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Crucial M550 256GB SSD Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 10, 2014 10:08 pm
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TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Crucial

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended - Consistency Test

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.228

 

Heavy Usage Model:

 

FutureMark's PCMark 8 allows us to wear the test drive down to a reasonable consumer steady state and then watch the drive recover on its own through garbage collection. To do that, the drive gets pushed down to steady state with random writes and then idle time between a number of tests allows the drive to recover.

 

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 use to judge a drive's performance.

 

crucial_m550_256gb_ssd_review_60

 

We're starting with the throughput in worst case (blue) and recovery (orange) phases. The worst case performance shows the drives after being hammered with a heavy load and the recovery phase shows typical performance when you are surfing the web, writing reviews and so on.

 

The drives are listed in alphabetical order so you have to go down a few spaces to find the M550 256GB. The 64Gb die paired with the new Marvell controller allow this model to recover and deliver more throughput performance than any other 256GB capacity size drive we've tested so far.

 

Disk Busy Time

 

Disk Busy Time shows us how long the drive has to work to achieve the performance from the above. The best scenario is high throughput performance with low busy time. The less the drive works, the less power it consumes. For the most part, this is an efficiency test.

 

crucial_m550_256gb_ssd_review_61

 

The M550 doesn't reserve space for overprovisioning so it's not as efficient as some of the other drives on the market. OP really helps in the steady state tests but it's not a sure fire way to ensure top performance.

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