When we timed how long it took to transfer 2GB of data within the Apex as the Windows drive these figures are 36.9s, 49.9s and 54.8s which is an enormous spread of 18s. When we ran the same test with the Apex as a data drive on the Intel SSD and WD Caviar Black, the range of the three median figures was much tighter at five or six seconds.
Duplicate 2GB on the Drive
Time in Seconds
Shorter bars are better
This may be related to the Sequential Read Speed graph generated by HD Tach as it is as jagged and uneven as any graph we have ever seen.
The strange behaviour of the Apex is smoothed out when you’re transferring data from one drive to another. With the WD Caviar Black as the Windows drive, we were able to do a direct comparison between the Intel and OCZ SSDs and the OCZ Apex came out slightly ahead. During testing we were surprised to find that the smart metal casing of the OCZ reached a consistent temperature of 45°C. By contrast, the plastic casing of the Intel SSD didn’t get hotter than 25°.
You’ll have spotted that those conclusions have been couched in cautious terms as the OCZ Apex SSD is both fast and erratic.
This may be the reason that OCZ has announced the Vertex range of SSDs, which will switch from the JMicron JMF602 controller and will instead use the Indilinx Barefoot IDX22 chip, which has a write speed of 170MB/s and a read speed of 230MB/s.
The four Vertex drives will sell for £99 (30GB), £180 (60GB), £340 (120GB) and £640 (250GB). That makes it hard to recommend the current Apex SSD models when the new and presumably better Vertex series is just around the corner. At least OCZ has added to the downwards pressure in SSD prices.
We have mixed feelings about the Apex SSD and sincerely hope that the Vertex will make strides to improve performance. ®
More Drive Reviews...
WD Caviar Green 2TB
HDD vs SSD
WD Caviar Black 1TB vs
Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB
OCZ Apex 120GB SSD
... or just ...
use www.iometer.org with 4KB random writes.
testing random writes on SSD?
I think here you will find just the right tool (admittedly, benchmarking is not its purpose) : http://managedflash.com/downloads/index.htm . To see what I mean, download the documentation http://downloads.managedflash.com/documentation/090107_windowsinstall.pdf and jump to bottom part of page 22 (section 2.8).
Alternatively, just adopt any SQL IO performance test - they all measure random writes performance pretty well. BTW, I hope this explains why random writes latency is important.
Apologies for this folks - the figures on the graphs are correct however I managed to trip over the reams test results and make some silly mistakes in the copy which Tony has sorted out.
ref Bronek's comments: Tony and self talked about hard drive testing a while back and came to the conclusion that benchmarks are all well and good but file transfer tests are more real world.
Transferring files and timing the results should reflect any funny business such as excessive latency. If this is not the case I'd be happy to hear the flaw along with any suggestions about how we can realistically measure it.
Apologies, all. The graphs present the correct HD Tach numbers - and now so does the review text. It doesn't radically alter the outcome of the evaluation, and the Verdict and Rating stand.
SSD friendly OS
Is Mac OS X 'SSD friendly', as per the configs you can buy from Apple with SSDs?
Would be interesting to see results here.