A number of metrics are used to quantify storage performance. If you're a regular Joe, you have to be wondering how such dry terminology can apply to office work. Rather than telling you, we're going to dissect several routine computing tasks.
Twice now, we've examined the storage characteristics of games, bringing us up to a total of six different titles, often with very different results. In case you missed those stories, they're:
Of course, gamers use their computers for other tasks, too. We've seen a number of requests asking that we apply the same type of storage analysis to more common productivity-oriented tasks, and we're here to help try to quantify the impact of an SSD in those applications as well.
If you're still on the fence about even considering an SSD in your next build, check out Should You Upgrade? From A Hard Drive To An SSD. The benchmarks in that piece give you some raw performance data. However, they don't explain why the SSD outperforms the hard drive in one scenario, and then not in the next.
For that, we need to dig deeper under the hood and analyze I/O. SSD reviews typically offer a handful of measurements that try to quantify performance. Those familiar metrics include: sequential writes, sequential reads, random reads, and random writes. If those terms are foreign to you, take a quick minute to check out our break-down in Understanding Storage Performance. Addressing application behavior using those four pillars lets us more accurately identify the storage solution that'll address your needs.
As a continuation of our previous two pieces, today we're examining more pedestrian computing tasks, such as file copying, antivirus scanning, transcoding, compression, and more. The goal, of course, is to give you a better understanding of how these tasks tax your storage subsystem.