You may not see this for long (and it’s definitely not common) but you get a freebee simply for reading! Over the last little while, we have been assisting with beta testing new benchmark software called Anvil Storage Utilities which is an absolutely amazing SSD benchmarking utility. Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.
Once again we see performance that seems to follow along with our Crystal DiskMark results. IOPS were not as impressive as we might like to have seen as well.
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 application
DUO SAMSUNG XP941 IN RAID 0 PCMARK VANTAGE RESULTS
Our configuration of two XP941 M.2 PCIe SSDs in a RAID 0 environment produced almost identical results as we had seen in our Sony VAIO tests with a Total Score of 107470 and transfer speed high of 864MB/s when testing in Windows Media Center.
Having tested a few M.2 SSDs in both the SATA 3 and PCIe interface, we thought it might be interesting to put together a bit of a chart and include our most powerful SATA 3 SSD as a point of measure:
Taking a look at the same performance in IOPS, things change just a bit. We were surprised at how low the RAID volume fared, but not nearly as much as how high the MBA IOPS performance was.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Prior to starting this RAID solution, we wanted to see if we could set it up as our boot drive; we couldn’t. Unlike all other PCIe solutions, the adapters available for M.2 PCIe aren’t made for, and don’t contain the ability to boot into their own BIOS prior to the system BIOS. This is key as the only way to boot using the system BIOS is via SATA. It was a bit disappointing as having a 512GB boot drive capable of 1GB/s performance would have been ideal, outside of using one of the test PCIe solutions we have on hand.
Consider the cost though, if availability of the XP941 wasn’t so scarce. When available, purchase of two 128GB XP941 M.2 SSDs and two M2P4S adapters from RAMCity would have been a grand total of $628US; this for a 256GB solution capable of 2GB/s performance. That’s definitely enough speed to start crunching the numbers. The difficulty with this solution is that it is not bootable and takes up two PCIe slots. To find this performance and at a similar price, the only bootable solution that makes sense would be the Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe that we reviewed a few weeks back.
The Samsung XP941 is intended to be a speedy ultrabook solution and it’s a bit amusing that the most powerful single form factor SSD available today can only be found within the smallest ultrabooks. Whether it be found in the MBA or VAIO, this SSD is a rocket. As for any long-term thoughts on RAID 0, we will leave this report where we started which was a test to satisfy our curiosity as to the performance that could be achieved through such a small form factor.