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** SSD Testing Line Up - Vertex 3, Force 3, M4 and HyperX 120/128GB Tested! **

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by Andrew Moore, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Andrew Moore

    MSI Rep

    Joined: Jul 20, 2009

    Posts: 4,511

    Location: 20ft from bed

    Hello

    Today we have had a look at 4 of the best selling SSDs on the market, the Force 3 (performs the same as the Agility 3), the Vertex 3, the Crucial M4 (Firmware 0009) and the Kingston HyperX SSD.

    To our suprise there was a clear cut winner offering the highest levels of performance where it counts. Take a look before and have a look as the results are quite suprising!!

    A small thanks goes out to Bicepo for producing the screens for me for this!

    :D


    AS SSD Read/Write Test


    Force 3

    [​IMG]



    HyperX

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG][/FONT]




    M4

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG]


    Vertex 3

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]


    [/FONT]Taking a look at these results shows the weakness of the Asynchronous NAND used in the Force 3. The results from the Synchronous NAND based drives (vertex 3 and HyperX) are near identical showing no difference bar the odd MB/s here and there which cant be put down to a performance benefit but more what was going on with the system at the time of benhing. The clear cut winner with a massive lead on the 4K-64Thrd is the Crucial M4 which is why a drive that on slower on paper in reality is faster showing the strengths of the Marvell controller over the Sandforce 2281 used on all 3 of the other drives.
    [FONT=&quot]

    AS SSD IOPS Test

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    Force 3

    [​IMG][/FONT]




    HyperX

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG]



    M4

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]




    Vertex 3

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]

    [/FONT]Looking over the IOPS shows an entirely different story. The Force 3 has been left to swallow the dust of the other Sandforce drives where the Vertex 3 just edges out the HyperX however once again the Crucial is storming a head of the competition by a considerable margin.
    [FONT=&quot]

    ATTO


    Force 3

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]




    HyperX

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]




    M4

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]



    Vertex 3

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG][/FONT]


    Here we can see that the Force 3 is hot on the heals of the Vertex 3 and the HyperX. The HyperX through consistency is the faster of this benchmark in reads and writes leaving the M4 miles behind where write speeds are concerned. The only saving grace for the M4 is that its read speeds are faster lower down the scale which when real world performance is concerned would play to an advantage.


    C
    rystalDiskMark



    Force 3

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG]



    HyperX

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]




    M4

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][​IMG]




    Vertex 3

    [​IMG][/FONT]

    This is the benchmark that clearly shows the brute force power of the Sandforce 2281 controller. The fastest drive overall here is yet again the HyperX however once again the files that count (4K QD32) leaves the reads of the M4 striding miles in front! The drive is only let down by its poor write speeds (in comparrison) giving the HyperXC the edge.



    Conclusion


    The Fastest drive here in real world performance is the Crucial M4. It is worth noting that the M4 in 256GB and 512GB sizes performs even faster on the write speeds due to the NAND chip density.

    As for Sandforce based drives it would appear that the HyperX has the edge. It is a worthy contender in the SSD market bettering the M4 in some situations but losing in others. Only the price point nearing £40inc VAT on top of the M4 is its only weakness. If Kingston can do something radical with the pricing and maintain fantastic quality construction of the drives then it may just have the raw grunt to knock the M4 off of top spot leaving it in top spot but as it stands the Crucial M4 just has it.


    Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive (CSSD-F120GB3-BK) @ £139.99 inc VAT

    [​IMG]

    Step up to SATA 6Gb/s performance with a Corsair Force Series 3 SSD. Your system responds better, boots quicker, and loads applications faster. Ideal for notebooks, Corsair SSDs run cooler and quieter than traditional hard drives, using less power.

    - 120GB Capacity
    - Sequential read speeds of up to 550 MB/s
    - Sequential write speeds of up to 510 MB/s
    - SATA 6Gb/s (SATA 3) connectivity
    - High performance SandForce SF-2200 SSD controller
    - Native TRIM support (O/S support required)
    - RAID Support
    - BGC (Background Garbage Collection)
    - 2.5" - 3.5" Adaptor Included.

    Only £139.99 inc VAT.

    ORDER NOW








    Kingston HyperX 120GB 2.5" SATA-3 Solid State Drive @ £188.99 inc VAT

    [​IMG]

    The all new Kingston HyperX performance SSD featuring the Sandforce SF-2281 controller for blistering fast reads and writes and industry leading IOPS.


    - 95k IOPS
    - Capacity: 120GB
    - Controller: SandForce SF-2281
    - Maximum Read: 555MB/sec
    - Maximum Write: 510MB/sec
    - Max I/O Per Second (IOPS): 95000 IOPS (4KB File, READ)
    - NAND Flash: Multi-Level Cell (MLC)
    - Interface: SATA-III / 6Gbps (Backwards compatible with SATA-II / 3Gbps)
    - TRIM Support (Requires Windows 7)
    - Warranty: 3 Years

    Only £188.99 inc VAT.

    ORDER NOW





    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" SATA-3 Solid State Hard Drive (VTX3-25SAT3-120G) @ £184.99 inc VAT

    [​IMG]

    As the third generation of the legendary Vertex Series, OCZ Vertex3 Solid State Drives are designed and built to unleash the full potential of the 6Gbps SATA3 interface. The OCZ Vertex3 pushes the limits in both sequential and random data transfer rates, significantly improving your gaming, multimedia, and overall computing experience over traditional mechanical hard drives. In addition to maximized productivity, a Vertex3 upgrade makes a hard drive equipped notebook more portable than ever with superior durability and reduced power consumption.
    Using the latest break through controller and flash technology, Vertex3 SSDs workin perfect harmony with next generation platforms and operating systems to deliver the industry’s best storage solution.

    - Capacity: 120GB
    - Controller: SandForce SF-2281
    - Maximum Read: 550MB/sec
    - Maximum Write: 500MB/sec
    - Sustained Write: 500MB/sec
    - Max I/O Per Second (IOPS): 60000 IOPS (4KB File)
    - NAND Flash: Multi-Level Cell (MLC)
    - Interface: SATA-III / 6Gbps (Backwards compatible with SATA-II / 3Gbps)
    - TRIM Support (Requires Windows 7)
    - 2.5" to 3.5" SSD adaptor included
    - Warranty: 3 Years

    Only £184.99 inc VAT.

    ORDER NOW






    Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive @ £134.99 inc VAT

    [​IMG]

    Continuing the tradition of our award-winning solid-state drives, the Crucial m4 offers mobile and desktop users scorching-fast read and write speeds. Low power, lightweight, and durable, it empowers high-speed synchronous MLC NAND, advanced controller technology, optimized NAND management, and the SATA 6Gb/s interface. Together, that technology dramatically improves data transfers for bandwidth-demanding applications.

    Our products are built on decades of design and manufacturing expertise. It is our expertise in NAND technology that enables us to optimize the performance and endurance necessary to build quality solid-state storage devices.

    - Sequential Read (up to): 415MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s) - 550MB/sec with firmware 0009
    - Sequential Write (up to): 175MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s) - 200MB/sec with firmware 0009
    - Random 4k Read: 40,000 IOPS
    - Random 4k Write: 35,000 IOPS
    - PCMark Vantage: 55K HDD Test Score
    - Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backwards Compatible 3Gbps
    - Native TRIM support
    - Seek Time: .1ms
    - Slim 2.5" Design
    - 100.5 x 69.85 x 9.5mm
    - Lightweight: 75g
    - Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C
    - Storage Temp: -40°C ~ 85°C
    - Low Power Consumption: 150 mW in operation, .85 mW in standby
    - Shock Resistant up to 1500G
    - RAID Support
    - MTBF: 1.2 million hours
    - Limited 3-Year Warranty

    ** FIRMWARE UPDATE 0009 - Increased speeds up to 550MB/s **

    Only £134.99 inc VAT.

    ORDER NOW
     
  2. Mr.V

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 22, 2011

    Posts: 135

    Location: Mancs

    Its shocking how badly the M4 gets whooped in the write tests!! i was thinking about the M4 after the performance boost it got from the 0009 firmware, i think the engineers fell asleep when it came to addressing the write speed issue lol!

    oh and i almost forgot thank you for the review :D
     
  3. Locky

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 14, 2003

    Posts: 12,180

    Location: Leicestershire/Derbyshire

    I thinks it's shocking how you can't read reviews to be honest.

    The M4 is the quickest drive there and really outperforms the pack in the test where it counts, In real world usage.
     
  4. Mr.V

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 22, 2011

    Posts: 135

    Location: Mancs

    lol, Atto and crystal mark say otherwise? and the ocz won the award? i only glanced over the review ill take time to read it properly once i get home
     
  5. bradders2000

    Associate

    Joined: May 28, 2007

    Posts: 98

    Location: Essex, UK

    All SandForce write speed benchmarks are inflated when using easily compressible data.

    The AS SSD benchmark shows the raw speed (and a more realistic picture) of the NAND used in the drive.

    Also, the award was from bit-tech, not OCUK. I guess that's just where the picture came from.
     
  6. Mr.V

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 22, 2011

    Posts: 135

    Location: Mancs

    Thanks for clearing that up, much appreciated! I dont know much about SSDs and thats helped alot might just go for the M4 after all :D
     
  7. alex24

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 1, 2008

    Posts: 10,684

    Location: Chelmsford, UK

    Nice little roundup Andrew.

    Could you explain why the Force 3 suffers in seq read compared to the others. What's asynchronous NAND exactly?
     
  8. VaderDSL

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 14,815

    Location: Manchester

    Hope you don't mind me putting some of the data into a few graphs. However being a total noob I ended up screen-shotting them. I have omitted a few sections, such as the access time and the 16MB on the IOPS.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    errors and omissions excepted ;)
     
  9. Andrew Moore

    MSI Rep

    Joined: Jul 20, 2009

    Posts: 4,511

    Location: 20ft from bed

    It's cheap NAND with 4x less internal bandwidth than synchronous... Makes a lot of difference using the more expensive NAND as it shows that the extra it costs is certainly worth it. :)
     
  10. -=Vect0r=-

    Hitman

    Joined: Mar 11, 2008

    Posts: 882

    Location: Earth:\UK\Chelmsford

    Good write-up!

    Been eying up the M4 for a while but am concerned my x58 board will limit the performance of the SSD due to lack of SATA3 interface.

    Is it still worth considering even when max seq read/write speeds will be restricted?
     
  11. CaptainUnlikely

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 24, 2011

    Posts: 2,379

    Location: Stoke

    Good to see the M4 basically dominating, especially in real world tests. Cheaper, faster, and infinitely more reliable than Sandforce drives.

    Vector - yes, it is, purely because slower drives aren't actually any cheaper. You won't see the 500MB/sec read speeds, sure, but the performance where you'll notice (small file reads/writes and IOPs) is still amazing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  12. Davefran

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 3, 2011

    Posts: 1,307

    Location: Northwich

    I take it this thread was posted by a Crucial rep then.
    Strange how my previous post about the Passmark bench tests has been removed :mad:
     
  13. CaptainUnlikely

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 24, 2011

    Posts: 2,379

    Location: Stoke

    Come on now...they're easily reproduced benchmarks which anyone with one of those SSDs and those free benchmarks can run and get very similar results. I fail to see how the person running the benchmarks or posting the thread (neither of whom is a Crucial rep) makes any difference at all. If I said "I take it this thread was posted by an OCZ rep then" as you have an OCZ drive, what would you think?

    As for the post about Passmark . . . you mean this post? The one in the other thread? :rolleyes:
    They use a different test suite, as seen on our benchmarks some drives do better in some benchmarks and worse in others. The Crucial obviously does worse in their particular benchmark. It's also likely they haen't re-tested the drive with the latest firmware, which was used in our benchmarks, so that would account for some of the difference regardless.
     
  14. Darkman

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 9, 2002

    Posts: 1,010

    Location: Surrey, UK

    ?

    Andrew works for OcUK and as head of this product category buys ALL makes and models of drives for them.

    The information presented is not fundamentally different to that posted on review sites elsewhere. Different drives will be quicker depending on your usage, hardly a surprise. Headline figures are just that, a guide.

    Competition is surely a good thing as prices will continue to be driven down.
     
  15. Andrew Moore

    MSI Rep

    Joined: Jul 20, 2009

    Posts: 4,511

    Location: 20ft from bed

    This thread had been posted in 3 sections, check those first as I think you will find it's still there.

    No need to throw the dummy out and see red quite yet mate ;)

    It was posted by the SSD product buyer.. ME! And as such these are mine and a colleagues findings with nothing to do with crucial :p
     
  16. Bane

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 10, 2005

    Posts: 2,605

    The Intel 510 series would be similar or better than Crucial M4?

    I know price makes it a one horse race in favour of the M4.
     
  17. Andrew Moore

    MSI Rep

    Joined: Jul 20, 2009

    Posts: 4,511

    Location: 20ft from bed

    The elmcrest had the edge due to a 1333mhz 128mb ddr3 cache over the 256mb 1066mhz ddr2 cache on the m4 as both used the same controller (with slight differences for cache support) however with the latest 0009 firmware the m4 is now a much faster drive :)
     
  18. Davefran

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 3, 2011

    Posts: 1,307

    Location: Northwich

    Oops..didn't know the thread could be in 3 different places. I thought someone had removed my original post...my humblest appologies.
    The reason for the minor rant was so many people dissing the OCZ drives of which I've bought 2, vertex 2E and an Agility 3. But I've had no problems with them at all and they are amazingly fast in real world performance.
    The funny thing is if I was going to buy another one now as an OS drive, I'd probably pick the M4 128GB :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  19. Andrew Moore

    MSI Rep

    Joined: Jul 20, 2009

    Posts: 4,511

    Location: 20ft from bed

    The agility is an identical match to the force 3 but with a different firmware. It's still one hell of a drive but being priced where it is makes it even better value and as it's only pitfal is sequential speeds the price offset from the likes of the vertex 3 etc make it a very good drive for the money.

    If crucial still had the 0002 firmware it would have been a whole different story!

    SSD has hit an all time low at the moment due to NAND pricing so I'd expect these to start getting more expensive as what is likely with DRAM in the coming months.

    So with that in mind the best time to buy is probably now or the coming few weeks. :)
     
  20. CivilDrone

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 25, 2011

    Posts: 1,593

    Location: Crawley/Gatwick

    I've got force 3 60gig ssd, but it works as sata 2 even tho all my ports are sata3 on ga-990fxa-ud3, does anyone know what could cause this?