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Thread: Udma 7?




  1. #31
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    I almost bought one G2 for $229, but decided I needed more space and for $310 I could get 120GB so I had to choose that over the Intel.

    Nope, no RAID Cards here but I do not think the ICH10R is limiting anything as I have seen some benchmarks on it going up to 550-600MB/s which is about where the limit is

    I got to get a 4890 review done up first, then I plan to try to write up something on these drives because I know the prices are much more appealing so I think users would like to see how the perform. Gonna try to get in touch with G.Skill and Patriot for some DDR3 reviews as well, wish me luck

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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    The only area your RAID has a significant impact is sequential read and write, otherwise, non-RAID 0 wins. Here is my screen shot with ICH9R that may have bandwidth limiting or some other negative running SSD:

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    Sorry for the delay in resopnding, I was waiting until my X25-M arrived to answer.

    I recommended installing the Intel chipset drivers purely because sometimes people forget to install them when running AHCI. The chipset drivers also contain USB drivers etc that still need to be installed.

    To use the latest Intel AHCI drivers, you do indeed need to install the Intel Matrix Storage Manager. The AHCI driver included with Windows 7 is also an Intel written driver, but is a little older. Performance is good, but the latest AHCI driver is a tad faster, and definitely worth using.

    I must also correct my comment in my earlier post where I stated 37.3MB/s for random 4K writes to be slow. This is actually phenomenally fast. For example, an OCZ Vertex, which has double the sequential write speed of the X25-M only has a random 4K write of about 8MB, which is a hell of a performance gap. This means that for usage involving alot of sequential writes (video encoding etc) the Vertex is probably the better choice. For an OS and Programs/Games drive though, IMO the X25-M is a much better drive (which is why I bought one).

    Note that I do recommend you move the following to your mechanical drive to maintain the performance of the SSD via avoiding unnecessary write operations:

    • Page file
    • Temporary Internet files (cache)
    • Windows temp folders (alter the environment variables)


    Also I've disabled search indexing, as the drive is fast enough not to need it. Same goes for Superfetch. As the drive never needs to be defragmented (any normal disk defrag program won't actually defrag a SSD due to the way data is stored) disable scheduled defragmentation. You want to avoid all unnecessary writes to your SSD, especially ones using very small amounts of data. Se here for why: AnandTech: The SSD Anthology: Understanding SSDs and New Drives from OCZ

    The most important thing to do, if you haven't already, is to update the Intel drive to the latest firmware. This is VITAL. There were problems in all firmwares up to the latest version which could cause severe slow down on write operations (due to the nature of MLC flash). The new firmware prevents such slowdowns on new drives and also fixes the problem (after performing a long sequential write eg full format) on "used" drives that have "degraded". In short, the garbage collection algorithm has been fixed.

    You can get the latest firmware here: *Intel® SATA SSD Firmware Update Tool It's a universal tool that flashes both G1 and G2 drive versions (not sure what you have, G1 are black drives)

    Note that for the flash to be successful the CD-ROM drive used to boot to the flash program MUST be on the same controller as the SSD, and the SSD must be in AHCI, non native mode. Also the CD-ROM (according to intel) should be no more than two channels away from the SSD for some reason. This means if the SSD is on SATA_0, the CD-ROM should be on either SATA_1 or SATA_2. This is definitely the case as I did have my DVD drive on the JMicron, and the flash just hung. Re-tried twice until moving the drive to SATA_1 (SSD on SATA_0) when the flash completed in seconds.

    The following are screenshots of AS SSD:

    Stock AHCI drivers inc. with Win 7:



    Updated via Matrix Manager:



    Also running in IDE rather than AHCI causes a visible performance drop. Read speeds drop to ~225MB/s random reads/writes drop too but sequential write remains the same.
    There could be variations due to running different tests regardless of drivers. I am not saying your result cannot be related to different drivers, but simply that it could just be due to repeating the test.

    According to Anand, TRIM support will only work with Microsoft drivers at this time, which may eventually change. I know you can't use TRIM with your drive, Generation 1, but just sticking it in here.

    Over the long haul, I think TRIM will be an advantage for G2 over G1.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    I understand. You are right, there are always differences, which is why I run every bench I do on all things, be it HDD's, RAM (especially via Everest) and even general system benches like SuperPi. Although 3 runs isn't a huge amount, it does somewhat give an idea of trends. Those shots were both from the middle of the road results, ie in each there was a slightly faster result and a slightly slower one. I always show the good result rather than the best one just to give a fairer representation.

    In all tests, the latest AHCI driver was faster, just by varying amounts and more so in certain tests. I would say that the % difference between the stock and Matrix driver are the same as seen in the screen shots, but just the values differ slightly ofc.

    Again, due to having only the RC version, the stock driver that is loaded for my drive via AHCI is also an Intel one, even though there is a Microsoft driver available (version 6.1.7100.0 dated 21/06/2006). Not sure where the first Intel based driver came from or why it was installed over the MS one. The original Intel one is dated 6th May2009. For sure, if your drive supports TRIM then I'd always recommend using the compatible driver as it will be an advantage, more so than a few more possible MB/s on any test.

    From articles I've read, the difference between AHCI and IDE is present due to how close to the max spec of SATA 300 the drives get. Here it may be possible that NCQ is helping to aleviate a close to bottle necked situation. I know that 250MB/s is 50MB away from the 300MB/s limit, but as always, the theoretical maximum for a bus is kind of a "down hill, on a windy day with almighty God's blessing" type thing.

    TRIM, will definitely be advantageous. I'm sorry if I came across as dismissive of it, that wasn't my intent. It is definitely very useful. Especially if one's replaced their mechanical with SSD's and just uses it like a regular HDD. I was coming from the perspective that personally I'll only be using it as an OS and Apps drive, and intend on keeping at least 20GB of free space, so that there are some fresh NAND cells availible for some time after a fresh image has been done. If I find performance dropping over time, say even as regular as every 3 months, I'll do an image of the drive, use HDDErase on it, reset any necessary offset, and re-image. This is ofc much less convenient than TRIM. I do in a limited way wish Intel would implement TRIM on my G1, but I'm happy in the knowlewdge that I have at least one (slightly inconvenient) way to restore write performance.

    So yes, from my testing, assuming that the same pattern holds true for larger sample sizes (not saying it does, just that it should) then the possible throughput advantage of the Matrix driver is over shaddowed by being able to use TRIM on the MS driver. After all, those that paid for a G2 drive with TRIM support should get their money's worth by using all the features available to them.

    And I agree about RAID especially with SSD's. It's a big advantage for sequential operations, so if throughput's your need then go for it. Other aspects are impacted negatively though. The negotiation between the RAID controller and drive with deciding where to put data is tiny compared to mechanical seek times etc. However on a SSD, you may find the drive itself is twiddling its thumbs waiting for the RAID controller to decide what to do. I'm not sure how an expensive dedicated RAID card with its own cache would cope, but it does seem that the ICH9R/10R in a raid scenario may be... not struggling, but not as adept as a dedicated card.


    Good luck with getting hold of that DDR3 Lsdmeasap! The format of your last reviews was bang on the mark, so I'm looking forward to more of the same. The Crucials are nice and affordable, and do offer decent performance for the money.

    I do find it strange that they didn't send you a 5800 series, as the 4890 is now not such a great buy compared even to the 5770 for instance. Sure, performance on the 57xx series isn't as stellar as the 58xx's but price is really good and DX11 support may just be more advantageous than we think (hope so).
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  5. #35
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    So you guys test this Intel one, with the new GUI?

    9.5.0.1037
    http://www.station-drivers.com/telec...ivers.com).exe

    Thanks about the DDR3 reviews, makes me feel more comfortable that I am doing things the right way!

    I think they sent 4890 cause that is what I asked for, 5xxx had not been released yet, and it was my first contact with them. Should be finishing up testing on it this weekend, then I will redo the test against 3870 crossfire and then I will be starting on the review.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    No, I haven't tried that driver yet, but I'll give it a go later on when I have chance. As usual I'll test three times and compare against the current non-beta Matrix driver.
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  7. #37
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    Let me know what you think, I have yet to try it out. There is a discussion on OCZ forum about it, with opinions going both ways

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    I understand. You are right, there are always differences, which is why I run every bench I do on all things, be it HDD's, RAM (especially via Everest) and even general system benches like SuperPi. Although 3 runs isn't a huge amount, it does somewhat give an idea of trends. Those shots were both from the middle of the road results, ie in each there was a slightly faster result and a slightly slower one. I always show the good result rather than the best one just to give a fairer representation.

    In all tests, the latest AHCI driver was faster, just by varying amounts and more so in certain tests. I would say that the % difference between the stock and Matrix driver are the same as seen in the screen shots, but just the values differ slightly ofc.

    Again, due to having only the RC version, the stock driver that is loaded for my drive via AHCI is also an Intel one, even though there is a Microsoft driver available (version 6.1.7100.0 dated 21/06/2006). Not sure where the first Intel based driver came from or why it was installed over the MS one. The original Intel one is dated 6th May2009. For sure, if your drive supports TRIM then I'd always recommend using the compatible driver as it will be an advantage, more so than a few more possible MB/s on any test.

    From articles I've read, the difference between AHCI and IDE is present due to how close to the max spec of SATA 300 the drives get. Here it may be possible that NCQ is helping to aleviate a close to bottle necked situation. I know that 250MB/s is 50MB away from the 300MB/s limit, but as always, the theoretical maximum for a bus is kind of a "down hill, on a windy day with almighty God's blessing" type thing.

    TRIM, will definitely be advantageous. I'm sorry if I came across as dismissive of it, that wasn't my intent. It is definitely very useful. Especially if one's replaced their mechanical with SSD's and just uses it like a regular HDD. I was coming from the perspective that personally I'll only be using it as an OS and Apps drive, and intend on keeping at least 20GB of free space, so that there are some fresh NAND cells availible for some time after a fresh image has been done. If I find performance dropping over time, say even as regular as every 3 months, I'll do an image of the drive, use HDDErase on it, reset any necessary offset, and re-image. This is ofc much less convenient than TRIM. I do in a limited way wish Intel would implement TRIM on my G1, but I'm happy in the knowlewdge that I have at least one (slightly inconvenient) way to restore write performance.

    So yes, from my testing, assuming that the same pattern holds true for larger sample sizes (not saying it does, just that it should) then the possible throughput advantage of the Matrix driver is over shaddowed by being able to use TRIM on the MS driver. After all, those that paid for a G2 drive with TRIM support should get their money's worth by using all the features available to them.

    And I agree about RAID especially with SSD's. It's a big advantage for sequential operations, so if throughput's your need then go for it. Other aspects are impacted negatively though. The negotiation between the RAID controller and drive with deciding where to put data is tiny compared to mechanical seek times etc. However on a SSD, you may find the drive itself is twiddling its thumbs waiting for the RAID controller to decide what to do. I'm not sure how an expensive dedicated RAID card with its own cache would cope, but it does seem that the ICH9R/10R in a raid scenario may be... not struggling, but not as adept as a dedicated card.


    Good luck with getting hold of that DDR3 Lsdmeasap! The format of your last reviews was bang on the mark, so I'm looking forward to more of the same. The Crucials are nice and affordable, and do offer decent performance for the money.

    I do find it strange that they didn't send you a 5800 series, as the 4890 is now not such a great buy compared even to the 5770 for instance. Sure, performance on the 57xx series isn't as stellar as the 58xx's but price is really good and DX11 support may just be more advantageous than we think (hope so).
    Anand did say that the Intel driver would get support for TRIM in Q4 some time this year. Since Intel has not as yet released TRIM support for even G2 drives, it is a non-issue which driver one uses now.

    Are you saying Windows 7 RC installed an Intel driver dated 6th May2009 for AHCI?

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    Yes, I'm posative there was an Intel driver being used before I installed the Matrix Manager. I did install the Intel Chipset drivers though before I even downloaded Matrix Manager. Whether or not there is an AHCI driver in that package, I don't know, but I thought not. The RC itself was made available in May, so it may have been a last ditch inclusion. I know Intel released a signed beta AHCI driver for Win 7 in July, so it could have been a rudimentary version of that driver (earlier build). I'll find out for sure when I test Win 7 Ultimates drive image program to restore a secure erased SSD.

    I'll be running some tewsts on how best to image and re-image my SSD at the weekend, so I'll double check when I restore the original image (OS and updates, plus GPU driver only).

    Yes, as you say, for now, any driver is fine, because TRIM isn't implemented in the G2 drives firmware. I'd probably just use the best performing AHCI driver for now, and then switch just after I flash to TRIM supporting firmware (if I owned a G2), but any thing's OK at the moment.

    I'm going to test those beta drivers Lsd linked to. I'll include a screenshot of the MS driver, the official Matrix and this beta. As with all my tests, I'll conduct each in the following way:

    From a clean restart
    Using "Game Booster" to shut down all necessary services ( Game Booster | Faster Play, Free Download | Free Game Accelerator Download ) The program is a bit like the old "End it All" before it went paid for rather than freeware.
    All tests repeated three times with 1 minute between each to allow any possible residual activity to stop.

    Note that it should be reasonably accurate. If I get a glut of radically different results from the same driver, I'll re-install it and re-do the above steps. If necessary I will increase the sample size to 5 runs, but I think I'll have no problems. I'd use something more real world like PCMark Vantage if I had a copy, but I don't at the moment.


    EDIT*** According to opinion here http://forums.anandtech.com/messagev...readid=2331289 the G2 firmware does already support TRIM, but they may be wrong.
    Last edited by Psycho101; 10-17-2009 at 03:21 AM.
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  10. #40
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    Default Re: Udma 7?

    OK, so I tested all three availible drivers, including the beta ones Lsdmeasap posted. Mixed results really.

    The beta drivers seemed to be the worst of the bunch figures wise. Also on the random 4K write and 4k-64kThrd write tests, there was a large amount of stuttering present. This stuttering was also present on the Microsoft drivers, but non existent when using the Intel Matrix driver.

    A brief description of the stuttering: A couple of seconds of inactivity at ther start of the test, followed by figures of ~0.14MB/s for a couple of seconds, then rising to 4.5 something MB/a, then finally shooting up to 48-59MB/s.

    I repeated the tests again (laboriously installing and uninstalling drivers), and STILL the stutter in the MS and Beta drivers remained. It varied a bit, but not by much. I even removed my HDD and CD-ROM to the JMicron controller, and the same issue.

    All test results shown are indicative of the over all trend present with the different drivers. For example on all tests, the new beta drivers gave lower sequential read than the other two, always at 3230-233MB/s.

    To look at the screenshots, there's not alot in it really. However as far as "feel" goes, the Matrix driver is my preference. The PC seems more responsive. I'm not going to make too much of this conclusion as "feel" can't be quantified. I just suggest making a choice based on trying all the available options.

    Screenshots of the most reflective test from each driver in order of Microsoft, Intel official, Intel beta:






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