SATA III SSD Showdown: Which Solid State Drive is Fastest?

File Copy & Zip Test Results

Real-world results often differ from synthetic test results, so we developed a couple of tests to simulate how you would really use an SSD; copying and moving files, and zipping and unzipping files.

File Copy Tests

We timed two different file-copy operations on each drive. In the multi-file test, we copied 4.97GB of mixed-media files from one folder to another. In the single-file version, we duplicated a single 3.1GB file.

Drive Multi-File Copy Time (sec) Single File Copy Time (sec)
Samsung 830 Series (256GB) 25.3  13.0
Intel SSD 510 (256GB) 30.0  15.7
OCZ Vertex 3 (240GB) 32.3 23.0
Patriot Wildfire (240GB)  37.3 25.7
Samsung 470 Series (256GB) 49.3 24.0
Hitachi 7,200 rpm  137.0 71.7
Winner: Samsung 830 Series

Samsung’s 830 Series drive owned the competition in our file copy tests, beating its nearest competitor, the Intel SSD 510, by 15 percent in the multi-file copy and 18 percent in the single file copy. The two SandForce-based drives trailed by a wide margin. Due to its lower-bandwidth interface, the SATA II drive was also significantly slower.

Zip and Unzip Tests

We further taxed the SSDs by zipping 4.97GB of mixed-media files and then unzipping the resulting archive.

Drive Zip Time (mm:ss) Unzip Time (mm:ss)
OCZ Vertex 3 (240GB) 2:47 2:25
Samsung 470 Series (256GB) 2:58 2:28
Patriot Wildfire (240GB) 3:11 2:27
Intel SSD 510 (250GB) 3:24 2:17
Samsung 830 Series (256GB) 3:24 2:23
Hitachi 7,200 rpm 3:25 3:32
Winner: OCZ Vertex 3

When it comes to archiving, the OCZ Vertex 3 is king, taking 24 seconds less than its nearest SATA III competitor to build the ZIP file. Surprisingly, the SATA II-based Samsung 470 series actually built the ZIP faster than its SATA III successor. Intel’s SSD 510 offered a slightly faster extraction speed than the Vertex 3, but OCZ’s drive offers the best overall mix of performance on both tests.


Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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