Tronsmart Draco AW80 SATA Performance in Android

When Allwinner A80 TV boxes with SATA port were first release, some people hailed SATA performance, especially while seeking during video playback. But at the time, I was skeptical of these claims since Allwinner A80 SoC does not have have a SATA interface, so a USB to SATA bridge must be used, and the performance should be the same as USB hard drives. Unfortunately, I was unable to confirm these doubts, and test SATA performance in my review of Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta, because at the time, I did not have any spare SATA hard drive or SSD. But since I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit, which include a 120 GB SSD, so I could finally test the device SATA interface.

Tronsmart_Draco_AW80_SATA_SSDThis CHUANG JIU SSD achieves write and read speeds of respectively 8.7 MB/s & 50.5 MB/s for NTFS, and 36.31 MB/s & 179.45 MB/s for EXT-4 using CubieTruck with Debian 7.6, and Bonnie++ benchmark tool. NTFS is usually slower and performance improve with a faster CPU, because system tends to use a user space implementation (ntfs-3g), whereas EXT-4 file system is handled by the kernel. I plan to try out Linux on Draco AW80 once an SD card image is released, but for now I’ll test the system in Android which only supports NTFS (or FAT32) with A1 SD Bench setting custom location to /mnt/usbhost5/8_1, which confirms we are indeed using a USB bridge here.

Read and Write Speed in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)
Read and Write Speed in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)

The green dot are just used to show Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta results, the first one is with a USB 3.0 hard drive, and the one one the right is with my SATA SSD. It clearly shows performance is rather disappointing with 17.56 MB/s read speed, and 18.26 MB/s write speed, and confirms the SATA port on Allwinner A80 devices is mostly for convenience if you happen to have a SATA drive only, and no external USB hard drive.

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[…] I haven’t tested SATA, but since it’s based on a USB 2.0 to SATA bridge, you should experience a similar or slower performance compared to the USB 3.0 hard drive. [Update: SATA on Draco AW80 now tested] […]

anon
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anon

Yeah, the A10 and the A20 are the only decent Allwinner SoCs.

Hopefully they go into PCI device infra, the silicon sizes are worth it in the long run (especially for marketing, and driver support would become essentially free from Linux community).

Peter Bauer
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I do not understand why the did not use a USB 3.0 to SATA bridge ?

m][sko
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m][sko

I don’t understand whey they put SATA port on side 🙂
It is multipurpose PCB or I don’t get it

LinAdmin
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LinAdmin

With A20 SATA port and a fast WD red disk I have found a mind boggling asymmetry for reading and writing: Reading runs at speed of the disk well above 150 MB/s while writing is about 5 times slower.

The same disk hooked to a X86 mainboard shows 150MB/s for both acivities, and this makes sense because in both cases it is DMA that does the data transfer.

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[…] important note, CNX-Software performed a speed test on the ports themselves and it appears that the SATA port is actually using a USB controller, rather than a dedicated SATA interface. This knocks the speed down to USB levels, but still provides the convenience of a SATA […]

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[…] smaller than other Allwinner A80 devices like Tronsmart Draco AW80, mostly because it lacks the rather slow SATA port. The box runs Android 4.4 with Kodi pre-installed, and will ship with a power adapter, a remote […]

moshe
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moshe

I tried to connect ssd drive and the tv box stop working then I update the firmware now it’s working but I can’t see the ssd drive cannot use it whay

Edgar
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Edgar

I can not use that port SATA in my Draco Aw80 Telos, I have dealt with multiple hard drives, and got it, acknowledges ñ nodes, crashes, I have to restart but still can not content hard drives.