Though each gives a rather ideal view of performance, we ran two synthetic tests to get an idea of what each drive is capable of. CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 measures average read and write speeds for 1000MB of data stored in different block sizes. The PCMark Vantage HDD Suite performs eight different storage tests based on common tasks such as video editing, importing pictures, and adding music to Windows Media Player and then assigns a score (higher is better).
|Drive||Seq Read (MBps)||Seq Write (MBps)||Average|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||473.8||408.1||440.9|
|Intel SSD 510 (250GB)||448.4||328.6||388.5|
|OCZ Vertex 3 (240GB)||474||148.4||311.2|
|Patriot Wildfire (240GB)||452.6||134.1||293.4|
|Samsung 470 Series (256GB)||251.8||241.1||246.5|
|Hitach 7,200 rpm HDD||100.6||104.5||102.6|
Samsung’s 830 series blew away the competition with an average transfer rate of 440.9 MBps for sequential transfers, a full 13 percent faster than its nearest competitor, the Intel SSD 510. The OCZ Vertex 3, however, provided equivalent reads. We can also see that even the slowest reading SATA III SSD (Intel SSD 510) has a read transfer rate 78 percent higher than the leading SATA II drive. Write speeds on the Vertex 3 and Wildfire, however, were actually slower than those on the SATA II Samsung 470 Series.
CrystalDiskMark writes the data in a series of 512 kilobyte blocks, which more closely simulates writing a number of small files rather than one giant, contiguous piece of data.
|Drive||512K Read (MBps)||512K Write (MBps)||Average|
|Intel SSD 510 (250GB)||302.4||298.2||300.3|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||308.7||269.8||289.2|
|OCZ Vertex 3 (240GB)||385||137||261|
|Patriot Wildfire (256GB)||390.6||114.6||252.6|
|Samsung 470 Series (256GB)||185.7||233.9||209.8|
|Hitach 7,200 rpm HDD||38.19||49.52||43.9|
As the block sizes get smaller, performance numbers shrink below the sequential maximums. In the 512K block test, the Intel SSD 510 had the highest average transfer rate at 300.3 MBps and the fastest write speed at 298.2 MBPs. However, the Patriot Wildfire had, by far, the quickest reads at this size, returning a rate of 390.6 MBps.
Reading and writing in lots of small random blocks is probably the most common operation any drive performs as it does everything from opening programs to booting up, copying files, or accessing your Windows swap file. CrystalDiskMark measures 4K transfers in two ways: both with single-threaded writes and with 32 4-kilobyte transfers in the command queue at once to take advantage of the drives’ ability to perform many operations at the same time. Good results at a high-queue depth should translate into better multitasking.
|Drive||4K Read (MBps)||4K Write (MBps)||4K NCQ Read (MBps)||4K NCQ Write (MBps)||Average|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||19.4||48.9||252.9||95.5||104.2|
|Samsung 470 Series (256GB)||10.4||41||114.5||60.5||56.5|
|OCZ Vertex 3 (240GB)||23.6||9.9||124.9||62.1||55.1|
|Patriot Wildfire (240GB)||16.6||10.5||119.7||49.7||49.1|
|Intel SSD 510 (250GB)||11.7||34.0||75.1||40.9||40.4|
|Hitachi 7,200 rpm||0.5||0.7||0.7||0.8||0.7|
On the 4K tests, the Samsung 830 series simply dominated, with an average transfer rate of 104.2 MBps, nearly double its nearest competitor. In fact, the last-generation Samsung 470 series outpaced the three other SATA III drives. Still, even the slowest 4K performer, the Intel SSD 510, was 57 times faster than a 7,200-rpm hard drive.
This benchmarking suite, developed by Futuremark, tests hardware performance by automating a variety of common real-world scenarios, such as viewing and editing photos and transcoding audio and video.
|Drive||PCMark Vantage Score|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||41,203|
|Patriot Wildfire (240GB)||39,779|
|OCZ Vertex 3 (240GB)||38,472|
|Intel SSD 510 (250GB)||34,998|
|Samsung 470 Series (256GB)||25,014|
|Hitachi 7,200 rpm||4,282|
The Samsung 830 series got the top score on PCMark Vantage’s suite of storage tests, edging out the Patriot Wildfire and OCZ Vertex 3 by more than 1,000 points. The Intel SSD 510 trailed the pack by about 10 percent.