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    April 23, 2010

     The SandForce SF-1200 tested in version 3.0.5
      Posted on 22/04/2010 at 14:41 by Marc
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    AnandTech, always right up to date with their SSD tests, have published a test of the OCZ Agility 2. This is an SSD based on the SandForce SF-1200 controller, with the final 3.0.5 firmware. The results are very good and this is no surprise: Intel and Indilinx have a very serious new competitor.

    What makes things even more interesting is that a forthcoming version of IOMeter, a piece of software often used to test hard drives and SSDs, will include the possibility of using random data in the test and this version has been tested.

    To recap, the SandForce SF-1200 controller uses a technology SandForce calls DuraWrite, which, among other things, compresses data written to the SSD. IOMeter and most other testing software use data that can be compressed a great deal, which isn’t necessarily the case with high-volume files used by every man and his dog (photos, video and so on).

    With this new option (the possibility of using random data in the test), the data used by IOMeter cannot be compressed which allows you to measure the impact of this type of data on DuraWrite exactly. In practice then, with random data on the SF-1200 you get 212.4 MB /s sequential reads and 144.4 MB /s sequential writes, as against 262.5 and 251.7 MB /s for data that can be compressed.

    For random accesses, reads go from 52.1 to 42.8 MB /s but writes strangely go from 44.2 MB /s to 46.3 MB /s, the peformances of the SF-1200 being limited at a software level here in comparison to the SF-1500. Without this software limitation, with firmware 3.0.1 for example, you go from 164.6 to 122.5 MB /s.

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