Intel 320 SSD read performance


(this is cross-post from
While PCI-e Flash cards show great performance, I am often asked about alternatives, as price for PCI-e cards is still significant and not acceptable for small companies and startups.

Intel 320 SSD appears to be a popular drive with a quite acceptable price.
I wrote about write performance of these cards, and now let’s take look on a random read workload.

I used a Cisco UCS C250 as base hardware, comparing in it:

  • regular RAID10 over 8 SAS 2.5 disks
  • single Intel 320 SSD directly attached to a HighPoint RocketRAID 2300
  • two Intel 320 SSD in hardware RAID0 mode, attached to a LSI SAS9211-4i controller

For simulating the workload I used sysbench’s fileio random reads. Scripts and raw results available on Launchpad.

Let’s see throughput results:

Throughput, MiB/sec (more is better)
threadsIntel 320Intel 320 2 stripRAID10ratio Intel 320 / RAID10ratio Intel 320 2 strip / RAID10

And response times:

95% response time, ms (less is better)
threadsIntel 320 SSDIntel 320 SSD stripRAIDratio RAID/Intel 320ratio RAID/Intel 320 strip

As conclusion, this card provides great read performance. A single card provides 5-8x better throughput and 10-14x better response time. Striping helps to increase throughput in 8-10x and response time in 10-22x.

While there are questions about write performance (see my previous post), I think this card is very suitable for read-intensive tasks, where you can expect significant improvements.



  1. Will Gunty says


    You mention this as an alternative to PCI-E cards. How do they compare, performance-wise, to these SSDs?

  2. says


    I wonder how it compares to FusionIO and Virident from the top side ?

    Also you did not specify the block size you used ? Is this standard sysbench with 16KB block ?

  3. says


    it is 16K block size.
    I have data for FusionIO 320GB MLC, just need to prepare report.
    As for numbers for FusionIO:

    8 threads: ~250 MiB/sec
    16 threads: 300 MiB/sec
    32 threads: 450 MiB/sec
    64 threads: 500 MiB/sec

    However it is interesting, as for some threads I have *unstable* results for read-only workloads with FusionIO.

  4. Jestep says

    On a comparative question, I’m not clear on why a RAID 10 would be compared to a single drive or RAID 0 SSD array, unless it’s just a baseline for standard RAID performance.

    RAID 10 is pretty much the preferred RAID method as far as real world spinning drive implementation goes, but I’m not sure I would trust a single drive SSD much more than I would trust a standard single drive, moving parts or not. It seems intuitive that SSD would stomp any traditional setup but neither of these seem like a failure proof setup to be comparing with.

  5. David Zotter says

    ….just for fun, can you graph out the Fusion IO to show relative performance?

  6. Texar says


    i am just wondering wether you can have a better performance and/or a more reliable system by using SSD raid 1 or 5. Do you already have tested some kind of raid 1/raid 5 array with SSD?


  7. abhijith says

    I tried to compare performance of mysql for reading data from ssd vs hdd . I used simple queries like ” select * from …” for records ranging from 10 to 2 lacs . I found the results quite unsatisfactory to general opinion that ssd gives very high read performance .

    For records less than 100 I found on an average of 20 % increase in performance of ssd over hdd . But when records are higher than 1000 there was only upto 2-3% increase in performance of ssd over hdd .

    Why does it happen ? Am i doing something wrong ? Or is it expected result

    I developed it using c# and mysql as backend .

    Hardware details

    i7 3630 2.4 GHz core processor , 8 gb ram , 64 bit os . 1 TB samsung HDD , 64 gb samsung rbx series ssd .

    Please let me know

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