AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

While The Destroyer focuses on sustained and worst-case performance by hammering the drive with nearly 1TB worth of writes, the Heavy trace provides a more typical enthusiast and power user workload. By writing less to the drive, the Heavy trace doesn't drive the SSD into steady-state and thus the trace gives us a good idea of peak performance combined with some basic garbage collection routines.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy
Workload Description Applications Used
Photo Editing Import images, edit, export Adobe Photoshop
Gaming Pllay games, load levels Starcraft II, World of Warcraft
Content Creation HTML editing Dreamweaver
General Productivity Browse the web, manage local email, document creation, application install, virus/malware scan Chrome, IE10, Outlook, Windows 8, AxCrypt, uTorrent, AdAware
Application Development Compile Chromium Visual Studio 2008

The Heavy trace drops virtualization from the equation and goes a bit lighter on photo editing and gaming, making it more relevant to the majority of end-users.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy - Specs
Reads 2.17 million
Writes 1.78 million
Total IO Operations 3.99 million
Total GB Read 48.63 GB
Total GB Written 106.32 GB
Average Queue Depth ~4.6
Focus Peak IO, basic GC routines

The Heavy trace is actually more write-centric than The Destroyer is. A part of that is explained by the lack of virtualization because operating systems tend to be read-intensive, be that a local or virtual system. The total number of IOs is less than 10% of The Destroyer's IOs, so the Heavy trace is much easier for the drive and doesn't even overwrite the drive once.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy - IO Breakdown
IO Size <4KB 4KB 8KB 16KB 32KB 64KB 128KB
% of Total 7.8% 29.2% 3.5% 10.3% 10.8% 4.1% 21.7%

The Heavy trace has more focus on 16KB and 32KB IO sizes, but more than half of the IOs are still either 4KB or 128KB. About 43% of the IOs are sequential with the rest being slightly more full random than pseudo-random.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy - QD Breakdown
Queue Depth 1 2 3 4-5 6-10 11-20 21-32 >32
% of Total 63.5% 10.4% 5.1% 5.0% 6.4% 6.0% 3.2% 0.3%

In terms of queue depths the Heavy trace is even more focused on very low queue depths with three fourths happening at queue depth of one or two. 

I'm reporting the same performance metrics as in The Destroyer benchmark, but I'm running the drive in both empty and full states. Some manufacturers tend to focus intensively on peak performance on an empty drive, but in reality the drive will always contain some data. Testing the drive in full state gives us valuable information whether the drive loses performance once it's filled with data.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy (Data Rate)

The SM951 performs even strongly in our Heavy trace and presents nearly 100% improvement in data rate over the XP941. In full state the SM951 loses a bit of its performance, but that's normal and the drop isn't any bigger than in other drives. Despite the lack of NVMe, it's starting to be clear that the SM951 is significantly faster than its predecessor and any SATA 6Gbps SSD.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy (Latency)

The average latency is also cut in less than half, which is actually a more substantial improvement than going from a SATA 6Gbps drive to the XP941.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy (Latency)

The share of high latency IOs is also the lowest with only 0.06% of the IOs having a higher than 10ms service time.

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer AnandTech Storage Bench - Light


View All Comments

  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    PCIe adapters are fine for review purposes and are in fact more easily serviceable than M.2 slots tend to be. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    Thank you for pointing out all capacities are M2 2280 DOUBLE SIDED. That is missing from virtually all reviews, sales material and eCommerce sites for M2 drives. Newegg has been pretty good about taking pictures of both sides of many drives, though.

    This is important to me because I work with HP Elitebook's and the newest generation of the Elitebook 810 (G2) and 820\1040 all require single-sided. The 840 has room for M2 DS modules, though.
  • Flash13 - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    The company is not trustworthy! Buy at your own risk. Good Luck. Reply
  • youtard - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    hurr! Reply
  • Wardrop - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    Does this form factor work in standard desktop PCI-e 4x slots? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    It's an m-2 plug, you need an adapter to fit it in a standard pcie slot. Reply
  • wtallis - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    When discussing NVMe, please make it clear that the chipset and motherboard firmware only matter for booting off the drive; they don't need any updates to allow a compatible operating system to access the drive as something other than the boot volume.

    (As for what the motherboard firmware needs to gain in order to allow booting from NVMe devices, it's just a loadable UEFI device driver. Even if your motherboard doesn't have such a driver built-in, you could load it from some other storage device and then boot off the NVMe drive.)
  • ericgl21 - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    I wonder if Samsung (or any other OEM) would be willing to sell a 1TB m.2 NVMe PCIe3.0 x4 SSD with SLC NAND with a 2280 form factor?
    Many professionals would appreciate the speed and reliability that SLC NAND provides.
    Sure, it would cost a lot, but so do the Samsung SM951 and Intel P3700.

    If that's not possible with current 16nm manufacturing, then a 512GB would also be nice. :-)
    Just my 2 cents.
  • baii9 - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    reliable on nand? Reliable controller matters, high endurance nand matters, I think nand are "reliable' enough already(compare to that lovely controller). Reply
  • IlikeSSD - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    looks like Samsung paid for not showing OCZ in consistency and mixed workload tests ))))) Reply

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