To get a good idea of SSD performance, both out of the box and following extended use, we've adapted our TRIM testing methods from previous SSD reviews. Drives are now first tested in a 'clean' new state, having been reset to factory performance using HDDerase
To simulate a protracted heavy workload, we then disable TRIM and copy the entire 100GB contents of the C drive over to the SSD numerous times, filling the drive. These files include operating system files, multiple game installs, MP3s and larger video files – the typical contents of a modern hard disk.
We then re-enable TRIM, with the drive filled from the last write, and clear the drive with a standard Windows Delete command, followed by emptying of the recycle bin to ensure the TRIM command has been triggered. The drive is then left for ten minutes, to ensure the TRIM command and any garbage collection algorithms have been completed, before being retested using our suite of benchmarks.
Click to enlarge - We used this adaptor to test the mSATA SSDs with
As this is the first mSATA drive we've tested, we've also tested a selection of modern competing products that we had in the labs. We've left the results in for the original EVO 1TB SSD as well, but haven't had a chance to test with RAPID Mode enabled on the new SSD. To test the mSATA SSDs, we used an Intel mSATA to 2.5-inch SATA adaptor, pictured above, along with a standard SSD test rig.
- Intel Core i5 3570K (operating at 4.2GHz – 42 x 100MHz)
- Asus Maximus V Extreme motherboard
- 2 x 4GB Corsair 2,400MHz DDR3 memory
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB (Catalyst 13.4)
- Lepa G1600 1600W PSU
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Intel RST AHCI driver (iastor.sys)
TRIM is confirmed as running by using the command line and entering fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
- a response of disabledeletenotify = 0 indicates that TRIM is active.
We also make use of the excellent SSD Tweaker from elpamsoft
to disable Windows services such as Superfetch, Hibernation, System Restore and large system cache, in order to minimise their service's impact on drive performance.