Testing was conducted in three phases with the Sony VAIO Pro 13. Tests were first conducted after installing benchmark software on the ultrabook itself, followed by SSD removal and testing, with the OS intact on our Test Bench. Finally, the OS was migrated onto another SSD and this SSD secure erased and tested again. In most situations, the SSD tested within the ultra with the OS and bloatware installation intact, will provide results much lower than that of a new SSD. Surprisingly, there were no significant deviations whatsoever between the 3 test environments.
This new PCIe Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to be quiet, Corsair, Crucial, Intel, EVGA and InWin for their support in our project. Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.
|PC CHASSIS:||InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
|MOTHERBOARD:||ASUS Maximus VI Z87 MotherBoard|
||Intel Core i7-4770K CPU|
|CPU COOLER:||Corsair H100i CPU Cooler|
|POWER SUPPLY:||be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU|
|SYSTEM COOLING:||be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans|
||EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
|MEMORY:||Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 1600Mhz Memory|
|KEYBOARD:||Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard|
|MOUSE:||Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse|
|ROUTER:||NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router|
|HBA||HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA
The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities,and PCMark Vantage. In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and, also, to provide validation to results already obtained.
For our testing today, we will be using the BPlus M2P4S Dual M.2 (NGFF) PCIe 2.0 x4 Adapter for our testing of the Sony XP941 M.2 PCIe SSD. It is interesting to note that, just as a native M.2 PCIe SSD can’t be switched off in a system for a SATA M.2 PCIe SSD, the same goes for adapters and separate adapters must be utilized for each type of M.2 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. We can see that the SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not grayed out as with AAM.
The ‘Power On Count’ and ‘Power On Hours’ were a bit surprising considering this was a brand new custom build. Validation and burn-in testing may be a thought as to why these values are so high.
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.
One can tell by the coloring of the results border that these tests were taken in Windows 8 and, in fact, this was the first test taken when the system was received. It is an excellent result and 1065MB/s read and 800MB/s write are representative of what we might get from a new XP941, much less one that has the OS and bloatware configured within a system. Regardless of the testing method, the 128, 256 nd 512KB transfer sizes displayed abnormally low read performance. This wasn’t indicative of testing with our 512GB sample XP941.