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OCZ RD400 PCIe NVMe SSD Review

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SSD Utility Software

The archaic custom of including utility media with computer accessories having died out some time ago, you’ll make a brief trip to the Toshiba/OCZ web site to download SSD Utility.

ssd_utility_main

This simple and functional utility has the main divisions of Overview, Tuner, Maintenance, Settings, and Help across the top; for each selected tab, subdivisions appear at the lower left– in this case Dashboard, SSD Details, System Details, and SMART. The Dashboard screen shown above lets you quickly check how full the drive is, whether its firmware is up to date, any alerts, and overall “health” and drive temperature. While the SSD Details and System Details are things you probably already know, it’s nice to be able to look at detailed SMART (System Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) information:

ssd_utility_smart

The Tuner section includes a simple performance benchmark…

ssd_utility_tuner

…as well as an SSD Tuner section that allows you to set over-provisioning on the drive. Over-provisioning reduces the effective storage area of the drive by setting aside a designated portion of the drive’s storage space to buffer write operations, replace failed blocks, and other things the drive controller might require. Over provisioning is why you see some SSDs that might seem to have odd capacities like 120GB instead of 128GB, or 480GB instead of 512GB. The utility notes that over provisioning can “improve performance and lifetime of your drive”, and in this case allows you to allocate up to 143GB for this purpose. That’s overkill, but I’d have appreciated some guidance here on what an appropriate over provisioning amount might be. As delivered the drive has no over-provisioning.

ssd_utility_overprovision

The Settings part of the utility lets you designate some specific monitoring and alert functions; the defaults are shown below. It’s probably a good idea to leave these all on.

ssd_utility_settings

OK, let’s get to the benchmarks!


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2 comments

  1. AMT

    Could we get a test comparison to load certain games, like load times comparisons to sata ssd?
    example, Star Citizen can have some pretty long load times with SATA SSD, would be nice to know if these drives help out much in these situations etc.

    1. Olin Coles

      While the storage device certainly has a lot to do with load time, the speed and architecture of RAM and CPU are also heavily involved. It would be disingenuous to compare one to another unless the user has the exact same system that we use for testing, which is very unlikely.

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