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Intel 730 480GB SSD Two-Drive RAID Report - Benchmarks (Trace Based OS Volume) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8

Intel 730 480GB SSD Two-Drive RAID Report
Intel taps a datacenter SSD to produce an enthusiast-class SSD for consumers. Will Intel's new 730 SSD have what it takes to become our RAID champion? (NASDAQ:INTC)
| RAID in Storage | Posted: May 7, 2014 2:02 pm

Light Usage Model

 

We are going to categorize these tests as indicative of a light workload. If you utilize your computer for light workloads like browsing the web, checking emails, light gaming, and office related tasks, then this category of results is most relevant for your needs.

 

 

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

 

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty versus filled versus steady state.

 

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive/array 75 percemt full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's guidelines (Rev 1.1). Steady state testing simulates a drive/array's performance similar to that of a drive/array that has been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive/array attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_20_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_21_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

Secondary Volume Empty - Lightly Used

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_22_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

As you can see, there's a big difference between an empty drive/array and one that's 75 percent full/used and one that's in a steady state.

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_23_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states.

 

When a drive/array is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing. There is a huge difference in performance between a single drive and a two-drive array.

We don't place too much importance on an empty secondary attached array, but 187,000 points is by far the best performance we've seen from a two-drive array running 64K stripes. This result is a good example of why configuring an array properly makes a big difference. I recently saw a score of 97,000 points on a review site for the exact same empty secondary attached array, and they were "amazed" by that score. Suffice it to say they could have configured their array better.

 

 

PCMark 7 - System Storage

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.00

 

We will look to the Raw System Storage scoring for RAID 0 evaluations because it's done without system stops and therefore allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives/arrays.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_24_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_25_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

Toshiba's Q series Pro really eats up this test. Our 730 Series array puts up an excellent performance in its own right, but can't overtake our EVO and Q Series Pro arrays.

 

 

PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.157

 

We use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_26_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

TweakTown image content/6/3/6312_27_intel_730_480gb_ssd_two_drive_raid_report.png

 

Our 730 Series array easily dominates the competition. We are beginning to catch a glimpse of IMFT NAND's superior scaling. We will look to our last round of testing, our Heavy Usage Model, to see if the 730 is just another benchmark babe or if it's got what it takes to be crowned TweakTown's RAID champion.

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