Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crucial M4 and Samsung 840 performance review

The SSD market is one of the thing I have found interesting to follow last year, and, while I know this blog is oriented on system administration topics, I am always pleased to share the results of the tests I do on new hardware.

To start off, I must say I am happy with my new NAS configuration (based on a underclocked Intel G530, 4 GB of low cost RAM and a Crucial M4 64 GB). Nonetheless, I took the chance to test three new SSD when I was offered to, also because the model I got are some of the best on the market and many people could be interested in a comparison.

The three disks I tested with the freeware AS SSD (which is to me the best workstation SSD benchmarks available at the moment) are:
As a reminder, the results I got one month ago with the Crucial M4 64 GB (model M4-CT064M4SSD1) in AHCI mode under Windows 2012 where:
  • 504 MBs in sequential read
  • 110 MBs in sequential write
  • 727 as final score
Needless to say, this drive was outperformed by the three new drives I have received.

Let's start with the Crucial M4 128 GB.
The main difference between the 64 GB and the 128 GB version is the noticeably higher sequential write of the 128 GB (and if you want to know why, you better read this excellent article on Tomshardware):
  • 509 MBs in sequential read
  • 201 MBs in sequential write
  • 810 as final score

Moving to the Samsung 840, which boasts  the 4th generation tri-core Cortex-R4 controller, I was even more impressed:
  • 525 MBs in sequential read
  • 253 MBs in sequential write
  • 1045 as final score
Here you can see that the 840 is faster than the other tested drives in every run.

As for the Samsung 840 Pro, it outspaced all the other drives in terms of sequential write speeds.
  • 524 MBs in sequential read
  • 505 MBs in sequential write
  • 1232 as final score
Now that you know all these figure, know also that these values in sequential read and sequential write are not what you should be interested in if you are going to buy a new SSD to use for storing the operating system. This is because random 4k speeds reads are the kind of operations OS and other software do most. It is the ability to perform 4K reads quickly that makes SSDs feel so fast if compared to HDDs, not the doubling of sustained transfer which most drives are advertised on.

So back into comparison mode, but for random reads and writes this time:

Crucial M4 64 GB
  • 4K reads    23 MBs
  • 4K writes    57 MBs
Crucial M4 128 GB
  • 4K reads    27 MBs
  • 4K writes    86 MBs
Samsung 840 250 GB
  • 4K reads    30 MBs
  • 4K writes    116 MBs
Samsung 840 PRO 256 GB
  • 4K reads    38 MBs
  • 4K writes    124 MBs
Here's the screenshots from AS SSD, for more details.

Cucial M4 128 GB

Samsung 840 250 GB

Samsung 840 PRO 256 GB
The Samsung 840 PRO was by far the real winner of my tests, almost doubling the random read speed compared to my Crucial M4 64 GB. So I decided to keep it as operating system drive, also because the power consumption fell of ~1 watt. Now I am peacefully sitting to 26 watts at idle!

Ok I have to go: Owncloud 4.5.6 is out. and I am going to test it out right away!

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