Fun with SSDs (xbench results inside: apple SSD, Intel X25, etc)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bm5, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. bm5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #1
    Got a chance to play with some SSDs. Ran some Xbench benchmarks and some general observations. One of the SSDs was crazy fast!

    the contenders are:
    1) Baseline: apple 5400rpm 250GB hard drive (fujitsu)
    2) Apple 128GB SSD (Samsung MLC)
    3) Intel X25-M 80GB SSD (MLC)
    4) Intel X25-E 32GB SSD (SLC)

    the machine is a late 2008 15" macbook pro with 2.8 processor and 4gb ram.

    For the tests I ran xbench 3 times for just the disk benchmark. I then averaged the results for the final score.

    Click on the below graph for the full size version
    [​IMG]

    As you can see from the results the Apple SSD is not really that much faster than a hard drive. In terms of subjective feel, it's a little snappier, but not clearly so. Some rough times:

    Apple (Fujitsu) HD Boot Time: Approx 1:05 - from power on to desktop
    Apple (Samsung) SSD Boot Time: Approx 58 sec

    Apple (Fujitsu) HD Launch Safari - about 3.5 sec, or 2 bounces of the icon on the dock.
    Apple (Samsung) SSD Launch Safari - about 1.5 sec or 1.5 bounces of the icon on the dock.

    I'm not sure it's worth $500 to upgrade to the Apple SSD.

    The Intels, on the other hand, have a clear performance advantage. The X25-M (MLC) 80GB makes the system feel significantly snappier. Boot time was about 50 sec, and safari launch was under a second (less than 1 bounce of the icon on the dock).

    What blew me away was the Intel X25-E (enterprise) drive. It's SLC, although only 32GB. Boot time was a insane 20 sec! and safari launch was instantaneous.

    Unfortunatley 32GB is probably too small for any kind of serious use. I see some people are modding their macbooks to replace the optical with a second hard drive. That would be ideal: the Intel X25-E for the system drive along with a second hard drive for data storage.

    Anyways, thought this community would enjoy seeing the results of high-end SSD testing.

    Let me know if you have any questions or would like me to run additional tests.
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    this is very impressive!!! these are amazing test results!!!

    can i ask, did you benchmark copying large files/folders? say a 4gb disk image, a 5gb file of photos etcetc? that would be quite interesting as i am constantly copying things from computers..would be nice to see how quick they are.
     
  3. mknawabi macrumors 6502

    mknawabi

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    #3
    I think you should do a 100MB write/read, that'll allow the buffer to fill on all drives and give us some real performance statistics. of course SSDs will blow away traditional hds on 4KB-256KB writes
     
  4. MGLXP macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    #4
    Wow...thank you for performing these tests, it really puts the performance of the Apple SSD (Samsung MLC) into perspective. The Intel SLC gives mind blowing performance!
     
  5. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #5
    Interesting results. I'm not sure what is going on with your boot times. My 2.8GHz with Apple SSD is booting in about 20 seconds. Not sure why yours takes so long. Even a hard disk boot takes less than 40 seconds.
     
  6. bm5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #6
    I'm timing from press of power switch to when the desktop appears. I get a gray screen for about 40 seconds before the apple logo shows up and the spinning round indicator shows up. From there it's about 20 seconds before the desktop appears (with the apple SSD).

    Are we comparing apples to apples? Or are you only counting from when the apple logo and spinning icon appear?
     
  7. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
    #7
    Surprise! Who saw this coming?! Typical Apple.

    Also, you might want to watermark through the data instead of the black text on plain white if you care about that kind of thing.
     
  8. omegasyn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    my intel SSD 80gb takes about 27 seconds to boot-up with everything loaded. Wonder how you got the 50 seconds.
     
  9. wesrk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    #9
    yeah boot time should not be that long, should it?
    I don't even have a SSD, I'm running the basic MBP config (early 2008), and from pressing the power button to the desktop showing is around 40 seconds.
     
  10. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #10
    Hmm, my boot times are from 28 to 33 seconds. Power button to desktop. It's an Air but it shouldn't make a 20 sec. difference.
     
  11. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Downtown San Diego
    #11
    I have an early 2k8 MBP. With the stock Fujitsu 5400/200 drive, it took 42 seconds from pushing the power button until desktop fully loaded (ie. holding the mouse cursor down and getting the dock to pop up). With a WD 7200/320, it now takes 39 seconds.
     
  12. bm5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #12
    long boot times

    ok weird, my mac stays at the grey screen for about 40 seconds before it even attempts to boot.

    anyways, cleared the pram and am seeing significantly increased boot times.

    with the apple SSD boot is now about 28 seconds.

    will give the other SSDs a try with the now cleared pram. weird that I would have to do that as it's a brand new system...
     
  13. portishead macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    los angeles
    #13
    Who has even done this yet with the new MBP? The power connector for the superdrive is not the same size as a hard drive.
     
  14. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #14
    I would guess your HD (or SSD) wasn't selected in the startup disk system preference. If your drive isn't selected it will hunt for whatever was last selected then search for any bootable volumes.
     
  15. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Downtown San Diego
    #15
    Based on the data in the graphs, the MLC drive was faster across the board in reads, no?

    But in actual usage the perception of the SLC drive was much faster, in booting, app launch, etc?
     
  16. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #16
    Wow...someone brought up the idea not too long ago of replacing the optical drive in the MBPs with an SSD...this really, really makes me want to try that.

    Then again, that 32GB Intel drive costs almost $800! :eek: There's also a 64GB one for $900.
     
  17. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #17
    The Intel X25-E is really a fantastic piece of technology. It should be even faster in the 64GB version. Although I very much doubt I could live with that little in a notebook.
     
  18. bloogersnigen macrumors regular

    bloogersnigen

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Wherever the water flows
    #18
    What if apple made the 17" MBP have two versions. With the optical and without. If you go without, you get, say, a generally better machine (8gb RAM?higher capacity batter?) and 2 HD slots. That would be phenomenal. Then you could have both a 64GB intel SSD and a 500GB HD.
     
  19. bm5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #19
    There's a thread over in the macbook (not pro) forum. They've found the right adapter cables and have fashioned a bracket out of aluminum flashing.

    I guess the X25-M (MLC) is slightly faster in reads, but in actual usage the X25-E (SLC) feels significantly faster. Perhaps it's because the SLC kills the MLC in terms of writes, with actual usage being a combination of both reads and writes.

    Or even better do what IBM (Lenovo) has been doing for years -- a universal bay. On my thinkpad I can put in either a optical drive, a second hard drive, or even a second battery. I doubt apple will do this though, it's much too pratical and would take away from the sleek lines...

    I really like the performance of the SLC drive, but alas 32GB is just too small. I'll probably put the 80GB MLC drive in there for day to day use.
     
  20. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #20
    I know, right? The UltraBay debuted with the first Thinkpad back in '92 or '93, if I'm not mistaken. 16 years later, Apple still can't take a hint. Part of me would hate to be an engineer for apple...

    Me: "Hey, here's a great idea! It would really enhance the practicality and flexibility of our machines and make us sell lots more!"
    Jobs: "Does it look good?"
    Me: "Well, sorta...I mean, if you did some laser cutting here, made a few modificat-"
    Jobs: "No good. Next!"

    wtf....

    One thing I'm wondering about your results...I don't understand why the X25-M consistently outperforms the -E for reads. It's not a density thing, as the density of an SSD should have no effect on performance (vs an HDD, where it does). Anyone have any ideas?

    Also, does xbench give you any raw data, as far as seek times or throughput? I'm curious to see if these drives can actually hit 250+MB/s or not.
     
  21. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #21
    I just made another thread about the x25 and the new Macbooks SATA controller. I'm getting about 230Gbps on my desktop with SATA2 yet on the Macbook it's max'ed at 170gbps like others are reporting (maybe all laptops)

    there appears to be a bottleneck

    profiler says STATA2 (or 3Gbps (previous MBP profile is 1.5Gbps)

    I know, it could be just a "supported' spec that that doesn't make much sense.

    there's an error somewhere.

    (point is: It sure would be nice to get Apple to update the Nvidia firmware to unlock the SATA controller if indeed it can go up to 3Gbps)
    I could understand why this would not be a priority for release as until this X25 nothing would use the extra bandwidth on a notebook.
    note (Perhpas the best course would be to look for the chipset specs to see if where the error is)
     
  22. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #22
    I have an early 90's G3 PB that has just that. A swappable optical, battery or 3.5 floppy in two front ports.
     
  23. omegasyn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #23
    I am getting the same result :/
     
  24. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #24
    There's complaints at the Lenovo forums about this also.

    Now that people are buying the X25.

    What kills me is the huge difference. The difference is like 2x a 5200 drive ....Just the difference!!! (230-170=60Gbps) :D

    I guess we are just going to have to wait untill more people make noise about as just a few voices on this issue amounts to nothing.

    Could be a while....:eek:
     

Share This Page