SSD Buyer's Guide

Written by Harry Butler

July 8, 2010 | 14:23

Tags: #buyers-guide #recommended #ssd #what-ssd-should-i-buy

Companies: #bit-tech

SSD vs Hard Disks

It’s a little unfair to directly compare hard disk drives to SSDs - in the same way it’d be unfair to compare a rowboat to a powerboat - as they both do much the same thing, just in very different ways. Still, it's interesting to see advantages of switching to solid state storage in real-world circumstances.

*SSD Buyer's Guide SSD vs Hard Disks
SSD vs hard disk - FIGHT!

To demonstrate, we’ve run some simple real-world tests on our standard SSD test system. We’ve used one of the fastest SSDs we could get our hands on, a 240GB Corsair F240, which based on the SandForce SF-1200 drive controller, alongside two of the fastest hard disk drives: a Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB and a 600GB Western Digital VelociRaptor.

Boot Time

Windows 7 64-bit

  • Corsair Force 240 240GB
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB
  • Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB
  • 25
  • 48
  • 84
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Seconds (lower is better)

Booting Windows 7 is heavily reliant on access times, with the OS loading multiple services and programs from across the disk. As such, the Corsair F240, with read access times of less than 1/10th of a millisecond, took just 24 seconds to go from powered down system to fully functional desktop. In comparison, the SpinPoint F3, which has read access times of around 14ms, took 84 seconds - over three times as long as the SSD. Even the 600GB WD Raptor, with its 10,000rpm data platters, can only manage a boot time of 48 seconds.

STALKER: Call of Pripyat

Level Load

  • Corsair Force 240 240GB
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB
  • Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB
  • 24
  • 28
  • 32
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Seconds (lower is better)

Loading games is another area where SSDs have a big advantage, although this workload is more a combination of access time, sequential read and random read performance. Still, the Corsair F240 was very quick, loading the game 33 per cent faster than the SpinPoint F3 and four seconds quicker than the 600GB VelociRaptor.

Patch Application

Companies of Heroes v

  • Corsair Force 240 240GB
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB
  • Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB
  • 128
  • 182
  • 212
0
50
100
150
200
Seconds (lower is better)

Applying a large patch or update is a seriously demanding workload for any storage device, and the Company of Heroes v140 to v2101 patch is a monster, weighing in at over 1.8GB of writes and rewrites. The Corsair F240 managed the task in 128 seconds, in comparison to the SpinPoint F3’s 212 seconds and the 600GB VelociRaptor’s 182 seconds. This makes the SSD over 40 per cent faster than the quickest hard disk. It's this sort of performance improvement that makes SSDs so desirable.
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