Intel X25-M G2 - Evidence of slowdown over time?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by danbt79, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. danbt79 macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Right - I'm a little concerned now. I have a G2 160Gb X25-M. I got it 3 days after they came out. Here's what it benchmarked in XBench after I cloned my old boot drive on to it:

    Results 244.50
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.7 (9J61)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBook5,1
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC
    Disk Test 244.50
    Sequential 157.68
    Uncached Write 127.38 78.21 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 132.50 74.97 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 133.19 38.98 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 406.24 204.17 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 543.99
    Uncached Write 658.21 69.68 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 245.50 78.59 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1367.26 9.69 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 971.69 180.30 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    ...and here's what it's scoring today, after a month of heavy use and a Snow Leopard upgrade:

    Results 169.45
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6 (10A432)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBook5,1
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC
    Disk Test 169.45
    Sequential 122.74
    Uncached Write 66.95 41.11 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 121.77 68.90 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 142.73 41.77 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 410.84 206.49 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 273.53
    Uncached Write 369.37 39.10 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 97.47 31.20 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1691.03 11.98 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 938.50 174.14 MB/sec [256K blocks]


    See the way the uncached write speeds have dropped right off - they've almost halved!?
    Anyone else think this looks like classic SSD slowdown? I thought these drives had garbage collection? Anyone else seeing this?
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    There have been discussions about this and from what I learned there can be an initial dip in performance but SSDs generally level off. You don't defrag an SSD (there is no head to move from sector to sector) so some are reporting the only way to really "defrag" your SSD is to wipe it. I am not sure this to be the accurate truth, but it is what I have read.

    Edit: I was just trying to remember the term for all of this but overall your SSD will dip in performance as you fill it but once you have everything on it the performance will level out. I think it's the initial addition of data that cases it to freak out and slow down. It's temporary.

    The world may not be ready for SSDs until they can understand their tech a bit more.
     
  3. fehhkk macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    How full is your drive?

    Since you cloned your old drive into the SSD, this might be the reason why.

    I would reinstall cleanly, and then restore files/data/apps from a time machine backup.
     
  4. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    Thanks Jessica, but I am aware of some slowdown in SSD's over time, and I also understand the causes. But this looks like a bit to much!

    (To simplify: To write out a page to an SSD the controller in MLC SSD's must read the contents of a block, erase that block, and then rewrite the modified contents (containing the new page) back into the block. Blocks with pages written to cause slowdown at write time, and this is what the TRIM command is all about - letting the drive know which information can be 'wiped' from the drive when it is deleted.)

    Now - I know that Snow Leopard doesn't support TRIM (yet?), and that I will get some slowdown, but I thought the X25-Ms had some internal cleaning routines that cut down on the slowdown?

    In any case, should the slowdown be almost %50 of write speed?

    I was not expecting this when I shelled out!
     
  5. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    Fehhkk : 125.75GB used, 33.95GB free. (Those are metric GB's by the way!)

    Cloning is not a problem. Exhibit A - initial write speeds after the clone were great.

    Drive free space is not the issue. Exhibit B - only about 3GB extra sitting on the drive since cloning.

    The drive has had a tough run though! I have been through a good few GB's of downloaded iTunes TV shows. I download an episode, then backup to my external once it's watched and delete it from the SSD.

    So every block will have been written to by now, I imagine. Hence the slowdown - but 50% slower on writes?? Really!?
     
  6. fehhkk macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #6
    SSD's tend to slow down when you write stuff, and then delete stuff. The reason you mention (downloading large files, and then deleting them) is what causes your SSD to slow down.

    Read this article and you will understand why: http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3531&p=10

    You should download directly to your storage drive, and not to the SSD.
     
  7. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    That's a fair point Fehhkk, downloading directly to external will cut down on writing to the SSD. However, I don't watch TV Shows at my desk where the external lives!

    Anyway, slowdown itself is not the issue - I understand I will get some, and I understand my pattern of use is not exactly optimal - but it's the level of slowdown I'm concerned about. I'm going to have a good trawl over the review at Anandtech to see how much the older Intels were slowing down by.

    (Anand is also almost finished on another 'state of the SSD' piece, so let's see what he has to say about the se new G2's when he pushes that live.)

    What I want to know is if anyone else with one of these new SSD's is seeing slowdowns of the amount I am seeing?
     
  8. TripleJJJ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #8
    Hi,
    here is the link to the last Anand's ssd article.

    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=22

    Check out the result of Random write speeds (new and used). The G2 outperforms any other drive and shows no slowdown at all over time. Maybe your ssd is broken. Did you try to run Xbench again?
     
  9. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9
    Thanks TripleJJJ - that's exactly what I was looking for! I'll take a look - I seem to remember reading that the Intel G2's suffered no slowdown - perhaps that's where I read it!

    I just benchmarked again:

    Results 188.58
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6 (10A432)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBook5,1
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC
    Disk Test 188.58
    Sequential 129.46
    Uncached Write 135.54 83.22 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 104.72 59.25 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 141.34 41.36 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 145.01 72.88 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 347.10
    Uncached Write 599.19 63.43 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 121.82 39.00 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1673.88 11.86 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 953.26 176.88 MB/sec [256K blocks]



    Looks like the same ballpark - 188 this time, 169 last time - down from an original 244.

    *sigh - looks like something could be wrong doesn't it?
     
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    #10
    Great read. I just got the assurance I needed to go ahead and get an Intel drive.
     
  11. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
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    #11
    It is a great read! Thought it was an older one, but it's the new 'State of the SSD' I mentioned earlier - didn't realise it had been published. Excellent article!
     
  12. TripleJJJ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #12
    Could be a problem related to Xbench not working properly in Snow Leopard, you should use another benchmark tool, known as compatible with SL. That's my guess.:)
     
  13. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #13
    TripleJJJ - great point! Do you know of any other benchmark tools? I have a copy of Geekbench, but afaik that doesn't test disk speeds.

    Anyone else out there have a 2nd generation Intel and running Snow Leopard who could run XBench?
     
  14. TripleJJJ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #14
    I have one but not installed yet, I'm still waiting for a new mbp.
    I found evidence that Xbench doesn't work properly with SL and SSD's.

    http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=427720

    You should try to use Quickbench, but I'm not sure it's compatible with SL, at least give it a try for comparison purpose !
     
  15. adamk77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #15
    hm. i've run xbench on my x25 160gb g2.
    i'm not having any issues.
     
  16. danbt79 thread starter macrumors member

    danbt79

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    TripleJJJ - good find that thread. I'll give quickbench a spin a little later, but at least it seems like Xbench is not 100% reliable (although it looks like issues were NOT specifically with the disk benching, it still leaves a question mark). Let me know how you get on once your shiny MBP arrives!

    adamk77 - that's not encouraging! Could you supply a little more information on how long you've had the drive, what you're running it in and what your XBench scores are? Thanks!
     
  17. adamk77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #17
    I've had the drive for a week now. I've only used 21 GB on it, so it's in new/unused state for the most part. My user directories are on the internal 320 GB HDD.

    I'm running Snow Leopard on a late 2008 aluminum unibody MBP, 2.53 GHz, 4 GB RAM. I'm only running the disk test.

    Here's the screen shot of xbench.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #18
    You're comparing on two different operating systems. Other people might use that same evidence to show that Snow Leopard is slower than Leopard! The point is that you're comparing Crab Apples to Honeycrisp Apples, and there are a lot of things that might be causing the change. These benchmarking programs cause more confusion than anything.

    The real test is how fast things happen? Do your Applications take more time to open? How fast does the machine start up compared to before? How fast do save or open operations take for big files? How fast do things pop onto the screen vs. previously?

    I have had a X25-M 160 GB for several months, and it blows my mind every day. I've never used Geekbench or Xbench or anything else. On the other hand, using any other Apple computer makes me want to pull my hair out because it's so slow compared to my speedy 2.26 Ghz MacBook.
     
  19. TripleJJJ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #19
    Here is my Xbench Result for the intel X25-M G2 on my MBP.

    Results 237.20
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.1 (10B504)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,5
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC
    Disk Test 237.20
    Sequential 150.54
    Uncached Write 138.07 84.78 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 134.40 76.04 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 104.10 30.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 438.32 220.30 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 558.93
    Uncached Write 684.95 72.51 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 246.69 78.98 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1690.92 11.98 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 950.98 176.46 MB/sec [256K blocks]


    It seems like XBench gives the same results in SL as in Leopard for me.
     
  20. xxnoelziexx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #20
    Intel 160gb g2.
    a few days old

    Results 276.06
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.1 (10B504)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,5
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC
    Disk Test 276.06
    Sequential 180.05
    Uncached Write 154.76 95.02 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 150.85 85.35 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 149.39 43.72 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 411.21 206.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 591.49
    Uncached Write 705.60 74.70 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 274.09 87.75 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1510.43 10.70 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 966.38 179.32 MB/sec [256K blocks]
     
  21. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #21
    Xbench can be weird with SSDs. I ususally have to run it three or four times before the numbers yield something consistent. Try repeating the benchmarks over and over again.
     
  22. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #22
    SSDs do slow down over time. Sort of.

    The more they've been written to the worse, and deleting doesn't matter, only a zero all data will bring them up to full speed.

    But it's normal, not super significant, and they're still faster than normal HDDs. It levels off.

    XBench sucks, by the way... it's not worth using for anything other than... well I guess if you're bored. But it's not a good or even reliable benchmark.
     
  23. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #23
    SSDs don't slow down their reads, only the writes. So there is no reason (even if the drive is full) for your SSD to slow down when reading.
     
  24. johnsosn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    #24
    I've had my 160 Postville since July.
    Mine did slow down, I used disk utility to erase free space twice.
    The speed came back.
     
  25. Saosin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #25
    I get similar results as you guys:
    Aren't these scores really low compared to Anand's testing in Windows? Especially random read, which is the most important test, is really yucky at 10-13MB/s compared to Anand's 58.5MB/s. That's almost six times what we get.

    This sucks...
     

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