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TweakTown's SSD Fill Testing Explained - Performance Testing

After a month of testing and fine tuning, we are ready to explain the new SSD test used exclusively in our SSD reviews hereon.

By: | Editorials in Storage | Posted: Apr 1, 2011 1:16 am

Performance Testing




Today we will go through a mock test of a 256GB (240GB SandForce) capacity drive.


64GB Drive - 15GB, 30GB, 45GB
128GB Drive - 30GB, 60GB, 90GB
256GB Drive - 60GB, 120GB, 160GB


Using our cheat sheet, we see that we need to start with 60GB of data to fill the drive to roughly 25%. Copy your first four folders on the drive you wish to test. Once the files are on the drive open the folder named 15GB Block, and then highlight the files inside - click copy. Paste the files in the three remaining folders. Once complete you should have roughly 60GB of data on your 256GB drive.




If you right click on your drive and view properties, you should see just over 60GB of used space.


Vantage Testing


At this point close everything, restart your computer and run PCMark Vantage's HDD tests. You can find a guide to testing with Vantage on this page.




Once you have recorded your scores and saved your Excel document, it is time to fill the drive further. The folder you made named 15GB Block 5-8 needs to be copied to your drive. Then, take the first four Block folders and copy them into the new Block 5-8 folder. Once completed you should have around half of your 256GB drive filled with data. Run PCMark Vantage again and record the results.


The final step is to take your Block 9-12 folder and paste it on the drive. Once again, copy Blocks 1-4 into the new Block 9-12 folder. You should now have roughly 75% of your SSD filled with data.


Once you have completed the 75% there is one last test to tackle. For now I'm calling it Empty / Dirty. The empty portion comes from deleting all of the Blocks of data you've filled your drive with. The dirty part comes from the drive being in a very used state.


Delete the data, clear your recycle bin and then run PCMark Vantage one last time on the drive. Record your results.


I just wanted to chime in with a quick note. I do not recommend running these tests on your SSDs. NAND flash can only be written to so many times before it cannot write anymore. The term wear and tear is appropriate when putting an SSD through this type of test.


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