Random Read/Write Speed

The four corners of SSD performance are as follows: random read, random write, sequential read and sequential write speed. Random accesses are generally small in size, while sequential accesses tend to be larger and thus we have the four Iometer tests we use in all of our reviews.

Our first test writes 4KB in a completely random pattern over an 8GB space of the drive to simulate the sort of random access that you'd see on an OS drive (even this is more stressful than a normal desktop user would see). I perform three concurrent IOs and run the test for 3 minutes. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire time. We use both standard pseudo randomly generated data for each write as well as fully random data to show you both the maximum and minimum performance offered by SandForce based drives in these tests. The average performance of SF drives will likely be somewhere in between the two values for each drive you see in the graphs. For an understanding of why this matters, read our original SandForce article.


Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Read (4K Aligned)

Random read performance is similar to other SF-2281 SSDs; only Intel has a small advantage here.


Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (4K Aligned) - 8GB LBA Space

Desktop Iometer - 4KB Random Write (8GB LBA Space QD=32)

Random write speed is also typical SandForce. The 120GB model does take a pretty big hit when using incompressible data because there's less parallelism due to fewer NAND die. 

Sequential Read/Write Speed

To measure sequential performance I ran a 1 minute long 128KB sequential test over the entire span of the drive at a queue depth of 1. The results reported are in average MB/s over the entire test length.


Desktop Iometer - 128KB Sequential Read (4K Aligned)

Desktop Iometer - 128KB Sequential Write (4K Aligned)

No surprises in the sequential Iometer tests either. 

AS-SSD Incompressible Sequential Performance

The AS-SSD sequential benchmark uses incompressible data for all of its transfers. The result is a pretty big reduction in sequential write speed on SandForce based controllers.


Incompressible Sequential Read Performance - AS-SSD

Incompressible Sequential Write Performance - AS-SSD


Introduction Performance vs. Transfer Size
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  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    At least for me they are working fine at the moment (tested on my desktop and laptop). Can you try a different browser? We had some issues with our image server earlier today, although it should be fixed now.

    Intel RST drivers provide a bit better performance and are hence recommended when using an SSD.
  • mike55 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Cool, thanks! And the images are working for me now on all browsers.
  • Diagrafeas - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Don't the latest drivers get installed with INTEL Inf Update Utility?
    Do i have to download something else?
  • noblemo - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Images not loading in Windows Chrome v26.0.1410.64m or IE9. Hitting "Click for full size" produces the error: "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage... Diagnose connection problems"

  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Yeah, not loading for me either. Anand is on it.
  • GuMeshow - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I was about to post about that too ... Firefox doesn't load images from images.anandtech.com either.
  • Slash3 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I'm enjoying the new Imagination Viewing mode on AT, I get to create all sorts of great article pictures in my head. :)
  • omarccx - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Pictures aren't working for me, either. :(
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Sandforce drives are boring.

    Could have summed this up with, "If it's a Sandforce drive and it's by someone other than Intel, look at any other Sandforce drive's review and consider a 5% variance up or down. The end."

    See, I can review any Sandforce drive by doing this. Where's my checks, Anandtech? This was hard reviewing I just did here. I reviewed every Sandforce drive based on SF-2281 on the market in the last six months. That's a lot of checks I'm owed there. You feel free to swap out the brands and models on the drives and what not so they all fit.

    Also feel free to pay me in Samsung SSD's. You know. Actually interesting SSD's.
  • Johny12 - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    Just dont go by the branding. Kingston uses SandForce controllers - SF-2281 which are very proming & thats why Intel is bundling their SSDs with SandForce controllers & believe they are amazingly solid in terms of performance & reliability. Initially most of the SSD makers had issues with the controller maker - SandForce due to firmware compatibities which are now totally resolved.

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