Testing hard disks can be difficult, especially when using such a hard disk intensive operative system as Windows Vista 64-bit - give it thirty seconds and it's spun your hard drives up to handily defragment or index them - not exactly what you want when trying to ascertain a hard drive's peak performance.
The problem only gets bigger when testing solid state drives - Vista has been written for mechanical drives and many of its optimisations favour the more conventional technology. As we wanted to test out of the box performance we've tested all the X25-E "as is," but there's a whole community out there dedicated to tweaking Vista for improved SSD performance - you can check out a lot of the tips over at the OCZ forums
To get a decent idea of drive performance in a variety of real world circumstances we tested using a variety of tools. HDTach 3.040 gives us a good idea of theoretical drive performance, FC-Test’s intensive file transfer abilities give us a good idea of real world drive performance, and our image editing suite should expose any problems in the disk controller being unable to keep up with read/write instructions - something cheaper SSDs are prone to.
We also test hard disks in real world circumstances, so cloned an install of Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit onto the drive and then timed the resulting boot time before also timing Crysis
In order to maintain good benchmarking practice, each test was performed five times with the highest and lowest scores discarded and the remaining three results averaged.
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 (operating at 3.00GHz – 9x333MHz);
- Gigabyte GA-X38-DS5 motherboard (Intel X38 Express);
- 2x 1GB OCZ FlexXLC PC-6400 memory (operating in dual-channel at DDR2-800 with 5-5-5-15-2T timings);
- ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB;
- PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W PSU;
- Windows Vista Home Premium x86-64;
- Intel inf 8.3.0 WHQL
- ATI Catalyst 8.11 WHQL.