Test Bench & Protocol
The SSD Review conducts a very thorough evaluation of every solid state drive and peripheral that we evaluate. A company may wish to advertise on The SSD Review parallel to a review of their product being conducted. In many cases, this is a wise move on behalf of the manufacturer as it allows interested readers to visit their links and, with respect to the site, it is simply a tool of survival.
All reviews are totally independent of any business relationship and all manufacturers are clearly explained such before any business is accepted.
The SSD Review stands by a very honest and ethical approach with manufacturers and will afford any manufacturer a draft copy of a review before print for comment. As well, should any unexpected results occur during testing, the manufacturer will be contacted in order to examine the results and discuss what has occurred.
No promise is given that the end result will not be published, however, every opportunity is afforded to the manufacturer to ship a new sample for review.
We have established a few guidelines for testing and these are as follows:
- specific testing will always be conducted a minimum of three times to eliminate any wildcard result;
- wherever possible, testing will be conducted with the OS in safe mode to eliminate any possiblility of software interference;
- in the case of testing startup times, all services and startups will be disabled to enable the purest boot time result which can be replicated by any person and similar results obtained;
- when established benchmarking software is utilized, the result will always be displayed as it is seen to avoid any doubt one may have with respect to unexpected scoring; and
- benchmark results will be confirmed through as many available software programs as possible.
SOFTWARE AND TEST PROTOCOL
Software used for testing by The SSD Review consists of Crystal Disk Mark, HDTune Pro, ATTO Benchmark, HDTach, along with FutureMark PCMark Vantage. The first four do a great job of showing us the numbers that we want to see, or don’t want to see in some cases, while PCMark Vantage x64 is an excellent program which recreates tests that mimic the average users activity, all the while providing a medium to measure each.
We also like to provide a bit of background to the reader that all SSDs are not created equal and this can have a confusing impression to users that are not aware of the intricacies of testing their SSD. SandForce SSDs utilize compression techniques in storage whereas many others do not. This presents a false portrayal of their ability when testing a SandForce SSD with software such as Crystal DiskMark-Random Data Mode or AS SSD.
A comparison of a Samsung, Crucial or Intel to the SandForce will result in the SandForce appearing to have inferior performance scores whereas, PC Mark Vantage HDD Suite will show the SandForce to be equal and sometimes better through synthetic testing that represents the users normal daily computing pattern.
This is followed with an accurate measurement for all tests that provides consistently accurate results across all SSD media. All comparison testing at The SSD Review is through use of this software.
Lets take a closer look at some of our equipment in the following pages: