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Severe Duty: OWC Extreme Pro RE vs Crucial RealSSD

Last updated April 29, 2010 - Send Feedback

Analyzing the Crucial RealSSD test, the results hinted that the RealSSD was on the verge of a nervous breakdown (based on behavior that I have seen before with the M225 line).

And so I decided to do one more test:

  1. Write 50 million 3K files;
  2. Erase the volume;
  3. Run DiskTester fill-volume.

Units: K = 1024, so the capacities in those terms are 190.7GB (200GB) and 244GB (256GB).

The 200GB/25GB capacity differential means that I was able to write 44.4 million 3K files (K=1024) to the 200GB OWC Mercury Extreme, and the full 50 million 3K files to the Crucial RealSSD. (The Mac OS X file system has some overhead which mean a 3K file actually takes about 5K on disk, and it begins to have pathological performance at about 99% capacity). Both drives were thus filled to about 99% of capacity, a fair test relative to capacity.

This severe duty test isn’t unrealistic for SSD usage, as I discussed earlier in this report. Anyone spending $700+ on a solid state drive clearly has a strong desire for top performance, since one can buy 8TB of fast storage for that price.

Wheat and chaff

It’s plain to see—

The Crucial 256GB RealSSD was “toast”. Writing at about 13MB/sec for most of its capacity, the Crucial RealSSD is on life support. While the RealSSD did maintain high read speed, so what? It became barely usable for any kind of activity involving writes; even just erasing it in Disk Utility took about 15 seconds, vs ~1 second when new. Worse, it stubbornly refused to respond to any kind of recondition treatment, so it was essentially a coaster.

The Crucial 256GB M225 was also “toast”. Read speed drops considerably over new, and write speed averages about 22MB/sec over most of the volume, thought that’s still much faster than the RealSSD. Although impaired, it responded quickly to reconditioning.

√ The OWC Mercury Extreme was unfazed, running at its same high speed for reads and writes. An amazing performance. Its performance marks an important milestone with solid state drives, that of consistent performance under heavy use, and OWC deserves huge credit for bringing this high quality product to market.

The OWC Mercury Extreme not only wins here, but totally blows away the “competition”.

Real world performance of solid state drives SSD
Speed across the volume
Green lines are OWC Mercury Extreme
Red lines are Crucial RealSSD. Lower red line is write speed for RealSSD

*Crucial and RealSSD are trademarks of Crucial


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