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OWC Mercury Extreme SandForce SF-1200 100GB SSD - Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: May 3, 2010 5:40 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: OWC



We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: AVADirect, GIGABYTE, Patriot Memory, Cooler Master, LSI and Noctua.


You can read more about TweakTown's Storage Product Testing Workstation and the procedures followed to test products in this article.


I want to take the opportunity to thank OWC for meeting TweakTown's strict sample policies. We have several articles in the oven at this time and have been waiting on the timer to go off before we can wrap them up.


The latest timer has been waiting for Crucial to get their firmware ready that actually supports TRIM correctly. Our dual C300 drives have pretty much been hammered and will not go back to a new state until we can get the firmware in.


When we tested the Corsair Force Intel had not released RST 9.6, a driver that propelled the SandForce SF-1200 drives to outperform the Crucial RealSSD C300 in many real world tests. The main article we have just about ready to go pits the three SandForce SSDs, all tested with the same driver, but each with a different firmware loaded.


The firmware and driver breakdown has the Corsair Force F100 with FW 3.0.1, but using the default Microsoft TRIM drivers; the ADATA S599 with FW 3.0.2, but Intel RST 9.6 drivers and the OWC Mercury with the final, retail ready Mass Production firmware, 3.0.5 and Intel RST 9.6 drivers.


The early story from around the web (mainly Anand) is that FW 3.0.1 is faster and allows for SF-1500 4K write speeds, but has a power issue. Corsair fixed the bugs by disabling some power saving features and was able to retain the 4K performance increase. Not a lot of information has been given about FW 3.0.2 since SandForce is being stingy with the firmware change log; I guess I will have to start playing hard ball and go back to the old way of doing things and just get the information from partners instead of trying to get it right from the source, kind of like when I used to review video cards back in the day.


The OWC Mercury that we are reviewing here today shipped to us with 3.0.5, also known as the Mass Production (MP) firmware.


A total performance breakdown with equal drivers and working firmware will be ready very soon when we are able to finally release the next issue of "The State of Solid State".


ATTO Baseline Performance


Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34


ATTO is used by many disk manufacturers to determine the read and write speeds that will be presented to customers.




In ATTO we see the potential of the OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise SSD. The read speeds are in the lower 280MB/s and the write speeds are in the upper 270MB/s range. This is really the limits that we have found on the GIGABYTE X58A-UD7's SATA II ports and the upper limits of SATA II itself.


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