My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite L670-1LX, bought in 2011. It originally had a HDD, but a few days ago I bought a Toshiba Q300 SSD drive. I partitioned it (aligning partitions to multiples of 2048 sectors) and cloned the OS (Ubuntu Mate 16.04) from the HDD to the SSD using clonezilla.

The command hdparm -t /dev/sda tests sequential read speed. on my Q300 SSD, its output is 253 MB/s (average value), whereas it could be near 550 MB/s.

  • Could it be because my OS doesn't have the drivers installed to properly support my SATA 3.1 controller? As I mentioned, I did not install Ubuntu to the SSD, I just copied the HDD partition.
  • Otherwise perhaps it's not a software issue and my motherboard controller can't support SATA3 at all?

I don't understand all of it, but here is the output of some commands I found on various web pages:

smartctl -a /dev/sda | grep SATA results in:

SATA Version is:  SATA 3.1, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 3.0 Gb/s)

hdparm -iI /dev/sda | grep SATA results in:

Transport: Serial, ATA8-AST, SATA 1.0a, SATA II Extensions, SATA Rev 2.5, SATA Rev 2.6, SATA Rev 3.0

lspci | grep SATA results in:

00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset 4 port SATA AHCI Controller (rev 05)
  • What do you mean by aligned to cylinders? There are no cylinders on an SSD. You should align partitions at multiples of 1 MiB. – AlexP Feb 16 '17 at 9:56
  • @AlexP Indeed, you are right. I did not "align to cylinders", but I am pretty sure I did the alignment right. I checked it with fdisk -lu /dev/sda where each partition starts at a multiple of 2048. I will edit my question and remove the "cylinder" part. – Georg Feb 16 '17 at 11:06
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    The data sheet says that sequential read speed is up to 550 MB/sec; translated from commercialese, that phrase means that Toshiba guarantees that even in the most ideal conditions imaginable there is no way for the speed to exceed 550 MB/sec; it does not mean that the actual speed on actual computers will be anywhere near that number. – AlexP Feb 16 '17 at 11:29
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    @AlexP Yes 550 is a maximum. I did not expect the actual speed to be less than half that maximum, though. – Georg Feb 16 '17 at 12:14

Your performance test results are better than what CNET got. (In their tests, Toshiba SSD Q300 was measured at 203 MB/sec read, 187 MB/sec combined read/write). The conclusion of the CNET test was that the Q300 was "slow and expensive".

To be fair, Anandtech measured much better performance, but complained of low steady-state performance and poor performance consistency. Anyway, the conclusion was similar: "the Q300 is a low-end drive and is among the slowest SSDs on the market".

  • Good point. Anandtech found 433 MB/sec for sequential read: I am puzzled by the gap between those test results. – Georg Feb 16 '17 at 13:27

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