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ADATA Premier SP550 SSD Review

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Iometer IOPS Performance

Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. Iometer does for a computer’s I/O subsystem what a dynamometer does for an engine: it measures performance under a controlled load. Iometer was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and formerly known as “Galileo”. Intel has discontinued work on Iometer, and has gifted it to the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL). There is currently a new version of Iometer in beta form, which adds several new test dimensions for SSDs.

Iometer is both a workload generator (that is, it performs I/O operations in order to stress the system) and a measurement tool (that is, it examines and records the performance of its I/O operations and their impact on the system). It can be configured to emulate the disk or network I/O load of any program or benchmark, or can be used to generate entirely synthetic I/O loads. It can generate and measure loads on single or multiple (networked) systems.

To measure random I/O response time as well as total I/O’s per second, Iometer is set to use 4KB file size chunks over a 100% random sequential distribution at a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O’s per target. The tests are given a 50% read and 50% write distribution. While this pattern may not match traditional ‘server’ or ‘workstation’ profiles, it illustrates a single point of reference relative to our product field.

All of our SSD tests used Iometer 1.1.0 (build 08-Nov-2010) by Intel Corporation to measure IOPS performance. Iometer isconfigured to use 32 outstanding I/O’s per target and random 50/50 read/write distributionconfiguration: 4KB 100 Random 50-50 Read and Write.icf. The chart below illustrates combined random read and write IOPS over a 120-second Iometer test phase, where highest I/O total is preferred:

Iometer_Random_4K-IOPS_30QD_Results

The 240GB Samsung SSD 850 PRO produced ourall-time best recorded score with 94,985IOPS, leaving the OCZ Vector 150 (88,299 IOPS) and Vector 450 (87,323) SSDs that previously delivered the best combined IOPS performance tonearly 6000 IOPS behind the new leader. Trailing behind very closely is the 240GBSamsung SSD 850 EVO with 86,192 IOPS. OCZ’s Vertex 4 (83,494) and Vertex 3 Max IOPS Edition (83,117) followedwith notable scores, before the Intel 520 SSD (80,433) and Intel 335 (80,015).

After the top-performing storage products, IOPS performance results quickly taper off. The ADATA Premier SP550, at 10,444 IOPS, is the lowest score we’ve recorded for the past few years, and far off the 75K IOPS promised on ADATA’s specifications page. Admittedly that page doesn’t say what benchmark was used to achieve that figure, but I can’t imagine what could make up the difference between the numbers ADATA quotes and the numbers I got.

Nearly all modern SSDs deliver I/O far beyond the needs of multi-tasking power users and hardcore gamers; SSDs that return very high IOPS scores would be ideal for workstation systems running utilizing virtual machines.

In our next section, we test linear read and write bandwidth performance and compare the speed of the ADATA SSD against several other top storage products using the AIDA64 Disk Benchmark.


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4 comments

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  1. HERETIC

    RE.That’s the data being written to the drive’s 256MB of cache RAM.P8

    I think it’s about 3GB of flash the drive is using in SLC mode…….

    1. GraphsDontLie

      Graphs tell the tale. Look at the spike, well over 1% of the run is fast until it tails off. No way 256MB cache (abit more than 0.1% of the capacity of the drive) accelerated writes for over 1% of the time.

      And if that is an SLC cache, then ALL the writes go through that little bit of SLC…seems like an early failure waiting to happen once the SLC goes.

  2. Master Chen

    Actually, there’s also a 960GB model of SP550 available out there, but it’s quite rare and usually can be found only on Asian market. But still, just take a note.

    1. Olin Coles

      Good information. The 960GB model might not have existed two months ago, when this article (and the product) originally launched.

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