Desktop Test System
In the preview article, we used an ASUS Maximus VI Extreme with Windows 8. In this test, we used a MSI Z77A-GD80 and GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H with Windows 7. In some instances, the Z77A-GD80 didn't want to complete tests properly. Both of these Z77 chipset based motherboards have a lot of features, but the Z77A-GD80 has several devices, like Thunderbolt, using the PCIe lanes.
When using more than the processor and chipsets PCIe lanes, motherboard manufacturers use PCIe switches. When testing video cards we don't notice the PCIe switches, but video cards have massive buffers and we are measuring well past the buffers when measuring in frames per second.
Lenovo W530 - Mobile Workstation
We use two systems for SSD testing. The desktop runs a majority of the tests and the Lenovo W530 runs the notebook power tests as well as the real-world file transfer benchmark.
ATTO Baseline Performance
Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34
ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufactures with data used market storage products.
No matter what we fiddled with, we couldn't break 800 MB/s on the Z77 systems. 795 MB/s isn't bad though when reading data. Our maximum write was 628 MB/s.
It's difficult not to do back flips for a couple of reasons. The first is the fact that this is an OEM drive built for reliability and a low price point. The second is the configuration; there are only four NAND packages, half the number found on SATA III high performance SSDs today.
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