Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
7,299 Reviews & Articles | 53,275 News Posts

Plextor M5M 256GB mSATA 2-Drive SSD RAID Report

By: Jon Coulter | RAID in Storage | Posted: Jun 17, 2014 10:07 pm

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended – Consistency Test

 

Heavy Usage Model

 

We consider PCMark 8's consistency test to be our heavy usage model test. This is the usage model most enthusiasts, heavy duty gamers, and professionals fall into. If you do a lot of gaming, audio/video processing, rendering, or have workloads of this nature, then this test will be most relevant to you.

 

PCMark 8 has built-in, command line executed storage testing. The PCMark 8 Consistency test measures the performance consistency and the degradation tendency of a storage system.

 

The Storage test workloads are repeated. Between each repetition, the storage system is bombarded with a usage that causes degraded drive performance. In the first part of the test, the cycle continues until a steady degraded level of performance has been reached. (Steady State)

 

In the second part, the recovery of the system is tested by allowing the system to idle and measuring the performance with long intervals. (TRIM)

 

The test reports the performance level at the start, the degraded steady state, and the recovered state, as well as the number of iterations required to reach the degraded state and the recovered state.

 

We feel Futuremark's Consistency Test is the best test ever devised to show the true performance of solid state storage in a heavy usage scenario. This test takes on average 13-17 hours to complete, and it writes somewhere between 450GB and 8000GB of test data, depending on the drive(s) being tested. If you want to know what an SSD's performance is going to look like after a few months or years of heavy usage, this test will show you.

 

Here's a breakdown of Futuremark's Consistency Test:

 

Precondition phase:

 

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

 

Degradation phase:

 

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 10 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 8 times, and on each pass increase the duration of random writes by 5 minutes.

 

Steady state phase:

 

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

 

Recovery phase:

 

1. Idle for 5 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

 

 

Storage Bandwidth

 

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we can use to judge a drive's performance.

 

plextor_m5m_256gb_msata_2_drive_ssd_raid_report_34

 

We consider steady state bandwidth (the blue bar) our test that carries the most weight in ranking a drive's performance. The reason we consider steady state performance as more important than TRIM is that when you are running a heavy-duty workload, TRIM will not be occurring while that workload is being executed. TRIM performance (the orange and red bars) is what we consider the second most important consideration when ranking a drive's performance. Trace-based consistency testing is where true high performing SSDs are separated from the rest of the pack.

 

Plextor drives really crumble in a heavy-duty usage environment, and our M5M array is no exception. Our M5M array performs similarly to our 840 Pro array that we retired from this test due to its inferior performance. Our M5M array does outperform the dual controller equipped ASUS RAIDr PCIe card.

 

plextor_m5m_256gb_msata_2_drive_ssd_raid_report_35

 

We chart our test subject's storage bandwidth as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations. This gives us a good visual perspective of how our test subjects perform as testing progresses.

 

 

Total Access Time (Latency)

 

Access time is the time delay or latency between a request to an electronic system and the access being completed or the requested data returned. Access time is how long it takes to get data back from the disk. We chart the total time the disk is accessed as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations.

 

plextor_m5m_256gb_msata_2_drive_ssd_raid_report_36

 

A visual perspective of our M5M array's performance just reinforces that if you are a heavy-duty user, then an M5M is not the drive/array for you.

 

 

Disk Busy Time

 

Disk Busy Time is how long the disk is busy working. We chart the total time the disk is working as reported at each of the tests 18 trace iterations.

 

plextor_m5m_256gb_msata_2_drive_ssd_raid_report_37

 

When latency is high, disk busy time is high as well. This time even the RAIDr PCIe card outperforms our M5M array.

 

 

Data Written

 

We measure the total amount of random data that the drives are capable of writing during the degradation phases of the consistency test. The total combined time that degradation data is written to the drives is 470 minutes. This can be very telling. The better the drives can process a continuous stream of random data, the more data will be written.

 

plextor_m5m_256gb_msata_2_drive_ssd_raid_report_38

 

This test cements our M5M array's victory over the RAIDr PCIe card, as well as it cements the fact that you do not want an M5M for a heavy usage scenario.

    PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.


    United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.

    United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.

    Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.

    We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.

Related Tags

Got an opinion on this content? Post a comment below!
loading