Sequential Read Performance

The sequential read test requests 128kB blocks and tests queue depths ranging from 1 to 32. The queue depth is doubled every three minutes, for a total test duration of 18 minutes. The test spans the entire drive, and the drive is filled before the test begins. The primary score we report is an average of performances at queue depths 1, 2 and 4, as client usage typically consists mostly of low queue depth operations.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Read

The sequential read speed of the SP550 places it in the second tier, but there's nothing to complain about.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Read (Power)

Power consumption during sequential reads is not quite low enough for the SP550 to compete against the best MLC-based drives, but its efficiency is otherwise pretty good.

The SP550's sequential read performance saturates by the time queue depth reaches 4 and is close at QD2. This drive isn't quite the fastest to reach its limit, but it's still easy to get full performance from it. The only real flaw here is the relatively low QD1 performance.

Sequential Write Performance

The sequential write test writes 128kB blocks and tests queue depths ranging from 1 to 32. The queue depth is doubled every three minutes, for a total test duration of 18 minutes. The test spans the entire drive, and the drive is filled before the test begins. The primary score we report is an average of performances at queue depths 1, 2 and 4, as client usage typically consists mostly of low queue depth operations.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Write

As with the random write performance, the sequential write performance is very low. At this point even a good mechanical hard drive would be much faster, though several other TLC drives and some smaller MLC drives also fall below that threshold.

Iometer - 128KB Sequential Write (Power)

Power consumption is almost halved relative to the Crucial BX200, but that's still not enough for the SP550's efficiency on this test to be considered good.

Performance and power consumption are slightly better at QD1 as the SP550 gets to burn through its SLC cache at the beginning of the test, but after that there's no scaling with queue depth.

Random Performance Mixed Read/Write Performance
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  • zmeul - Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - link

    I have the 120GB version and I'm disapointed in it - after just one month it started showing cell voltage drift and on the 2nd month it gotten worse: https://i.imgur.com/l3zonQn.png
    note: it's on a SATA2

    A-Data offers no FW update for this drive
    Reply
  • hojnikb - Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - link

    Thats pretty much what you can expect with any sub 20nm TLC drive. Reply
  • zmeul - Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - link

    well, I wish I knew that before I bought it
    but neither Anand or any other site does this kind of "over time" testing
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    Basically you've found out first hand: AVOID any TLC drive, even TLC VNAND from Samsung isn't immune to what you are experiencing. At least you only spent $40. I still think the BX100 and OCZ ARC 100 are\were the best value, but they've spiked in price because they are no longer in production and the BX200\Trion 100/150 are a joke. My cheap go to drives now are Sandisk SSD Plus. Super cheap drive, still MLC, and suspect a reliable Marvell controller. Even the Sandisk Z400s is a reliable drive if you can get over the pretty poor performance...at least it isn't TLC performance.

    The laws of physics are being toyed with using NAND in TLC mode. You can't reliable store 3 values in a binary state. My childish layman's explanation goes like this: With SLC it was simple because if it was "on" it was a 1. With MLC if it was "on" it was a 1 and if it was "off" it was a 1. Using TLC, if its "on" it's a 1 if it's "off" its a 1 and if its "half" it's a 1. LOL
    Reply
  • hojnikb - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    Actually, vnand tlc is just fine and possibly better than ~15nm MLC.

    Much larger cells offset the 3 bit per cell disadvantage.
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    I get that it's 40nm, so "leakage" isn't really an issue, but it still suffers from TLC's inherently poor write performance. I still prefer MLC. Especially since, as it stands right now, MLC and TLC drives are virtually the same price. I still pickup old Crucial M500's and Intel SSD320/X25-M's...and occasionally you can find new M500's in retail (Microcenter has the M550 256GB models for $60 right now)

    Well, they DID. I bought the last 5 at my local store I guess. http://www.microcenter.com/product/453561/256GB_SA...

    They have the M500 240GB new for $67.99. Quality Marvell controller, MLC NAND, proven firmware and reliability. Until TLC drives are half that price for the same capacity I don't see what the big deal is.
    Reply
  • KAlmquist - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    I'm have a hard time believing that 16nm TLC NAND is a good idea. The problems that Samsung has had with data degradation on the 840 EVO suggests that even with 19nm TLC NAND the cell size is too small. While the reviewed drive is priced attractively, I'd be more inclined to buy an MLC drive, or the Samsung EVO 850, which is TLC but with a large cell size. Reply
  • LarsBars - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    The MU02 firmware update for the Crucial BX200 resolved the strange ATTO plots that were mentioned in this review. At least for me. Reply
  • jabber - Friday, March 25, 2016 - link

    Mmmmm the BX200. The one I got in to test finally bottomed out at a super 40MBps write speed. That was about 6 weeks ago with the latest firmware then. BX200 = Junk. The BX100, now that was and still is a quality drive. Reply
  • bogdan_kr - Saturday, March 26, 2016 - link

    @Billy Tallis
    I would like to ask about AnandTech Storage Bench - Light. How long (typically) does it take to finish this bench?
    I mean I can see it is designed to read and write about 41GB of data. SP550 480GB finished it with 299.02 MB/s average data rate score so does that mean it took about 140 seconds?
    Reply

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