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SandForce SF-1200: Does Lower Capacity Mean Lower Performance? (Page 5)

By Chris Ramseyer from Jun 21, 2010 @ 23:08 CDT
Manufacturer: My Digital Discount

HD Tune Pro

Version and / or Patch Used: 4.00
Developer Homepage:
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HD Tune is a Hard Disk utility which has the following functions:

- Benchmark: measures the performance
- Info: shows detailed information
- Health: checks the health status by using SMART
- Error Scan: scans the surface for errors
- Temperature display

HD Tune Pro gives us accurate read, write and access time results and for the last couple of years has been gaining popularity amongst reviewers. It is now considered a must have application for storage device testing.

Read Tests


The read speed test had the 60GB starting off a little slow, but only for a split second. The slight dip at first shows up in the minimum category, but the average speed shows that the slight stumble was very brief. Instead of a stumble it was more like tripping over an ant. Aside from that everything is looking good across the board.

Write Tests


The write speed test was quite a bit different. Here we see the 60GB drive running into an issue. Let's look at the actual graphs from the run and compare the 60GB to the 240GB that shares the same firmware revision.


OCZ Vertex 2 E, 60GB


OCZ Vertex 2 E, 240GB

To be honest, I really didn't expect this since the word around the internet water cooler is that the 60GB is just as fast as the larger drives. That said, this is exactly why I wanted to test and write this article.

Here we see that the two drives peak at nearly the exact same spot; the problem is that the minimum and average write speed across the disk is much lower on the 60GB model. With all of the drives being tested in the same sequence and this being the second test that I ran, there was zero chance of the 60GB drive being in anything other than a new state. All drives were also tested fresh out of the sealed retail package.

What will be interesting is if a real world performance drop can be found in significant tests. We have seen SSDs stumble in HD Tune's Write Test before due to the cache filling up, but perform very well in real world tests. The difference here is that the SF-1200 does not use a DRAM cache buffer. This may be a clue into unraveling the inner workings of a controller that SandForce can be pretty tight lipped about.

Let's press on and see what we can find out from the synthetics and then see how everything pans out in real world tests.

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