OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

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OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:26 pm

I was playing around with the OCZ Vertex today and flashed the latest BIOS onto the drive. Before I did that I ran a few tests with the original firmware that came on the drive. In the latest firmware revision OCZ added support for TRIM (v1.10).

Changelog
Version 1.10 (April 7, 2009)
• Feature Add : TRIM support is added
• Apple Mac Pro sleep/wake up support added
• Updater improved
• Bad block management function improved


It looks like performance did take a hit though as here is a look at two firmware versions on the same test system (ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 with the ICH10R southbridge)

vertex_performance_compare.jpg
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Just curious what others have seen first hand or on other sites... As you can tell write performance is what got hurt the most.

Here are the results from the random access times using HD Tune this time...

vertex_hdtune_access.jpg
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vertex_hdtune_access_write.jpg
vertex_hdtune_access_write.jpg (46.12 KiB) Viewed 6137 times


As you can tell the average speed on the smaller transfer sizes is nearly half what it used to be... Even larger file sizes took a performance hit... Looks like OCZ added new features like TRIM, but performance took a hit as a result.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby dicecca112 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:25 pm

Maybe if I get adventurous, I'll bootcamp my macbook pro and see what I get for results. I've got the same drive.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:48 pm

There were four total versions of the firmware - 0112, 1199, 1275 & 1.10. According to Tony @ OCZ:

Tony wrote:0112 slowest, 1199 fastest but unstable..1275 slower than 1199 but more stable and 1.10 little faster than 1275.

I bet your drive is filling up..hence it feels slower

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum ... ostcount=4
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:50 pm

1370 (v1.10) doesn't seem faster than 1275...
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:02 pm

I only have the Apex which has the jmicron controller and is apparently unable to flash or use trim so I can't provide any personal experience. In general, it doesn't seem like most people notice a difference between 1275 & 1.10
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:35 pm

I'm going to run wiper on the drive and re-test, but sadly wiper.exe only works right now on 32-bit OS's and not 64-bit OS's... go figure we test everything here on 64-bit...
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:14 am

I think you can run it from a BART PE disk or another drive with XP installed.

This is an interesting app:
http://zflashpoint.blogspot.com/

It basically caches the data prior to writing to the SSD...only XP32 right now too.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:34 am

don't have windows XP 32-bit installed on anything anymore...

These SSD's are not consumer friendly when you have to align the drive (by running repair off the vista install disc), flash the firmware (with a jumper that isn't included and each drive capacity has a different firmware), run TRIM/wiper (but wait only in 32-bit OS's)... oh and to get the most performance you need to enable write cache (beware you better have that pc on a battery backup and in order to enable this feature you have to set it up in RAID mode even though you have a single drive).

That is too complex... hard drives and solid state drives need to be stable and plug-in-play. The Vertex has only been out for a couple months and it has had not one, but four major firmware releases and each one erases your data correct? Not cool.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:58 am

Yeah, it's definitely a maturing technology...the trim tool is a short term fix until windows supports it and supposedly there is a version that will not wipe the entire drive but it's not available yet. Intel's trim tool doesn't wipe the drive from what I understand.

The alignment, cache, etc are not required but do have an impact on performance and are basically tools to overcome the design shortfalls.

I have an XP disc I am not using that I can send over to you if you need a copy of XP. I've somehow managed to accumulate a few copies.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:46 pm

So i moved the drive over to my HTPC with Vista 32-bit and ran wiper.exe (TRIM) and then moved the drive back over to the Windows Vista 64-bit test system.

trim.jpg
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Everything ran fine in wiper.exe, so I went right back to benchmarking...

vertex_trim.jpg
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After running trim I left the drive having a new volume (NTFS) and ran HD Tach... It looks like TRIM did something as read performance was nearly flat, which is wasn't before... guess it fixed everything...

vertex_trim_hdtach.jpg
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To test the write speeds you have to remove the volume, so I did that and enabled the write test. It looks better, but let's run that test a couple times to make sure the results are consistent.

vertex_trim_hdtach2.jpg
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On the third HD Tach run it looks back to how it was when I originally tested the drive... Write performance took a dive once again and the read test is jumpy once again...

Any ideas FZ1? Or does this SSD/Controller get screwed up that quickly?
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:57 am

Might be the benchmarks...check you PM
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:19 am

Before Running any benchmarks after TRIM:

vertex_sandra_read.jpg
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After running all the LR benchmarks and going back and re-testing after the drive was used for half a morning:

vertex_sanrda_read_after.jpg
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I formatted the drive, tried with and without the volume on the drive and still stuck at around 215MB/Sec read...

241.8MB/s At the Start of Testing
215.3MB/s At the End of Testing

That is a 26.5MB/s loss, which is an 11% performance drop... That is a significant difference.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:43 am

It has to be a product of the benchmarking which will write to a significant portion of the cells as opposed to normal usage for which it would take a lot longer to achieve the same impact. However, I would expect an impact to the write performance but not so much on the read. I'm guessing most people would not even notice that drop in reads.

I'd be curious to see the drive trimmed and used normally for a few weeks and then the benchmark ran.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:45 am

I just pulled the Corsair P256 SSD out of my notebook... It has two partitions and Windows Vista installed on it as I've been testing it out for real world use...

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The original performance numbers seen were an average read score of 222.499MB/s.

corsair_ssd.jpg
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Now the drive has an average read score of 202.184MB/s.

That is a performance difference of ~9%, so this seems to be common.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:10 am

I'm wondering if it is partially due to the methodology employed by the benchmark. The results aren't logical to me but it is what it is and I'm certainly no SSD engineer so my logic may be flawed. :)
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:56 am

I looked around the web and it seems that dozens and dozens of people are having the same issues... from HardOCP:

I had a Vertex for a week, returned it. It would go from the kind of shiny masturbatory benches you see on the web to about 35 MB/s writes in a matter of a few days normal use, and only reflashing the firmware would "solve" the problem (for a few more days). My experience and the existence of all these tools and workarounds for a product that costs $4/GB just shows me that SSDs are nowhere near ready for anything but hobbyist uses. I would hesitate to say they are even useful for enthusiasts except in very specific scenarios/applications. Even in "peak" condition, mine really didn't give me a "wow" difference. The most noticeable difference was the lack of seek noise, not the speed.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:54 pm

Funny, I even mentioned it in my Apex review that most enthusiasts would be disappointed by the performance because they A) would have high expectations B) many are coming from RAID 0 systems with VR's so the performance difference is barely noticeable if at all.

All in all, I have no complaints about the Apex. Every once and awhile, I get a stutter but otherwise, everything is zippy.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby DMB2000uk » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:18 pm

Don't know why it'd affect the read scores, but this is more than likely the reason your write scores are getting so mutilated:
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdo ... i=3531&p=8
(I recommend reading the whole article, it's very long, but really informative)

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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby FZ1 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:33 pm

Yeah, that's pretty much what we have been going off of and I'm with you, it doesn't explain the read I/O hit.
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Re: OCZ Vertex 120GB Hard Drive with Firmware v1.10 Benchmarking

Postby jax7480 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:06 am

FZ1 wrote:Funny, I even mentioned it in my Apex review that most enthusiasts would be disappointed by the performance because they A) would have high expectations B) many are coming from RAID 0 systems with VR's so the performance difference is barely noticeable if at all.

All in all, I have no complaints about the Apex. Every once and awhile, I get a stutter but otherwise, everything is zippy.


Hello everyone. I'm new in this forum and I would like to make a few comments.

After having a Raid0 array with 3 x150GB velociraptors I noticed that the performance wasn't as expected. I was using the drives to handle the OS.
Then I changed all of them and purchased an Intel X25-E SLC 32GB drive.

The performance difference is MORE than noticeable. Not only I wasn't dissapointed but I was impressed by the performance of this little things.
After that I purchased a second one in order to setup a raid0 array on my ICH10R onboard controller.
The performance difference wasn't that of impressive. Of course everything was working faster but by a small difference.
The numbers though were impressive, even though the feeling wasn't very different at all after installing the second SSD.

I would like to point something out. In an OS environment the big impact that makes a difference is the read and write speeds of a disk in small KByte blocks.
This means that none of the benchmarks that test and measure SEQUENTIAL speeds can give you an overview of the speed of an SSD.
Programs like ATTO, Roadkils diskspeed V2 and CrystalDiskMark that measure small KB blocks can show you what an SSD can do in REAL life, meaning the OS.
This is the reason that performance can change when you set different Cluster size in the OS partition.

Below you can find two Screenshots from the Roadkils disk speed V2 benchmark.
The first one shows 3 Velociraptos 150GB in a raid0 configuration and also, in order to make the access time lower, with a small partition in the beggining of the disks (50GB).
The second one shows 1 Intel X25-E SSD 32GB drive.

3xWD Velociraptos 150GB @ RAID0 on ICH10R 50GB Partition
Image

1 Intel X25-E SSD SLC 32GB on ICH10R

Image

Forget about the overall score or the Access time.
focus on the 0.5,1,2,4 and 8KB blocks. Something weird in the write performance?
The raid0 array with the 3 velociraptors can write 0.5KB blocks in a speed of around ~100KB/sec where the Intel SSD on its own does this in a speed of 7.37MB/s.
This means that the writing speed of the Intel drive is 70 times FASTER than the VR's.
If you continue downwards you can see the differences.
In 8KB blocks the velociraptors can write with speeds of up to 1.39MB/s where the Intel drive writes at 77MB/s.

The same can be found if you use CrystalDiskMark v2.2

3xWD VR's @ Raid0 on ICH10R

Image

1 Intel X25-E SSD 32GB

Image

Take a look at the 4KB block random read and write speeds. This is the default block size (cluster size) that Windows Vista and 7 use when you create a partition and install the OS.

This is the difference that a really GOOD SSD can do in your system. And when you will combine it with a good subsystem (RAM, CPU,Motherboard) you will not believe you eyes.
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