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Results: MagicRAR Drive Press

Seagate 600 SSD 240 GB Review: LAMD And Toshiba, Together Again
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MagicRAR Drive Press

MagicRAR is a comprehensive suite of compression tools. In the search for various real-world performance examples and benchmarks for SSD performance, finding the right combination of features can be daunting. Ideally, you want something that is well-threaded to make use of the awesome SSD parallelism, but also something that isn't horribly obscure. MagicRAR's Drive Press feature is a good example of a program that can both take advantage of SSD speed while having the distinction of being something you'd actually use in real life.

Drive Press employs NTFS compression to compress files and folders. We can specify the number of threads we want to use, which is analogous to setting the queue depth to whatever we wish. We're settling on a thread count of eight, and we're compressing 50.9 GB of system files. These aren't just any files either; they're hard-to-compress ISOs and media files, some games, programs, and of course Windows as well. We copy the test files to a clean SSD, compress, then decompress the files.

NTFS's compression works in 64 KB chunks, so the overall effect is a constant reading and writing of 64 KB sequentials spread throughout the drive by the eight simultaneous threads.

We can run the program from the command line or use the included GUI. The GUI now has time and throughput statistics, making it easier to use as a SSD benchmark example.

Results: Time to Compress

It takes more time to compress the 50.9 GB test folder than it does to subsequently decompress it. The fastest drive can perform this task in a few minutes, while slower drives take two or three times as long. CPU utilization with a fast drive pegs our Sandy Bridge-based quad-core processor above 50%, which means little performance is being wasted.

The Vector narrowly edges out the Seagate here, a matter of just a few MB/s. In stark contrast, Crucial's m4 requires an agonizing 14 minutes and seven seconds. The Vector manages a spirited 230 MB/s, the Seagate 600 just 4 MB/s behind. Both speedsters take less than 390 seconds to compress. The SSD 510 continues its impressive performance with a third-place finish.

Results: Time to Decompress

Decompression is comparatively easy. CPU utilization remains quite low, and all the drives are basically operating at their peak speeds, reading chunks of compressed data and rewriting in its original form.

Only the m4 256 GB requires more time to decompress the test files than compress. The order doesn't change, but the times and throughput (with the exception of said m4) are better. Here, the Seagate and blue-ribbon Vector achieve 298 MB/s and 300 MB/s, respectively.

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