ASUS Zenbook SSD Review – Not Necessarily SandForce Driven Hits A Speed Bump
Our testing is going to be very simple and straight forward. Each system was plugged in, turned on from brand new and then placed in high performance mode. We inserted our Super Talent RC8 , which contains so many of our favorite benchmark programs, started Ceedo and walked through several benchmark applications. You may remember our first use of this software and flash drive from last years trip to Computex where we were able to test several SSDs right then and there.
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.
The ‘SandForce Driven’ SSD displayed typical results of 556MB/s read and 508MB/s write while the Sandisk U100 had lower results at 490MB/s read and 272MB/s write. This may be an indication of the direction that we are travelling but, in all honestly, we were happy to see both SATA 3 SSDs performing at their specifications in an ultrabook. You definitely get points here ASUS.
Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of raw (0/1 Fill/compressible) or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Samsung SSDs have similar results regardless of the sample data and our test below shows the worst case test scenario with random or ‘highly incompressible’ data being transferred during the test.
For this test, the AData XM11 is the SSD on the left and the Sandisk U100 is on the right. We will display four results with the top two using highly compressible data samples while the bottom two use incompressible data samples:
These results were very concerning, especially with respect to the lower three U100 write transfer speeds of 21, 11 and 10MB/s. We were so concerned, in fact, that we did the tests several times and even rebooted the system and checked for any issues that might be hidden in the Device Manager. The results stand, however.
We expected the AData XM11 ‘SandForce Driven’ SSD to to drop in performance a bit when testing highly incompressible data but the U100 results remained to be very concerning, so much so in fact that we elected to follow through with AS SSD tests.