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Ssd Benchmarking

There are a lot of sites and programs out there that are touting how important benchmarks are to your SSD and I agree, to a point. One of the problems in most benchmarking programs is equalization of results.
My benchmark will NEVER equal yours unless we have the exact same hardware and software installed, including drivers, etc. They DO give a good general indication of potential performance if we follow a few ground rules to try to keep things equal as follows:

REMEMBER: Over 95% of Windows 7 are READS, we need to be mainly concerned with READ speed.

1) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT do the write benchmarking often. Each memory cell on a SSD has a set number of times it can be written to. The controller keeps track of the number of writes to a cell and makes it read-only when this value is met or exceeded. Most of the write benchmark programs out there write all across the SSD several times to every open cell either at the block level or file level then erase the block/file. Then the controller is left to clean up the mess, hurting performance and drive life. I watched an OCZ tech burn out one of their SSDs running write benchmarks over and over for several days non-stop. The drive became read-only after a slowdown of 98%.
2) To eliminate the differences in services running, software installed, work-loads, etc. do your READ testing in SAFE MODE. This mode has the least things interfering with the READ test.
3) Lets settle on a bench-marking tool that can do no harm. Personally, I use HDTUNE 2.55 free (not pro): http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe
It does not even have write testing installed in the program.
3A) Lets all use the same testing parameters (settings) in the program. In HDTune 2.55 free, click the options icon at the top next to the diskette icon. Click on the Benchmark option and select 8 MB block size. You can also move the slider up to fast, since we are testing an SSD and the 'accurate' setting makes no difference in the benchmark stats on an SSD (just takes longer to get results).
4) Run the benchmark 3 times, writing down results after each run. Use the highest one. Even in safe mode, there are services running that can throw off a read benchmark, so running 3 of them gets you inside the 'service free' window.

We can then go to safe mode and run the benchmark and see. Here is mine:
WEI (Windows Experience) Hard Disk score: 7.2
HDTUNE: Minimum 189.1, Maximum 247.4, Average 225.5, 0.1 ms, 181.1 Burst.

Next, we cover free tools to help keep things smooth.

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