Along with an array of flash drives, we've included the Western Digital Velociraptor 1TB 10,000RPM hard drives for comparison's sake. Other SSDs tested have controllers from LSI, JMicron, Intel, Marvell, Toshiba and Samsung. Our testing suite consists of four synthetic benchmark programs along with our own file copying and load time tests.

As you likely know, while manufacturers claim impressive peak I/O performance out of the box, this performance can diminish over time. Unlike a conventional hard drive, any write operation made to an SSD is a two-step process: a data block must be erased and then written to. Obviously if the drive is new and unused there will be nothing to erase and therefore the first step can be bypassed, but this only happens once unless the drive is trimmed.

Considering this, we run the HD Tach full benchmark several times to fill the drive before testing. This simulates heavy usage and clearly indicates how performance will be affected after normal long-term use.

Most drives support the TRIM function, which is meant to counteract these negative effects.

Test System Specs

  • Intel Core i7-4770K (LGA1150)
  • x2 4GB DDR3-1600 G.Skill (CAS 8-8-8-20)
  • Asrock Z97 Extreme6 (Intel Z97)
  • Silverstone Strider Series (700w)
  • Western Digital Velociraptor 1TB
  • Intel SSD 750 Series 1.2TB
  • Plextor M6e 256GB
  • Samsung SM951 512GB
  • Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung SSD 850 Evo 500GB
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB
  • OCZ Vector 150 240GB
  • Crucial MX 200 1TB
  • Gainward GeForce GTX 780 (3072MB)

Software

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit)
  • Nvidia Forceware 347.88