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Intel Smart Response Technology Showdown w/ GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD Review - Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance

In our first of a two part series, Chris takes a confined look at Intel SRT on GIGABYTE's Z68XP-UD3-iSSD. Shane will be back tomorrow with a closer look at the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD in its entirety.

By: | Socket LGA 1155 in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 15, 2011 3:29 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE



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


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


For the end user Intel Smart Response Technology is a system wide performance booster, but when it comes to benchmarks the process of showing a performance increase is pure hell. Most storage benchmark programs use data streams that are not affected by the cache system and thus you can't run most off the shelf benchmark programs and see a difference in performance.


Today we'll take a look at some PCMark Vantage runs with both of our Z68 motherboards. One board will use the Intel 2.5" 311 Series SSD and the other will use the Intel mSATA 311 Series SSD that ships with the GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD. Each system will be tested in Enhanced and Maximum Modes with the same HDD.



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.



Enhanced Mode



Maximum Mode


Before we get started comparing the mSATA SSD to the 2.5" SSD, let's first look at the difference between the Enhanced Mode versus the Maximum Mode.


With SRT running in Enhanced 'Read Cache Only' mode, we see the storage system writes reach just over 100MB/s. In Maximum Mode where writes are also cached the storage system is able to write data at 115MB/s.


On the surface this isn't a big improvement, but look at the 4K writes. In the 4K block size writes went from 50MB/s to 110MB/s. This is a very substantial gain in a critical area where you feel the performance increase. At the same time, though, the read speed was decreased in many block sizes when Maximum Mode was used, so you are trading off performance in one area to be used in another.

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