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SanDisk Extreme II 240GB 6-Drive SSD RAID Report

By: Jon Coulter | RAID in Storage | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 2:00 pm

Light Usage Model:


We are going to categorize these tests as indicative of a light workload. Typical laptop usage models fit perfectly into this category. If you utilize your computer for light workloads like browsing the web, checking emails, and office related tasks, then this category of results is most relevant for your needs.


PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests


Version and / or Patch Used:



The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty versus filled versus steady state.


For this review, we will run Vantage two ways. The first run is with the OS drive/array 75 percent full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's guidelines (Rev 1.1). Steady state testing simulates a drive's or array's performance similar to that of a drive/array that has been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time.


OS Volume 75% full - Lightly Used




OS Volume 75% full - Steady State




Vantage with data on drives doesn't show much in the way of drive scaling. This is where our synthetic testing actually does a better job of showing us how drives are scaling as we add them to the array.




When a drive/array is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing. There's a huge difference in performance between a single drive and a two-drive array, but there's not a whole lot of difference between arrays of 2-6 drives when testing with Vantage. Again, I will point out the differences between a 3- and 4-drive array. The drop in performance as we move to a 4-drive array is another example of how 64k stripes are losing steam. I would say that in the case of the Extreme II, you want to use 32k stripes with arrays of 4 to 6 drives.



PCMark 7 - System Storage


Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.00


We will look to the Raw system storage scoring for RAID 0 evaluations because it's done without system stops and therefore allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives/arrays.


OS Volume 75% full - Lightly Used






More evidence that 32k stripes are in order for the Extreme II when four or more drives are utilized in your array. Just as we saw with Vantage, there is actually a performance drop off at a four-drive array with 64k stripes.



PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth


Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.157



We use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.


OS Volume 75% full - Lightly Used






Our three- and five-drive arrays have the best performance because this is where their particular stripe size is peaking. 64k stripes are peaking at three drives, and 32k stripes are peaking at five drives. Again, this is somewhat subject to the particular drives being used. Now we move to what matters to a power user/enthusiast: our Heavy Usage Model. Read on as we switch test beds and move to a two-drive array to see if the Extreme II has what it takes to be TweakTown's performance champion.

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