AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

Our Heavy storage benchmark is proportionally more write-heavy than The Destroyer, but much shorter overall. The total writes in the Heavy test aren't enough to fill the drive, so performance never drops down to steady state. This test is far more representative of a power user's day to day usage, and is heavily influenced by the drive's peak performance. The Heavy workload test details can be found here. This test is run twice, once on a freshly erased drive and once after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB - Heavy (Data Rate)

When the Heavy test is run on an empty Intel SSD 660p, the test is able to operate almost entirely within the large SLC cache and the average data rate is competitive with many high-end NVMe SSDs. When the drive is full and the SLC cache is small, the low performance of the QLC NAND shows through with an average data rate that is slower than the 600p or Crucial MX500, but still far faster than a mechanical hard drive.

ATSB - Heavy (Average Latency)ATSB - Heavy (99th Percentile Latency)

The average and 99th percentile latency scores of the 660p on the empty-drive test run are clearly high-end; the use of a four-channel controller doesn't seem to be holding back the performance of the SLC cache. The full-drive latency scores are an order of magnitude higher and worse than other SSDs of comparable capacity, but not worse than some of the slowest low-capacity TLC drives we've tested.

ATSB - Heavy (Average Read Latency)ATSB - Heavy (Average Write Latency)

The average read latency of the Intel 660p on the Heavy test is about 2.5x higher for the full-drive test run than when the test is run on a freshly-erased drive. Neither score is unprecedented for a NVMe drive, and it's not quite the largest disparity we've seen between full and empty performance. The average write latency is where the 660p suffers most from being full, with latency that's about 60% higher than the already-slow 600p.

ATSB - Heavy (99th Percentile Read Latency)ATSB - Heavy (99th Percentile Write Latency)

The 99th percentile read latency scores from the 660p are fine for a low-end NVMe drive, and close to high-end for the empty-drive test run that is mostly using the SLC cache. The 99th percentile write latency is similarly great when using the SLC cache, but almost 20 times worse when the drive is full. This is pretty bad in comparison to other current-generation NVMe drives or mainstream SATA drives, but is actually slightly better than the Intel 600p's best case for 99th percentile write latency.

ATSB - Heavy (Power)

The Intel SSD 660p shows above average power efficiency on the Heavy test, by NVMe standards. Even the full-drive test run energy usage is lower than several high-end drives.

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer AnandTech Storage Bench - Light


View All Comments

  • npz - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    Well at least the price is reflected in the performance, with the MX500 beating the 660p when both are full. As far as scenarios where you'd go from SLC to QLC I would be much more cautious about generalizing too much. A lot of people use SSDs as scratch drives for their work (DAW, video editing, recording, etc) and it seems more than likely to hit it in those usage scenarios Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    "A lot of people use SSDs as scratch drives for their work (DAW, video editing, recording, etc)"

    A lot of people relative to the entire market? No.
    Is this drive intended for power users/professionals? No.
    Is QLC bringing a lot more GB/$ at MSRP prices for 90%+ of the market? Yes.
    Is the worst case performance even remotely applicable to its intended market? No
    So did you just say a dumb comment while disguised a concern troll? Yes.
  • npz - Wednesday, August 08, 2018 - link

    A lot people who would bother purusing sites like Anandtech yes. The people who would run more comprehensive benchmarks, as opposed to just buying a cheap SSD is the lot of people in the alot of.. I refer to. Of course you just disregarded the rest of my statement acknowleding the fact that it's cheap didn't you? Just so you could go on with your smart ass here. Reply
  • npz - Wednesday, August 08, 2018 - link

    And I specifically refer to "worst case" because I argue it is NOT worst case, but it becomes a rather typical case for certain use--going out of SLC to QLC, which would NOT be seen by just quick benchmarks like a lot of people cite on Amazon reviews via Crystaldisk benchmarks. Reply
  • Valantar - Wednesday, August 08, 2018 - link

    a) If you're enough of a power user to need a scratch disk and use it heavily enough to fill its SLC cache, you really ought to be buying proper equipment and not low-end drives.
    b) if you're -"- you really ought to educate yourself about your needs, or employ someone with this knowledge
    c) If you're not -"-, stop worrying and enjoy the cheap SSDs.

    Tl;dr: workstation parts for workstation use; cheapo parts for basic use.
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    These drives will fill the bottom end... allowing the mid and high tiers to increase in price. Usual. Reply
  • Valantar - Wednesday, August 08, 2018 - link

    Only if the performance difference is large enough to make them worth it - which it isn't, at least in this case. While the advent of TLC did push MLC prices up (mainly due to reduced production and sales volume), it seems unlikely for the same to happen here, as these drives aim for a market segment that has so far been largely unoccupied. (It's also worth mentioning here that silicon prices have been rising for quite a while, and also affects this.) There are a few TLC drives in the same segment, but those are also quite bad. This, on the other hand, competes with faster drives unless you fill it or the SLC cache. In other words, higher-end drives will have to either aim for customers with heavier workloads (which might imply higher prices, but would also mean optimizations for non-consumer usage scenarios) or push prices lower to compete. Reply
  • romrunning - Wednesday, August 08, 2018 - link

    Well, QLC will slowly push out TLC, which was already pushing out MLC. It's not just pushing the prices of MLC/TLC up, mfgs are slowing phasing those lines out entirely. So even if I want a specific type, I may not be able to purchase it in consumerspace (maybe enterprise, with the resultant price hit).

    I hate that we're getting lower-performing items for the cheaper price - I'd rather get higher-performing at cheaper prices! :)
  • rpg1966 - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    "In the past year, the deployment of 64-layer 3D NAND flash has allowed almost all of the SSD industry to adopt three bit per cell TLC flash"

    What does this mean? n-layer NAND isn't a requirement for TLC is it?
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    3D NAND is not a requirement for TLC. However most of the 32/48 layer processes weren't very good, resulting in poorly performing TLC NAND. The 64 layer stuff has turned out much better, finally making TLC viable from all manufacturers. Reply

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