Test System Setup
In order to maintain a strict protocol test platform we used the recent new release of Intel's C204 chipset mainboard the S1200BTL ATX format factor to ensure a baseline level platform. A simple but effective server mainboard which can be found in most office and basic to mid-range rackmounts server modules whether in pedestal or rackmount variations.
The Mainboard was supplied fully with the latest revision of BIOS (dated May 11, 2011) and firmware fully in place. Currently supporting 2 X SATA 6GB/s ports. This meant that the supplied SATA 6GB/s SSD’s, the spindle disc boot drive and supporting SSD’s of 6GB/s took full advantage of the new ratified standards and that the results would be unequivocally factual. We have used a wide diversity of solid state drives (SSD) from the manufacturers such as Intel and Micron, as well as Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB.
Our graphics card was no other than AMD's budget workhorse, the FirePro V5800.
- Intel Xeon E3-1280, 3.5GHz
- Akasa NERO2 Heatsink
- Intel ServerBoard S1200BTL, C204 Chipset
- AMD FirePro V5800 1GB
- 16GB Crucial Registered ECC DDR3-1333
- 600GB Western Digital VelociRaptor 6Gbps
- 250GB Intel SSD 510 Series
- 300GB Intel SSD 320 Series
- 40GB Intel SSD 310 Series
- 64GB Intel X25-E Extreme SATA SSD
- 80GB Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD
- 256GB Crucial C300 SSD
- 256GB Crucial m4 SSD
- Akasa Raptor Chassis
- SilverStone 1kW Power Supply
Systems Integrators, OEM’s and VAR’s should contact all companies directly for pricing and availability of all components. Members of the public should contact their retailers and e-tailers requesting the parts directly.Software Used for the Tests
- PCMark 7 Professional
- SiSoftware Sandra 2011 SP3
- ATTO (Current Build)
- Crystal Mark 3 (Current 64-bit Build)
- Cinebench 11.5
- POVRAY for Windows 3.7 RC3
- IOMeter Version 1.1.0 RC1
- Internal File System Test (10GB Data Set containing 2704 Folders within these folders a further 32,241 Various Files)
Each set of tests has been applied on the clean system hard drives shown above to ensure that no residue drivers were left installed with all updates/patches applied. A test/render has been completed many times over different periods of the system uptime. HyperThreading was left at the default of being enabled, Turbo Boost enabled and the memory timings left at Auto which showed a displayed 1333MHz in ECC mode. Tests have been conducted at a standard 1600x1200 @60Hz in 32-bit color. Results that have been shown within this paper are from the application/benchmarks first run and not of an average set of runs.
Each of the SSD’s listed above all have the latest manufacture’s firmware installed to obtain maximum performance. One item of concern that Intel has finally addressed is an issue with their SSD Management Tool Suite that allows end-users to address many daily and monthly slow down issues that are seen within the SSD.
There are other 3rd party software suppliers - Diskeeper for example - and Raxco's Perfect Disc that eliminate the issue, though these products are expensive. However within the enterprise remit these products do have to be taken extremely carefully as they can and so enhance the longevities of the life cycle of your drives whether spindle or that of the chosen SSD. When fully stacked up and the free option that Intel does supply is a very good first choice alternative, a practice many SSD manufacturers should seriously consider at point of sale.
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