Sequential Performance – HDTach, HDTune, File Copy, YAPT (sequential)
We have shifted over to combining our results into two groupings for consumer reviews. First up is sequential performance:
HD Tach will test the sequential read, random access and interface burst speeds of your attached storage device (hard drive, flash drive, removable drive, etc). All drive technologies such as SCSI, IDE/ATA, 1394, USB, SATA and RAID are supported. HDTach tests sequential performance by issuing reads in a manner that was optimized more for HDD access, but this unique method has proven useful in evaluating the sequential response time of SSDs. The accesses are relatively small in size (2k), and are issued with a single working thread (QD=1). The end result is that devices with relatively IO high latency will not reach their ultimate rated speed.
HDTach isn't the best test for sequentials, but its workload reflects the QD=1 sequential performance of an SSD. The relatively small transfer size is also challenging. Despite this, the RD400 did very well here.
HDTune tests a similar level of features as compared with HDTach, but with a different access pattern. Thus provides us with an additional set of benchmark numbers to compare between storage configurations. CPU utilization has proven negligible with modern processing horsepower, and is no longer included. Additionally, we do not include write performance due to HDTune's write access pattern not playing nicely with most SSDs we have tested it on.
The RD400 suffered a bit under HDTune. Even though we are testing with a high accuracy setting and 8MB block size, we still saw a lot of variation in the result, which brought the acerage speed down a bit. That said, 1.7GB/s isn't bad at all.
PCPer File Copy Test
Our custom PCPer-FC test does some fairly simple file creation and copy routines in order to test the storage system for speed. The script creates a set of files of varying sizes, times the creation process, then copies the same files to another partition on the same hard drive and times the copy process. There are four file sizes that we used to try and find any strong or weak points in the hardware: 10 files @ 1000 MB each, 100 files @ 100 MB each, 500 files @ 10 MB each and 1000 files at 1 MB each.
File copy and creation times are impressive, with the RD400 nipping at the heels of the Samsung 950 Pro. Not the fastest here, but damn close.
YAPT (yet another performance test) is a benchmark recommended by a pair of drive manufacturers and was incredibly difficult to locate as it hasn't been updated or used in quite some time. That doesn't make it irrelevant by any means though, as the benchmark is quite useful. It creates a test file of about 100 MB in size and runs both random and sequential read and write tests with it while changing the data I/O size in the process. The misaligned nature of this test exposes the read-modify-write performance of SSDs and Advanced Format HDDs.
YAPT does its reads and writes in a non-4k-aligned manner, and some SSDs end up being highly sensitive to that type of workload. At first I thought that may be the issue with the RD400 on sequential writes, but the issue was actually more of a separate thing that will be detailed better in our Latency Percentile testing later on.
Glad to see more competition
Glad to see more competition in this market, but gosh darn it those prices are still way too high.
You may be able to find the
You may be able to find the OEM version for less: the Toshiba XG3.
Am I wrong in thinking
Am I wrong in thinking this is the first consumer M.2 (without adapter), MLC, NVMe, drive to offer anything above 512GB? And, I thought I’d read somewhere that Samsung was to have released 1TB+ version of the 950 Pro Series by this Spring (which hasn’t happened).
Do you think Intel’s U.2/PCI 750 Series NVMe drives will start back down in price since they’d gone back up around $300.00 each for the 1.2TB version?
Good overall performance.
First consumer M.2 available in 1TB capacity.
Available with or without M.2 to PCIe adapter.”
Yeah OCZ got there first,
Yeah OCZ got there first, though Samsung should be ready to pull the trigger on launching their 48-layer VNAND 950 Pro. I suspect they were holding off due to lower demand at that capacity.
Actually Sandisk X400 drives
Actually Sandisk X400 drives launched couple of months back was the first consumer ssd with 1TB capacity in M.2 form factor.
I’m pretty sure the X400 is a
I’m pretty sure the X400 is a SATA III based AHCI drive and not NVMe.
I have a raid 0 of 840 evo
I have a raid 0 of 840 evo drives 2 500 GB where is the 2TB NVME drives at a reasonable cost. still see no point of upgrading.
Too small, but otherwise
Too small, but otherwise interesting.
The new weighted graphs are
The new weighted graphs are amazing, very educational.
Thanks! Lots of work has gone
Thanks! Lots of work has gone into their implementation and testing, but I'm still working out a better / cleaner way to present these massive amounts of data.
The graphs can get busy at
The graphs can get busy at times, and I personally think the only way to mitigate that might just be to make it interactive, (eg, the ability to show/hide data, they can overlap so much), something you might have been avoiding…
It shows how much effort you and the other editors put into these reviews. Whenever a new storage product launches I look for your review.
The new weighted graphs are
The new weighted graphs are amazing, very educational.
It is not so educational
It is not so educational without power consumption or temperature measures…
Remember that Flash drives are NVM so the heat is important for the memory retention, furthermore for high density chips!
It draws ~the same power as a
It draws ~the same power as a 950 Pro (~6 watts). With such a small draw with such a small surface area, temperatures vary *wildly* based on installation. If airflow is an issue, a single thermal pad to any adjacent component is more than enough to prevent possible thermal throttling.
Higher temps impact retention, but higher temps also make flash programming less damaging, meaning it is actually better to run your SSDs on the warmer side (to minimize wear effects) and store them at cool temperatures (to minimize leakage).
Higher temperature usually
Higher temperature usually makes material less resistive thus requiring less energy to write on Flash memory/PCM/etc but it also makes the storage less reliable.
You can’t just “store” an SSD at cool temperature when operating in read/write cycles…
Actually the Curie
Actually the Curie temperature of alloys used to make HDD platters is so high that it makes any HDD more reliable than the best SSD on the market.
I prefer a good old HDD
I prefer a good old HDD because its reliability cost less than the electronic Joule effect on SSD…
I’m still waiting WDC to fill its Velociraptor with Helium!
However I think WDC overpaid SNDK since the future of NVM would be the PCM technology and this would make obsolete the Flash memory.
So instead of using fast SSD
So instead of using fast SSD storage and having a backup plan you choose HDD because in your mind it’s more reliable (yet still fails)? Tell us how that order of magnitude higher access time is working out for you?
Fast failure isn’t worth the
Fast failure isn’t worth the extra pennies for SSD. 😉
If you consider to rebuild your system twice a month to be a feature then the SSD is for you…
From the maintenance POV I consider the MTTR and for my use the short access time and the built-in obsolesence of SSD (or Flash memory) aren’t profitable compared to the overpriced ticket.
Having to rebuild a desktop
Having to rebuild a desktop every 15 days on account of SSD failure? You’re doing it wrong.
I propose you resist, cause
I propose you resist, cause if you try an ssd once you’re addicted and can never go back. There is no ssd detox program.
Edit:reply was supposed to be one level up
That’s what I’ve told people
That's what I've told people since the X25-M – if you're not ready to buy one, don't sit at an SSD-equipped PC, because once you do, you'll want one *yesterday*.
Boy, that’s the truth!
Boy, that’s the truth!
That is absolutely correct.
That is absolutely correct. I got an SSD at my work computer several years ago…I couldnt stand to use my home PC’s anymore. I eventually had to go through and upgrade one by one my home PC’s to SSD. Then at work I got a 4K monitor….I couldnt stand to look at the “fuzzy” text at 1080p any longer, had to bite the bullet and upgrade one of my home PC’s to 4K (which required a new graphics card too).
That’s why I never stated to
That’s why I never stated to smoke sh!t… because it could damage my brain. :o)
I purchased my first SSD 4
I purchased my first SSD 4 years ago and have a total of 5 that I currently own. Have another 20-25 in builds for other people. Only failure was due to a lightning storm. Once you use ssd’s you cannot use a mechanical drive anymore except for mass storage. I am probably a year away from my NAS to be all ssd’s also.
A total of 5 SSD (for
A total of 5 SSD (for operating systems) in 4 years and you pretend this to be reliable…
I assume you own a home supercomputer. :o)
He probably has a RAID or is
He probably has a RAID or is using more of them in additional systems.
/Cant tell if troll or just
/Cant tell if troll or just terrified of SSD’s
I have three SSD’s in my desktop. Doesn’t mean two of them failed for me to get there.
So tell me why do you need so
So tell me why do you need so many unreliable data storages? :o)
One PCI-E Flash drive should be enough to win the top speed race!
Great, but where are the real
Great, but where are the real world benchmarks?
How much faster does it load battlefield?
Speed up my photo editing?
How long does it take to get into windows?
Its great I can copy a file to it at 1.5gps but where am I getting that file from?
Too bad, an SSD could write
Too bad, an SSD could write fast big data (movie capture for example) but it’s overpriced per Gigabyte and unreliable due to overheating chips…
I would probably still just
I would probably still just buy a Samsung 850 evo at the moment. I doubt most people would notice that much difference between an 850 evo and one of the pci-e, NVMe drives. Even if you do notice the difference, how much are you willing to pay for it? The difference in real world feel between a hard drive and a cheap SATA ssd is much larger than the jump from a SATA ssd to a pci-e, NVMe ssd.
There are a few applications where the pci-e, NVMe drive may be preferred though. Most consumer applications are not IO bound at all, but some professional applications may be. It would be nice to get opinions from people who use these SSDs in such a manner, but usually the best solution for such applications is to just use a lot of RAM and maybe a RAID array if you need the bandwidth. If you push a machine into using swap space for the working set, it will still slow to a crawl, even if you are swapping to an SSD and not a hard drive. For most consumers, these SSDs are in the high-end range where you pay a lot extra for a small performance gain. They do perform significantly better than SATA devices in benchmarks, but it just isn’t going to make that much of a difference for most consumer applications.
That’s the point of the
That's the point of the latency percentile testing. If the plots stretch across to the right and act like HDDs, then the system will feel more like a HDD for that remaining percent of the time. Boot times are impacted by too many other items unrelated to storage to matter – a clean windows install boots within a second delta between SATA SSD and NVMe, compared to the other 10-20 seconds it takes to get through UEFI/BIOS. The bigger thing that these NVMe drives can handle better is heavier multitasking workloads. Individual application tests don't really demonstrate this – it's when you've got multiple things going on where they really start to shine. If there was a consistent mixed simultaneous workload test then I would use it. PCMark doesn't cut it for the same reason we shifted to Latency Percentile testing – SSD stutters that would be painfully obvious to an actively engaged user are simply lost in the average of the trace test results.
Oh yeah that whole 'where are you gonna get that file from' is a mantra of mine, but the increased speed does translate to reduced latency (provided the controller is good, which is why we test that in such detail). Reduced latency translates to an overall snappier system, especially if the controller is mature and latencies are not only low but consistently low for more of the time and even under load.
Well Toms hardware did do
Well Toms hardware did do some realworld of the 850 vs 950 pro. I put their numbers in excel from some perspective.
World of Warcraft 0.88% Faster
BF3 1.38% Faster
Photoshop Light 3.48% Faster
Photoshop Heavy 3.38% Faster
Aftereffects 3.09% Faster
Adobe Illustrator 1.42% Faster
Word 1.44% Faster
Excel 1.11% Faster
Power Point 2.25% Faster
Average 2% faster……
2% for something that cost 50% to 300% more than a normal SSD. Better to put the money in CPU, GPU, or just plain more SSD space.
I get that under super heavy workload this will start to shine (maybe) but for 90% of enthusiasts let alone the average consumer money is better spent else where or not at all.
I know you often bring up that mantra on the podcast and I was quoting you a little when I brought it up. I would like to have you guys bring up these points I made in the podcast and see what everyone thinks.
Methinks PC Per File Copy
Methinks PC Per File Copy Test needs a few more files in it. Six of the contenders within 1.5 seconds of each other, maybe a longer test would give a better observable spread and minimise systematic errors.
The test is already pretty
The test is already pretty long and repeats 3x / averages the results, but I do see your point. I'm working on morphing this test into something that better shows the actual throughput seen in file creations and copies (with better tools).
Give Allyn a raise! Since
Give Allyn a raise! Since introducing the Latency percentile testing, pcper is the 1# place for SSD reviews and offers more insight about SSD-s than all other review sites combined.
Agreed! Always has been…
Agreed! Always has been…
Looks like really crappy
Looks like really crappy choice compared to 950pro – you are trading 40 (or was it 50) nm V-NAND MLC for 15nm planar NAND for few bucks savings.
Also while everyone is writing about 1TB SKU being advantage I’d say that 128GB is what makes this drive interesting since it makes very nice OS drive for few bucks
True, but remember that 128GB
True, but remember that 128GB will also have a fraction of the dies and should see decreased performance (especially on writes) due to the reduced parallelism.
Can these be used as boot
Can these be used as boot drives with older motherboards? What do they appear as to the bios?
You have to have a system /
You have to have a system / BIOS that supports NVMe boot. X99 should all have support, Z97 *might* support it, and Z170 should all have support.
The reason this is different than in the past is that NVMe devices carry their own driver which the UEFI/BIOS must be aware of and read prior to being able to initialize the NVMe SSD for boot.
Excellent work Allyn this new
Excellent work Allyn this new testing methodology keeps getting better.