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Samsung Portable SSD T3 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 is configured to use 32 outstanding I/O’s per target and random 50/50 read/write distribution configuration: 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 500GB Samsung T3 SSD returned 5,738 iOPS on this test– the lowest we’ve ever tested for a solid state storage device.

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


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3 comments

  1. BeX

    Driver needed for Mac? See warning for previous model at
    Mac Owners Should Hold Off on New Samsung T1 Flash SSD
    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/mac-owners-should-hold-off-on-new-samsung-t1-flash-ssd

    Can it be used to boot Mac and work from it all day long?

    RAID 0 inside as in SanDisk’s 1.92TB Extreme 900 Portable SSD? That is the best way to lose data (2x probability or more). One disk fails (or controller), all lost.

    1. David Ramsey

      The T3 drive comes with the necessary software to run it on a Mac, included the SAT driver mentioned in your link. I tried the drive on a Mac and had two minor issues: the first time I ran the installer, it installed the security software, but not the SAT driver, so the drive was inaccessible. Running the installer again brought up the option to install the SAT driver. Second, the “T3 Login Activator for Mac” utility you need to unlock an encrypted drive doesn’t “see” the T3 if it’s connected when you boot the Mac– you need to unplug the drive and then plug it in again.

      I copied over 200GB of video files to the drive (simply by dragging them over in the Finder) and saw a transfer rate of about 1GB every 7 seconds, or about 140MB/second.

      I don’t see any way to use the T3 as a boot drive for the Mac, since their installer will not install the security software and SAT driver on the T3 itself. You might be able to hack around this by manually transferring a preconfigured system folder, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In any case, an internal SSD would be much faster than a USB 3 SSD.

      1. BeX

        Thanks. I guess you mean when using the T3 security software. I guess, no problem when not using it.

        Sure an internal SSD could be faster, but booting from external Thunderbolt or SSD is very convenient as Mac to Go (like Windows to Go) to carry your stuff and boot from Mac at work and home.

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