AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

The Destroyer is an extremely long test replicating the access patterns of very IO-intensive desktop usage. A detailed breakdown can be found in this article. Like real-world usage, the drives do get the occasional break that allows for some background garbage collection and flushing caches, but those idle times are limited to 25ms so that it doesn't take all week to run the test. These AnandTech Storage Bench (ATSB) tests do not involve running the actual applications that generated the workloads, so the scores are relatively insensitive to changes in CPU performance and RAM from our new testbed, but the jump to a newer version of Windows and the newer storage drivers can have an impact.

We quantify performance on this test by reporting the drive's average data throughput, the average latency of the I/O operations, and the total energy used by the drive over the course of the test.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Data Rate)

The 1TB Samsung 860 QVO does not handle The Destroyer very well, with an average data rate that is slightly slower than the DRAMless TLC drive. By comparison, the NVMe QLC drives from Intel and Micron are only slightly slower than the 860 EVO and MX500.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Latency)

The QLC drives in general stand out more when looking at latency metrics than throughput, and especially when looking at 99th percentile latencies. The 1TB 860 QVO comes in last place for both average and 99th percentile latency, and all three QLC drives have worse 99th percentile latency than the DRAMless TLC drive.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Write Latency)

The average read and write latencies of the 860 QVO are both only slightly worse than the DRAMless TLC SSD. The NVMe QLC drives are slightly faster than the mainstream SATA drives for read latency but fall behind in average write latency.

ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Write Latency)

The 860 QVO actually doesn't come in last place for 99th percentile write latency, and in fact scores far better than the DRAMless TLC drive. However, the QLC drives are all still far worse off than the mainstream TLC SATA drives.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Power)

With low performance dragging out the test to a far longer duration, it's no surprise that the QLC drives all use much more energy over the course of The Destroyer than most SATA drives. The DRAMless Toshiba TR200 is an impressive exception that manages to be very efficient despite its low overall performance.

SLC Cache Sizes & Energy Consumption AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy
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  • Lolimaster - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    HDD's sweet spot for manufacturers is the 4TB and up, they can't really make them cheaper than $40-50 no matter the size, it got tons of physical moving parts, a big chunk of well crafted aluminum, special sealing, etc vs an SSD that is just nand and a plastic casing before at least you got a thin aluminum case. Reply
  • Glaurung - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - link

    Spinning drives aren't going away - capacities are still going up and spinning drives are still the best deal for extremely high capacity storage - like NAS and datacentre storage. That's unlikely to change any time soon. But the amount of storage that you're realistically going to want inside your computer? It's now affordable to go all SSD for your local internal storage.

    But storage inside your laptop has until now been a case of needing two drives, a fast SSD to boot off of and a slow HDD for your data. Or else pay a ton for a high capacity SSD, or make do with a small drive
    Reply
  • Dr. Swag - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - link

    Selling an inferior SSD to the 860 evo for more! What a great idea Reply
  • PaoDeTech - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - link

    Lower cost (QLC) higher capacity SSDs are very welcome. Is as simple as that. I read an interesting study that basically concludes that an SSD lifespan is usually limited by age not total writes. Interesting. Can anybody confirm or deny? Reply
  • hojnikb - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - link

    Not really. SSDs don't tend to die of old age or exhausted endurance (not in client workloads anyway) but rather random controller faulires and firmwar bugs.

    One considuration with such flash is data retention. As these are fairly large drives, they will be used for storage and hence this can become an issue.
    Reply
  • PaoDeTech - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - link

    Here's the article: https://www.zdnet.com/article/ssd-reliability-in-t... Reply
  • hojnikb - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - link

    Quickly skimming the article, it does seem to suggest, that age has an effect on raw bit errors. What it doesn't include (not that i can find) is wheter drives were the same model and manufacturer.

    Older drives could be of inferior controllers and weaker firmware design which can't cope with bit errors as well.
    Reply
  • spkay31 - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - link

    Personally I think the Intel 660p NVMe SSD's offer a very nice price performance tradeoff when on sale. Yesterday an Intel 660p 1TB drive was on sale for $130. At around 1800Mbps it's ~ 3.5X faster than a SATA ssd and about 45% cheaper than a Samsung 970 EVO 1TB NVMe drive. OK, so it's 1800Mbps vs 3200Mbps but again for my uses that is certainly excellent speed improvement from a SATA ssd and I'm willing to accept some of the other shortcomings of QLC. My experience is that QLC is already a very reasonable value proposition for many applications. Reply
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - link

    While I have nothing against the Intel 660p, not QLC, and I very much welcome these technologies, even considering black friday """deals""", I still don't think it has become price competitive (yet).

    I purchased an 860 EVO 1TB for $127 ($127 after tax/shipping), and then later an MX500 2TB for $209 ($229 after tax/shipping). (Bought the 860 EVO 1TB since the 2TB was $299 and therefore much more expensive in $/GB, and because I hadn't seen anything better by the time it was Saturday, but CyberMonday on Amazon brought the $209 MX500. I may or may not return the 860 EVO.)

    Both of these drives are 3D TLC based, and still have their marginal sustained read/write advantages over 3D QLC. Given the (roughly) equivalent price between a 1TB 860 EVO 1TB and Intel 660p 1TB, I don't think it's unfair to say that the 860 EVO should be every customer's pick every single time (again, given these """deal""" prices).

    As always, it'll take some time before newer technologies drop in prices and mature in overall value. I'm sure it'll happen for QLC drives, as they did with MLC and TLC before them, but it just hasn't happened quite yet.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    Wait what? The 2TB MX500 hit $209 this year? Was it a flash sale or something? I had price alerts set on it, the 860 EVO, and the WD Blue/SanDisk Ultra and the cheapest I saw for a 2TB was $255... Granted I was mostly looking at Amazon, where'd you score that deal? Reply

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