Test Setup & Timing Test
The drives will be tested on our recently revamped storage testbed. The main changes are the faster Core i5-2500K processor and an accompanying Z77 motherboard which has native Thunderbolt connectivity.
- Intel Core i5-2500K (3.3GHz)
- ASUS P8Z77 Pro Thunderbolt (Intel Z77 chipset)
- 2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 memory
- MSI GeForce 8600 GTS
- Windows 7
We have also revised our benchmarks, ditching older benchmarks such as HD Tune and also including an all new timing test to better evaluate the drive’s real world performance.
The list of benchmarks used are as follows:
- AS-SSD benchmark 1.7.4739
- CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1
- PCMark 7 (Storage suite)
- Iometer (version 2006.07.27)
- Timing Tests (Cold start, Reboot, Apps Launching)
Apart from the Crucial M500 and Samsung SSD 840 EVO, we have also included results of some of the quickest drives in the market today to give an idea of where the two mainstream drives stand in the greater hierarchy of things. We are also interested to see how the new SSD 840 EVO performs against the flagship SSD 840 Pro. Will the newer and faster MEX controller be able to make up for the use of slower TLC NAND?
- Crucial M500
- Samsung SSD 840 EVO
- Samsung SSD 840 Pro
- Plextor M5 Pro Extreme
- OCZ Vector 150
- SanDisk Extreme II
Looking at our timing tests, we can say that compared to the Samsung SSD 840 EVO, the Crucial M500 was faster on a whole. From a cold start, the Crucial M500 managed to boot up a whopping 2.6 seconds faster - which is considerable for SSDs. It was also faster at rebooting the system, managing 27.8 seconds compared to the SSD 840 EVO’s 28.4 seconds. However, when it came to launching apps, the SSD 840 EVO was three-tenths of a second faster.
In addition, if we were to compare the timings of these two drives against the top tiers drives - such as the Samsung SSD 840 Pro, OCZ Vector 150 and Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme - we can see an appreciable gulf in performance. In practical terms, a couple of seconds may not be much, but it shows that you do pay for what you get and that the premiums that these top tier drives command is not without good reason.