To get a good idea of SSD performance, both out of the box and following extended use, we've adapted our TRIM testing methods from previous SSD reviews. Drives are tested in both a 'clean' new state having been reset to factory performance by HDDerase
, as well as a 'used' state.
To simulate a protracted heavy workload, we first connect the drives to a secondary system running without
TRIM support and copy the entire 100GB contents of the C: drive over to the SSD. These files include operating system files, multiple game installs, MP3s and larger video files – the typical contents of a current hard disk. Once the write to the SSD is completed, these files are then deleted and the process repeated ten times, resulting in over 500GB of data being written to our SSDs.
We then move the SSD back to the test system (filled from the last write), and clear the drive with a standard Windows Delete command, followed by an emptying of the Recycle Bin to ensure the TRIM command had been triggered. The drive is then left for an hour to ensure the TRIM command and any garbage collection algorithms had been completed, before being retested using our new suite of benchmarks.
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We've listed the common hardware used for our test setup below:
- Intel Core i7-920 (operating at 2.66GHz – 20 x 133MHz) - TurboBoost and power saving states disabled
- Gigabyte X58A-UD7 motherboard (Intel X58 with ICH10R Southbridge, USB 3 and Marvell SATA 6Gbps)
- 3x 2GB Corsair XMS3 1,333MHz DDR3 memory
- Nvidia GeForce GT 240 512MB
- PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W PSU
- Windows 7 Home Premium x86-64
- Nvidia Forceware 196.21 WHQL
- Stock Windows AHCI driver (msahci.sys)
TRIM is confirmed as running by using the command line and entering fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
- a response of disabledeletenotify = 0 indicates that TRIM is active.