PCIe card was the ‘floor sample’ with a great deal of use at technology conventions most recently, we thought the results of 916MB/s read and 828MB/s write transfer performance were pretty encouraging.

  • dravo1

    Does the card support trim? What are the onboard LEDs used for? IO status or error indicators? Is there any DRAM cache on the board?

    • Just as has always been the case with every PCIe card or RAID 0 config, the board does not support TRIM. Stated that the LED lights are for activity and not for error and there has never been DRAM cache used by SF processors which is why it is not mentioned.

      Thanks ahead.

  • Jon Coulter

    so you cant secure erase the drive? also good 4k cmd results for a a single sf 1222 drive are much higher so its really not indicative of the sf 1222. what it is showing is the effects of no TRIM which is played out in the vantage results.

  • renosablast

    Les, is this by chance the card that we were guessing as to its manufacturer,etc. back in October/November from the pics you posted?

  • Onlythefacts

    What is of further interest to me is the cards operating temperature range, power consumption, error correction abilities and data longevity. I’m not at all interested in a light show and can’t understand how anyone could find it interesting looking at the insides of a computer case as it it was a feature film. Seriously, doing so must get old very quickly and if this is the focus of the hardware design at the expense of the previously mentioned issues, then it’s indded a sad state.

  • Cheq

    Why did they go with this old Sandforce controller?

  • I don’t think they can put low enough price tag on it. Compare it to Plextor you reviewed earlier, it beats upstream almost in every situation and Vanatage shows it perfectly. And if you add more complexity with all that RAID stuff (more danger of failure, no TRIM etc) that’s getting really sad.
    Upstream can only be used by those who need to sequentially read huge files and that’s a rare case, cause usually there’s another bottleneck.
    The only positive thing is Super Talent steps into interesting market and could encourage other manufacturers to do so.

    Good review, thanks.

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