By Mike Clements posted Nov 10th 2011
Today we announced our newest line of solid-state drives, the Corsair Performance Pro Series™ SSDs. Designed with the Marvell SATA 6 Gb/s SSD controller, they deliver impressive performance when reading and writing compressed as well as non-compressible data, such as audio, images, and video files. Additionally, Performance Pro Series SSDs have built-in advanced background garbage collection to allow for consistently strong performance even with operating systems that do not support the TRIM command. This integral performance optimization makes Performance Pro SSDs an ideal solution for RAID configurations, which typically do not support TRIM.
Okay, enough with the canned ham marketing material. What we really want to talk about is the actual performance of this new SSD. I've been staying on good terms with our SSD product manager so I got an early sample and ran a few quick tests. My first impression of this drive is very good. I won't bore you with the details but the Windows 7 installation on this drive is fast and painless and especially so when installing from a USB 3.0 flash drive. But, that's another story. Let's look at the Performance Pro drive performance with some benchmarks.
ATTO Disk Benchamark has long been an industry staple for measuring drive performance, and the Performance Pro 256GB SSD certainly does not disappoint in this test. Here's a screen shot of the drive tested as attached storage on a Z68 board using the latest Intel RST driver showing performance right at the rated speds of 515MB/s Sequential Read and 440 MB/s Sequential Write.
Another staple of benchmark users and reviewers alike is the PC Mark series from Futuremark and it's HD Suite test. The suite's characteristics according to Futuremark:
"PCMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed for Windows Vista offering one-click simplicity for casual users and detailed, professional grade testing for industry, press and enthusiasts. A PCMark score is a measure of your computer’s performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security. From desktops and laptops to workstations and gaming rigs, by comparing your PCMark Vantage score with other similar systems you can find the hardware and software bottlenecks that stop you getting more from your PC."
This test certainly measures a good variety of tasks that a large number of us ask our machines to perform daily. Drive performance can make or break this benchmark and the Performance Pro 256GB SSD does very well. This is an outstanding score for a single drive.
Another type of test we like to perform when evaluating our drives is a simple file transfer test showing the time to transfer a file to and from the tested drive. We've compiled a 21.8GB test file comprised of Microsoft Office documents, music, movies, and compressed .RAR files containing music and movies. This is a realistic test of the drives ability to Read and Write large amounts of both compressed and uncompressed data. The other drive in the test is a RAID-0 stripe of 2 SSDs attached to the onboard Marvell controller so there is certainly no bottleneck on that side of the test.
The SSD posts some blazing speeds in both READ and WRITE speeds moving the test file to and from. The Performance Pro showed great READ performance and moved the file to the RAID-0 stripe in an impressive 1:10. The trip back showing the WRITE performance was equally impressive with the task being completed in a mere 1:01. These are fantastic times for moving almost 22GB of data.
Performance Pro Series 256GB real world READ performance v.s. WRITE performance example
The Performance Pro Series 256GB SSD was a dream right out of the box and does not disappoint. RAID performance and compressed data write speeds were both strong, thanks to the advanced Marvell controller. It proudly bears the Corsair label and performs like a pro.