Mixed Random Performance

Our test of mixed random reads and writes covers mixes varying from pure reads to pure writes at 10% increments. Each mix is tested for up to 1 minute or 32GB of data transferred. The test is conducted with a queue depth of 4, and is limited to a 64GB span of the drive. In between each mix, the drive is given idle time of up to one minute so that the overall duty cycle is 50%.

Mixed 4kB Random Read/Write

The Samsung 860 QVO's performance on the mixed random I/O test is substantially slower than the 860 EVO, but it is not far behind some of the other mainstream TLC drives. Running the test on a full drive does slow the 1TB 860 QVO down significantly, but it remains faster than the DRAMless TLC drive.

Sustained 4kB Mixed Random Read/Write (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

The power efficiency rankings for the 860 QVO aren't much better than the raw performance rankings. Power consumption is generally a bit higher than the 860 EVO but doesn't vary much with capacity or state of fill, so the efficiency scores are largely reflective of the performance variations.

The 860 QVO starts out with a fairly slow random read speed but steadily speeds up as the workload shifts toward writes, eventually catching up to the 860 EVO. When the test is run on a full drive, the 1TB 860 QVO runs out of SLC cache in the final few phases of the test and slows down instead of continuing to speed up.

Mixed Sequential Performance

Our test of mixed sequential reads and writes differs from the mixed random I/O test by performing 128kB sequential accesses rather than 4kB accesses at random locations, and the sequential test is conducted at queue depth 1. The range of mixes tested is the same, and the timing and limits on data transfers are also the same as above.

Mixed 128kB Sequential Read/Write

The 4TB 860 QVO handles the mixed sequential I/O test well, but the 1TB model ends up slightly slower than the DRAMless TLC drive and well behind the mainstream TLC drives.

Sustained 128kB Mixed Sequential Read/Write (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

The power efficiency scores vary more among the SATA drives than the raw performance scores, so the 860 EVO and Toshiba TR200 stand out as particularly efficient while the 860 QVO 4TB is merely average and the 1TB model is struggling a bit.

Both capacities of the 860 QVO offer decent performance at either end of the test with pure reads or pure writes, and they are unsurprisingly at their worst with the more write-heavy mixes. The 1TB 860 QVO loses far more performance across the first two thirds of the test, but catches back up with the 4TB model at the end.

Sequential Performance Power Management
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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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