Anvil Storage Utilities
Version and / or Patch Used: BETA 11
So what is Anvil Storage Utilities? First of all, it's a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests, you can run a full test or just the read or the write test or you can run a single test, i.e. 4K DQ16.
Anvil Storage Utilities is not officially available yet but we've been playing with the beta for several months now. The author, Anvil on several international forums has been updating the software steadily and is adding new features every couple of months.
The software can be used several different ways and to show different aspects for each drive. We've chosen to use this software to show the performance of a drive with two different data sets. The first is with compressible data and the second data set is incompressible data. Several users have requested this data in our SSD reviews.
Fill Compressible Data
You asked for it and we delivered it, Anvil Storage Utilities benchmarks are now on TweakTown.
Vertex 4 does not take a performance hit when working with incompressible data. The new firmware actually gave the drive a boost when working with incompressible data over standard data.
Page 13 [Benchmarks - Passmark]
Passmark Advanced Multi-User Tests
Version and / or Patch Used: 6.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.passmark.com
Test Homepage: http://www.passmark.com
Many users complain that I/O Meter is too complicated of a benchmark to replicate results so my quest to find an alternative was started. Passmark has added several multi-user tests that measure a hard drives ability to operate in a multi-user environment.
The tests use different settings to mimic basic multi-user operations as they would play out on your server. Variances is read / write percentage as well as random / sequential reads are common in certain applications, Web Servers read nearly 100% of the time while Database Servers write a small amount of data.
The Workstation test is the only single user environment and will be similar to how you use your system at home.
In Passmark's enterprise tests we see roughly the same database and workstation numbers we had with 1.4RC. The file server and web server scores did drop which has us a little puzzled given their sequential tests mostly.
Page 14 [Final Thoughts]
So, when will you be able to get your hands on the new firmware you ask? Well you are not, at least not 184.108.40.206 that we tested today. This was mainly a build to show reviewers some improvements coming to the Vertex 4. A couple of posts on OCZ's forums tell us that firmware 1.5 is very close and it will increase performance even more than the 220.127.116.11 beta build. I would love to be able to give you more information on 1.5, but that is as much as I know.
The OCZ Vertex 4, even with the beta firmware, still lacks single command sequential read performance. This is still a big issue for many users since copying large files still takes place with one file at a time transfer rates, i.e. when you copy and paste a file.
Things change when you open programs. Most programs will stack the commands and that is where the power of native command queuing kicks in. The NCQ read speeds are amazing with the Vertex 4, some of the best we've recorded to date. In order to get the full effect though, you have to have tasks lined up at least three deep.
One thing that has us a bit concerned is how the read latency keeps increasing as the firmware builds progress. The jump from .07ms to .11ms and now .12ms is something you can feel while working with the drive back to back, but not something you notice unless you are really trying to look for. When we first tested the Vertex 4 and hit the .07ms read access time, it felt faster when bouncing around Windows. The .12ms is still fast, much faster than most other SSDs, but the .07ms first release was incredible.
The most significant change to the Vertex 4 though is what OCZ is doing with the performance degradation when the drive has data on it. With 18.104.22.168 we observed a 5K Mark increase in Vantage when the drive was half full. This is the new frontier for SSDs at least we hope more companies start to pay attention to how their products behave when data is on the flash.
Keep the updates coming OCZ, the Vertex 4 is getting better with each new firmware.