To get an idea of each drive’s maximum capability, we ran two synthetic tests. The PCMark Vantage HDD suite performs a series of common storage workloads, including video editing and adding music to Windows Media Player, then assigns a score where higher is better. CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 measures read and write speeds using a 1000MB file that’s stored in three different block sizes.
|Drive||Seq. Read (MBps)||Seq. Write (MBps)||Sequential Average|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||473.8||408.1||441.0|
|Kingston HyperX SH100S3 (240GB)||477.2||299.4||300.3|
|Intel SSD 520 (240GB)||481.4||289.4||385.4|
|SanDisk Extreme (240GB)||479.3||275.3||377.3|
|Patriot Pyro SE (240GB)||402.7||190.6||336.7|
|Hitach 7,200 rpm HDD||100.6||104.5||102.6|
This test measures pure read and write throughput under optimal conditions, where the file is one large block. Patriot’s Pyro SE had the fastest read time by a narrow margin, but its low write rate brought down its average. The Intel and SanDisk drives both provided solid performance, but only the Samsung 830 Series managed to achieve a write speed above 400 MBps, which gives it the best combination of sequential read and write times.
Winner: Samsung 830 Series
|Drive||512KB Read (MBps)||512KB Write (MBps)||512KB Average|
|Kingston HyperX SH100S3 (240GB)||397.4||298||347.7|
|SanDisk Extreme (240GB)||410.1||269.6||343.9|
|Intel SSD 520 (240GB)||380.4||271.4||325.9|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||308.7||269.8||289.3|
|Patriot Pyro SE (240GB)||420.7||130.1||279.4|
|Hitach 7,200 rpm HDD||38.2||49.5||43.9|
Most of the time, we’re not writing one huge contiguous file, but lots of pieces of data. The 512KB block test more closely simulates this common situation. When writing smaller 512KB chunks, the Patriot Pyro SE again had the fastest read speed, though its sub-200 MBps write speed slowed it down. Because of its blazing-fast writes, the Kingston HyperX SH100S3 proved superior at this block size.
Winner: Kingston HyperX SH100S3
|Drive||4K Read (MBps)||4K Write (MBps)||4K OD32 Read (MBps)||4K OD32 Write (MBps)||Average|
|Intel SSD 520 (240GB)||19.46||46.81||234.9||262.5||140.9|
|SanDisk Extreme (240GB)||20.5||45.4||215||234.5||130.9|
|Kingston HyperX SH100S3 (240GB)||27.95||47.51||106.6||251.0||120.5|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||19.4||48.9||252.9||95.5||104.2|
|Patriot Pyro SE (240GB)
|Hitachi 7,200 rpm||0.5||0.7||0.7||0.8||0.7|
Today’s desktop operating systems read and write in small 4K blocks more often than 512K or larger chunks. CrystalDiskMark tests both the drive’s ability to read and write 4K blocks in a single thread and in a 32-operation command queue. A strong transfer rate at high-queue depth should translate into better
multitasking performance. Though the Kingston HyperX SH100S3 performed the best in the single-threaded scenario, the Intel SSD 520 outperformed it when using the command queue.
Winner: Intel SSD 520
|Drive||PCMark Vantage Score|
|Intel SSD 520 (240GB)||45,271|
|Kingston HyperX SH100S3 (240GB)||44,701|
|Patriot Pyro SE (240GB)||37,510|
|Samsung 830 Series (256GB)||41,203|
|SanDisk Extreme (240GB)||43,844|
|Hitachi 7,200 rpm||4,282|
Futuremark’s benchmark suite measures storage drive performance by performing a number of tasks, including editing photos and transcoding video, then assigning a score. A higher number is better. The Intel SSD 520’s score of 45,271 narrowly edged out the Kingston HyperX SH100S3 by 520 points. The SanDisk Extreme and Samsung 830 Series also offered strong scores above 40,000 points, but the Patriot Pyro SE clearly trailed the field with its mark of 37,518.
Winner: Intel SSD 520