iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

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Internal Storage Drive Testing Method

As of 2012.

September 20, 2012



Testing Software

AIDA64 2.0

A hardware level benchmark used without preliminary disk formatting or partitioning. We use AIDA64 2.0 to measure:

  • average read and write access time (with 64KB data blocks),
  • drive cache read and write speed (with 64KB and 256KB data blocks), not applicable to SSDs or RAID arrays.

IOMeter

A hardware level benchmark used without preliminary disk formatting or partitioning. Currently, we use IOMeter 1.1.0-RC1 to measure:

  • sequential and random read and write speed,
  • input/output operations per second (IOps) at different queue depth (1, 16, 256) and increasing share of write operations.

To challenge storage drives with Advanced Format, we do not use Align I/Os.

PCMark 7

This suite relies on the file system, so we create one NTFS partition of 100% capacity with default cluster size. PCMark 7 includes six different tests, but we'll represent only these showing 10% and bigger difference in the results. By default, the overall score diagram is included.

Intel NAS Performance Toolkit

This suite relies on the file system, so we create one NTFS partition of 100% capacity with default cluster size. This suite provides a very wide range of tests based on standard storage drive functions, so our reviews include only some of them, along with a number of custom ones.

AS SSD 1.6.4237.30508

Here we also create one NTFS partition of 100% capacity with default cluster size. This utility measures access time within 1 GB of disk space beyond the file system, providing high locality, like many real-life applications do. Besides, AS SSD offers a certain number of data copy tests.

CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1

Here we also create one NTFS partition of 100% capacity with default cluster size. In our reviews, CrystalDiskMark shows how storage drives can handle compression of repeating sequential data patterns. The resulting figure represents the compression ratio, which is the geometrical mean of correlation between linear and random zero sequences read/write, expressed in percent.

Testbed and Overall Results

The detailed (absolute) results are traditionally provided in this summary. The scores on diagrams are relative to those of our reference testbed which always scores 1000 points:

  • ECS Z77H2-AX motherboard
  • Intel Core i3-2100 processor
  • 2GB DDR3-1066
  • Silicon Power Velox V20 system SSD
  • Windows 7 x86 Home Basic
  • RAID mode on (Intel Rapid Storage 10.8.0.1003 drivers are used)

Our reference HDD is Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS (3.5", SATA300, 1TB, 7200 rpm, 32MB cache). When the more is the better (e.g., speed tests), test results are divided by the reference HDD results. Vice versa, when the less is the better (e.g., access time tests), we swap the dividend and the divisor. Then we calculate the geometrical mean of all the tests, multiply it by 1000, and round off to the nearest integer. The result is the overall score of the storage drive.

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