Btrfs, EXT4 & ZFS On A Solid-State Drive

Written by Michael Larabel in Storage on 9 August 2010. Page 4 of 4. 20 Comments

With the Flexible IO Tester profile, EXT4 was faster in both cases, but with Btrfs on the SSD it was able to make up some ground compared to the EXT4 file-system.

When getting ZFS back in the game with PC-BSD, with the Threaded I/O Tester and its 32 threads of 64MB random writes, both the EXT4 and Btrfs file-systems on Linux had improved a great deal when able to leverage the SSD, but the Vertex 2 still wasn't fast enough to make ZFS viable. ZFS went from a speed of 0.61MB/s on the HDD to 4.02MB/s on the SSD, EXT4 went from 3.38MB/s to 190.56MB/s, and Btrfs went from 34.34MB/s to 66.30MB/s. Btrfs is certainly the best file-system we have tested for random writes on traditional storage drives, but with SSDs, EXT4 is looking rather good at least with the Linux 2.6.35 kernel -- the performance of both EXT4 and Btrfs has fluctuated some in recent kernel releases.

The ZFS performance improved by 38% with the SSD while the performance on EXT4/Btrfs went rather unchanged. EXT4 was faster than Btrfs in both cases by a wide margin.

Today's test results aren't too different when comparing Btrfs and the EXT4 file-system performance compared to other recent times benchmarking Btrfs but with the Linux 2.6.35 kernel the performance of EXT4 on the SSD was generally better than that of Btrfs, even though the latter carries an SSD-optimized mode. Some of the interesting cases from the results are Btrfs not running any faster when on an SSD with the Compile Bench test even while the ZFS and EXT4 performance improved considerably, Btrfs doing much better than EXT4 when reading large files on an SSD, with random writes (via Threaded I/O Tester) the Btrfs file-system is certainly better than EXT4 on traditional rotating media but with an SSD it falters to EXT4, and the Sun/Oracle ZFS file-system on PC-BSD 8.1 still really is no match to EXT4/Btrfs on Linux with either a notebook HDD or SSD.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via TwitterLinkedIn,> or contacted via