Anvil Storage Utilities
Version and / or Patch Used: RC6
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 is 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.
0-Fill Compressible Data
The PNY Prevail Elite still uses MLC flash so the SandForce algorithms for compressing compressible data apply. The result is slower performance when working with incompressible data. The only way to get around this is with SLC NAND, which is an expensive option.
Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale
IOPS performance is linked to programming and firmware on LSI SandForce based SSDs. We've seen the maximum IOPS performance shrink and expand over the years with different firmware releases. Today we're focusing on the consumer market so lower queue depth IOPS performance data is more valuable than high queue depth performance.
At lower queue depths (1 and 4), the Prevail Elite doesn't fall too far behind the two enthusiast flagship drives, the Samsung 840 Pro and OCZ Vector. The Elite actually does better at single queue depth reads than Vector, but OCZ artificially limits QD1 performance to increase multitasking performance.
Scaling Write IOPS through Queue Scale
Low queue depth writes are tit for tat with Samsung's 840 Pro 256GB and even achieve a higher maximum write IOPS number.