Intel 320 Series 300GB SATA II SSD Review – AS SSD and PC Mark Vantage

AS SSD V.1.5

AS SSD once again confirms everything we have been seeing so far including the access times which are remaining under 0.09ms.  As good as it is to see consistent results throughout tests, we were a bit alarmed earlier that the 4k random results of 40MB/s in Crystal Diskmark would have a definite affect on PCMark Vantage HDD Suite results.  This method of disk access is the key to improved visible performance in a system.  Granted, 40MB/s is much higher than any hard drive but we have seen a number of SSDs that easily surpass this speed in low 4kb random writes.

We were very concerned on how this would translate into PCMark Vantage results.

PCMARK VANTAGE x64 HDD SUITE

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience.  There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete.  The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

CRUCIAL M4 256GB SATA 3 SSD VANTAGE HDD SUITE RESULTS

It was only a few months ago that we started to see solid state drives break the 40, 000 mark in the PCMark Vantage HDD Suite.  The first to cross the line was the Samsung 470 SATA 2 drive with 40664 points followed, coincidentally, by a number of SandForce SSDs that were either new releases or refreshed models with new firmware.  We have also evaluated several SSDs that cannot make this plateau and this seems to be the line that separates the high end SSDs from midrange.

The score achieved by the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD was 41507 points which is an incredible result considering Intel relied on their original Gen 2 controller, staying at the SATA II level.  Perhaps Intel knew well ahead that they could imrpove this product to the level that it could be a definite consideration for the countless number of computer users who are not considering the move to SATA 3 anytime soon. Lets take a look at the test scores in comparison to the Samsung:

Pg1 – Introduction and Physical Characteristics

Pg2 – Bench Protocol and Initial Tests

Pg3 – HDTune Pro Benchmarks

Pg4 – AS SSD and PCMark Vantage

Pg5 – SSD Comparison and Conclusions

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