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ZOTAC Premium Edition 480GB SSD Review

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Since their inception in 2006, Zotac has made a name for itself as being a company that is not afraid to push the limit. When other companies looked upon the small form-factor ‘barebones’ PCs as the red headed stepchild who suspiciously looked like the mailman, Zotac was there blazing a trail for others to follow with their Z-Box. More recently they have been known for creating some cutting edge, factory overclocked video cards that are arguably some of the best available today.

Ironically, after the SSD market went through some contraction in 2014 and parts of 2015, new companies are suddenly coming out of the woodwork with new models and lineups. Zotac is one of those and while they are no strangers to the SSD marketplace some of their latest products are making folks sit up and take notice. Granted, they are somewhat latecomers on the scene but this has never stopped Zotac before and they are quickly making up for lost time.


At this time Zotac actually offers numerous Solid State Drive models, but the one series that quickly gained knowledgeable enthusiasts’ attention is the Premium Edition. This series blends mainstream performance, with value orientated prices to create a unique blend of the two. Essentially, we see this as a direct competitor to the established and highly regarded Crucial MX200 and rather impressive PNY XLR8 CS2211 which we covered a few weeks ago. It also sits just below Zotac’s own T500 series which boasts slightly faster specifications.

The ZOTAC Premium Edition series is offered in two sizes while oddly skipping the key 960GB to 1TB market, and today we will be taking a close look at the large 480GB model. The 480GB capacity version has an online average asking price of $160 (or a reasonable 33 cents per Gigabyte), comes standard with a three-year warranty, is powered by the PHISON PS3110 controller, and best of all uses MLC NAND rather than the TLC version we’re so used to seeing on today’s mainstream SSDs.

Two important things to note about the chart above are the Random Performance and NAND Endurance columns. Unlike other manufacturers, Zotac rates their SSDs' Random Read / Write performance in Mb/s rather than the industry standard IOPS. In addition, you will notice the endurance rating for this drive sits at a stratospheric level when compared against very similar competitors (more on this down below) from Kingston and PNY. This may be down to different testing methodologies at Zotac or possibly a firmware enhancement we aren't aware of but we recommend you take the comparative abilities of this column with a grain of salt.


If all of this sounds eerily familiar, it is because it is. Zotac are not trying to push boundaries with this new series and rather are simply trying to prove to conservative consumers that they are serious about the SSD market. They’re building some street cred before putting out a full court press across various pricing segments. Put another way this is the foundation model upon which more exotic series – like their recently released SONIX – are going to be built upon.


This conservative approach is further carried over to the overall aesthetics of this model. A flat black color scheme with simple lettering may not be attention-getting but is perfectly suited for a wide variety of cases and useage scenarios.


More importantly the ZOTAC Premium Edition 480GB makes use of an all-metal chassis that conforms to the 7mm z-height, 2.5” form-factor standards. The only issue with this choice is that Zotac does not include a 2.5mm adapter, or 3.5” adapter plate, nor do they even include any back up / cloning software. All that you will find inside the shipping container, besides the drive, is four mounting screws.


While it may look like a full length PCB design – as the Premium Edition does use a full length PCB- the Zotac engineers opted for a half-length board design and then later simply expanded the PCB to completely fill the space. Hence, this SSD can only make use of up 8 NAND ICs which does give the controller a good level of NAND interleaving to make use of. We have to wonder what a 960GB model will look like should Zotac ever choose to release one.


Interestingly enough Zotac has chosen to not populate the secondary RAM IC location and instead the 480GB capacity makes use of one 256MB NANYA DDR3 chip. 256MB of cache is fairly typical for PHISON based models and is the same amount as PNY or Kingston use in their similar 480GB versions – even if they use two ICs instead of one.

Also of note is that unlike other companies who use cutting edge 15nm Toshiba Toggle MLC NAND ICs, Zotac has kept to the older 19nm chips. The use of older, slightly less capable NAND, does explain the slightly lower performance specifications of this model versus some competitors. However, this combination is exactly what Kingston and their HyperX Savage series uses, so the difference between this model and say the PNY XLR8 CS2211 should not be all that drastic.
 
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AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Test System & Testing Methodology

Testing Methodology


Testing a drive is not as simple as putting together a bunch of files, dragging them onto folder on the drive in Windows and using a stopwatch to time how long the transfer takes. Rather, there are factors such as read / write speed and data burst speed to take into account. There is also the SATA controller on your motherboard and how well it works with SSDs & HDDs to think about as well. For best results you really need a dedicated hardware RAID controller w/ dedicated RAM for drives to shine. Unfortunately, most people do not have the time, inclination or monetary funds to do this. For this reason our test-bed will be a more standard motherboard with no mods or high end gear added to it. This is to help replicate what you the end user’s experience will be like.

Even when the hardware issues are taken care of the software itself will have a negative or positive impact on the results. As with the hardware end of things, to obtain the absolute best results you do need to tweak your OS setup; however, just like with the hardware solution most people are not going to do this. For this reason our standard OS setup is used. However, except for the Windows 7 load test times we have done our best to eliminate this issue by having the drive tested as a secondary drive. With the main drive being an Intel DC S3700 800GB Solid State Drive.

For synthetic tests we used a combination of the ATTO Disk Benchmark, HDTach, HD Tune, Crystal Disk Benchmark, IOMeter, AS-SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities and PCMark 7.

For real world benchmarks we timed how long a single 10GB rar file took to copy to and then from the devices. We also used 10gb of small files (from 100kb to 200MB) with a total 12,000 files in 400 subfolders.

For all testing a Asus Sabretooth TUF X99 LGA 2011-v3 motherboard was used, running Windows 7 64bit Ultimate edition. All drives were tested using either AHCI mode using Intel RST 10 drivers, or NVMHCI using Intel NVMe drivers.

All tests were run 4 times and average results are represented.

In between each test suite runs (with the exception being IOMeter which was done after every run) the drives are cleaned with either HDDerase, SaniErase or a manufactures 'Toolbox' and then quick formatted to make sure that they were in optimum condition for the next test suite.

Processor: Core i7 5930K
Motherboard: Asus Sabretooth TUF X99
Memory: 32GB Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
Hard Drive: Intel DC S3700 800GB, Intel P3700 800GB
Power Supply: XFX 850

SSD FIRMWARE (unless otherwise noted):

OCZ Vertex 2 100GB: 1.33
Vertex 460 240GB: 1.0
Intel 7230 240GB: L2010400
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB:DXM06B0Q
Plextor M6e 256GB: 1.03
AMD R7 240GB: 1.0
Crucial MX200: MU01
G.Skill Phoenix 480GB: 2.71
Intel 750: 8EV10135
Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB: 0C34L5TA
Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB: SAFM00.r
OCZ Trion 480GB & 960GB: SAFM11.1
AData XPG SX930 240GB : 5.9E
AData SP550 240GB: O0730A
PNY CS2211: CS221016
PNY CS1311: CS131122
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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="41" Name="Plain Table 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="42" Name="Plain Table 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="43" Name="Plain Table 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="44" Name="Plain Table 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="45" Name="Plain Table 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="40" Name="Grid Table Light"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" 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Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Mention"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:15.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman",serif;} </style> <![endif]-->

Toshiba TC58 controller:
OCZ Trion 480GB & 960GB - Custom firmware w/ 19nm Toggle Mode TLC NAND

Samsung MDX controller:
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB- Custom firmware w/ 21nm Toggle Mode NAND

SandForce SF1200 controller:
OCZ Vertex 2 - ONFi 2 NAND

SandForce SF2281 controller:
G.Skill Phoenix 480GB - Custom firmware w/ 128Gbit ONFi 3 NAND

Marvell 9183 controller:
Plextor M6e 256GB- Custom firmware w/ 21nm Toggle Mode NAND

Marvell 9189 controller:
Crucial MX200 - Custom firmware w/ 128Gbit ONFi 3 NAND

Marvell 9293 controller:
Kingston HyperX Predator - Custom firmware w/ 19nm Toggle Mode NAND

Barefoot 3 controller:
AMD R7 (M00) - 19nm Toggle Mode NAND w/ custom firmware
OCZ Arc 100 (M10) - 19nm Toggle Mode NAND

Intel X25 G3 controller:
Intel 730 - Custom firmware w/ ONFi 2 NAND

Intel NVMe G1 Controller:
Intel 750 - Customer firmware w/ MLC 20nm NAND

Phison PS3110 Controller:
Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB - 19nm Toggle Mode NAND
PNY CS2211: 15nm Toggle Mode NAND
PNY CS1311: 19nm TLC NAND
ZOTAC Premium Edition: 19nm MLC

JMicron JMF670H Controller:
AData XPG SX930 240GB - ONFi 3 NAND

SMI SM2256 Controller:
AData SP550 240GB - TLC NAND

Special Thanks to Crucial for providing the memory for this testbed.
 
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AkG

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5,274
Read Bandwidth / Write Performance

Read Bandwidth


<i>For this benchmark, HDTach was used. It shows the potential read speed which you are likely to experience with these hard drives. The long test was run to give a slightly more accurate picture. We don’t put much stock in Burst speed readings and thus we no longer included it. The most important number is the Average Speed number. This number will tell you what to expect from a given drive in normal, day to day operations. The higher the average the faster your entire system will seem.</i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/read.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>


Write Performance


<i>For this benchmark HD Tune Pro was used. To run the write benchmark on a drive, you must first remove all partitions from that drive and then and only then will it allow you to run this test. Unlike some other benchmarking utilities the HD Tune Pro writes across the full area of the drive, thus it easily shows any weakness a drive may have.</i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/write.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

As expected both the read and write sequential performance of the ZOTAC Premium Edition is very good relative to its price range. We doubt anyone would notice much difference between this drive and competing alternatives like the Crucial MX200 in this regard. For most people this drive will bottleneck their existing storage device long before this theoretical performance ability is reached.
 
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AkG

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ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark


<i>The ATTO disk benchmark tests the drives read and write speeds using gradually larger size files. For these tests, the ATTO program was set to run from its smallest to largest value (.5KB to 8192KB) and the total length was set to 256MB. The test program then spits out an extrapolated performance figure in megabytes per second. </i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/atto_r.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/atto_w.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

Due to its combination of good NAND and a competent controller, the performance curves of the ZOTAC Premium Edition 480GB solid state drive are quite impressive. With that said we have highlighted (in white) another drive that also uses this controller, but uses newer 15nm NAND. As you can see the older NAND does handicap this drive somewhat, but its performance is better than a Kingston HyperX Savage – another drive with a very similar configuration.
 
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AkG

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Crystal DiskMark / PCMark 7

Crystal DiskMark


<i>Crystal DiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds; and allows you to set the number of tests iterations to run. We left the number of tests at 5 and size at 100MB. </i>
<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/cdm_r.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/cdm_w.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

PCMark 7


<i>While there are numerous suites of tests that make up PCMark 7, only one is pertinent: the HDD Suite. The HDD Suite consists of numerous tests that try and replicate real world drive usage. Everything from how long a simulated virus scan takes to complete, to MS Vista start up time to game load time is tested in these core tests; however, we do not consider this anything other than just another suite of synthetic tests. For this reason, while each test is scored individually we have opted to include only the overall score.</i>
<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/pcm.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

Once again these numbers are extremely decent – so much so that not all that long ago they would have been high enough to classify this as an ‘enthusiast’ grade solid state drive… and with an enthusiast grade asking price!
 

AkG

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AS-SSD / Anvil Storage Utilities Pro

AS-SSD


<i>AS-SSD is designed to quickly test the performance of your drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and small 4K read/write speeds as well as 4K file speed at a queue depth of 6. While its primary goal is to accurately test Solid State Drives, it does equally well on all storage mediums it just takes longer to run each test as each test reads or writes 1GB of data.</i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/asd_r.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/asd_w.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

Anvil Storage Utilities Pro


<i>Much like AS-SSD, Anvil Pro was created to quickly and easily – yet accurately – test your drives. While it is still in the Beta stages it is a versatile and powerful little program. Currently it can test numerous read / write scenarios but two in particular stand out for us: 4K queue depth of 4 and 4K queue depth of 16. A queue depth of four along with 4K sectors can be equated to what most users will experience in an OS scenario while 16 depth will be encountered only by power users and the like. We have also included the 4k queue depth 1 results to help put these two other numbers in their proper perspective. All settings were left in their default states and the test size was set to 1GB.</i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/anvil_r.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/anvil_w.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

As you can see the ZOTAC Premium Edition slots in nicely between the PNY XLR8 CS2211 and the Kingston HyperX Savage. This is because all three use the same controller, but all three differ in one of two key ways. The CS2211 uses newer NAND with the latest firmware, whereas the HyperX shares the same NAND type with the ZOTAC Premium Edition but has slightly less refined firmware. Also of note is that the ZOTAC PE uses NAND from newer NAND batches, so some performance differences can be attribute to this as well. However, the difference between the three models is rather minor, but is certainly something to take into account.
 
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AkG

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IOMeter

IOMETER


<i>IOMeter is heavily weighted towards the server end of things, and since we here at HWC are more End User centric we will be setting and judging the results of IOMeter a little bit differently than most. To test each drive we ran 5 test runs per HDD (1,4,16,64,128 queue depth) each test having 8 parts, each part lasting 10 min w/ an additional 20 second ramp up. The 8 subparts were set to run 100% random, 80% read 20% write; testing 512b, 1k, 2k,4k,8k,16k,32k,64k size chunks of data. When each test is finished IOMeter spits out a report, in that reports each of the 8 subtests are given a score in I/Os per second. We then take these 8 numbers add them together and divide by 8. This gives us an average score for that particular queue depth that is heavily weighted for single user environments.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/iom.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

Once again we have highlighted both the ZOTAC Premium Edition and the PNY XLR8 CS2211 drives. As you can see the NAND really only makes a noticeable difference at deeper queue depths. However even at shallower depths the ZOTAC Premium Edition did trail the other PHISON PS3110 based CS2211 drive. It is debatable whether or not this difference is enough to worry about.
 
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AkG

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Messages
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Windows 8 / Adobe CS5 Load Time

Windows 8.1 Start Up w/ Boot Time A/V Scan Performance


<i>When it comes to hard drive performance there is one area that even the most oblivious user notices: how long it takes to load the Operating System. We have chosen Windows 8.1 64bit Pro as our Operating System with all 'fast boot' options disabled in the BIOS. In previous load time tests we would use the Anti-Virus splash screen as our finish line; this however is no longer the case. We have not only added in a secondary Anti-Virus to load on startup, but also an anti-malware program. We have set Super Anti-Spyware to initiate a quick scan on Windows start-up and the completion of the quick scan will be our new finish line. </i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/boot.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>


Adobe CS5 Load Time


<i>Photoshop is a notoriously slow loading program under the best of circumstances, and while the latest version is actually pretty decent, when you add in a bunch of extra brushes and the such you get a really great torture test which can bring even the best of the best to their knees. Let’s see how our review unit fared in the newly updated Adobe crucible! </i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/adobe.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

As is becoming a reoccurring theme the ZOTAC Premium Edition’s combination of good – if somewhat dated – NAND with a well known controller is a winning one. At this level of performance, it really will come down to overall value and here the ZOTAC Premium Edition is competitive against most of the competition.
 
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AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Firefox Performance / Real World Data Transfers

Firefox Portable Offline Performance


<i>Firefox is notorious for being slow on loading tabs in offline mode once the number of pages to be opened grows larger than a dozen or so. We can think of fewer worse case scenarios than having 100 tabs set to reload in offline mode upon Firefox startup, but this is exactly what we have done here.

By having 100 pages open in Firefox portable, setting Firefox to reload the last session upon next session start and then setting it to offline mode, we are able to easily recreate a worst case scenario. Since we are using Firefox portable all files are easily positioned in one location, making it simple to repeat the test as necessary. In order to ensure repetition, before touching the Firefox portable files, we have backed them up into a .rar file and only extracted a copy of it to the test device.</i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/ff.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>


Real World Data Transfers


<i>No matter how good a synthetic benchmark like IOMeter or PCMark is, it cannot really tell you how your hard drive will perform in “real world” situations. All of us here at Hardware Canucks strive to give you the best, most complete picture of a review item’s true capabilities and to this end we will be running timed data transfers to give you a general idea of how its performance relates to real life use. To help replicate worse case scenarios we will transfer a 10.00GB contiguous file and a folder containing 400 subfolders with a total 12,000 files varying in length from 200mb to 100kb (10.00 GB total).

Testing will include transfer to and transferring from the devices, using MS RichCopy and logging the performance of the drive. Here is what we found. </i>
<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/copy_sm.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/copy_lg.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

The lowered sequential write performance is likely due to ZOTAC’s use of older NAND and the firmware limitations placed on said NAND. By that same token this drive is still very peppy for such an inexpensive SSDs and we doubt many first time solid state drive buyers will be anything but pleased with what it has to offer.
 
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AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Partial and Full Drive Performance

Partial and Full Drive Performance


<i>While it is important to know how a drive will perform under optimal conditions, more realistic scenarios are just as important. Knowing if a solid state drive will behave differently when partially or even nearly full than when it is empty is very important information to know. To quickly and accurately show this crucial information we have first filled the drive to 50% capacity and re-tested using both synthetic and real world tests. After the completion of this we then re-test at 75% and 90% of full capacity. </i>

Synthetic Test Results
<i>For our synthetic testing we have opted for our standard PCMark 7 test.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/data_pcm.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>


Real World Results
<i>For a real world application we have opted for a modified version of our standard Windows 7 Start Up test. Unlike our standard Windows 7 image this image is based on a working system that has been upgraded numerous times of the past few years and represents an even more realistic real world test.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/ZOTAC/data_boot.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

This drive acts just like we thought it would: predictably good. It may not be the absolute best in this regard but it sheds performance at a slower rate than the Kingston Savage and some of its other competitors.
 
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