Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Q9450 quad-core @ 3.2GHz
Motherboard(s): MSI X48 Platinum (Supplied by MSI)
Memory: 2 x 2GB Patriot DDR3 1600MHz
Hard Disk(s): 2 x Western Digital 300GB VelociRaptor in RAID 0 (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows Vista SP1 64-bit and Windows 7 BETA 64-bit
Drivers: Latest Windows Updates (Vista), Intel INF 1.1.15 (Vista)
We installed Vista SP1 with all the latest updates and Windows 7 BETA (stock standard - no driver changes from install) on a more than capable system, which is ready to compare SSD performance.
We would have preferred to use a standalone RAID controller, but the one we have here from Areca did not work properly under Windows 7 with the standard Vista drivers. Instead, we plugged the drives directly into the MSI X48 motherboard and they were powered by the Intel ICH9R Southbridge chipset.
This chipset is far from ideal when it comes to SSD, since it is not able to show the maximum potential of the Patriot Warp2 128GB SSD SATA drives, which we used for testing in this article. On the other hand, though, not everyone can afford a separate high-end RAID controller worth around the four figure mark and this will give us a look at what the more-average Joe consumer will be using hardware-wise.
We also wanted to note that testing was completed on a fresh install of each operating system and no SSD specific performance tweaks were applied at all. There are a bunch of Vista SSD tweaks out there, but we wanted to provide a raw look at SSD performance on each OS.
Let's move on now and examine the results.