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
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  • peevee - Friday, March 20, 2015 - link

    IOmeter? Packing several weeks/months of IO into a several minutes/hours test? Seriously, your tests have become SO artificial as not to correspond to any real life experiences at all. For example, in real life SSD write speed almost does not matter, because almost always they are asynchronous - write happens into cache and user does not wait anything, or speed of writes is limited by the speed of data acquisition - case in point, you download test is always limited by much slower internet speed, or copying pictures off camera/SD card are limited by much slower camera/reader, USB or SD speeds etc. Background backup, happening without a user AT ALL? Come on!
    It would be actually much more interesting to see at least a few REAL numbers, like good old starting Windows or copying a catalog full of pictures and videos or starting a VM. So the users would see what amount of their time they would REALLY save by investing extra into a faster drive.
    Reply
  • kishisaki - Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - link

    How did you get all those speed with Asus Z97 Deluxe?
    I thought it only has a 10Gb/s M.2 Slot?
    Reply
  • Gradius2 - Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - link

    My solution is WAYYYY cheaper and bigger, I have 670GB (real size) on my little RAID, see the performance: http://i61.tinypic.com/2vt9mo6.jpg Reply
  • xyvyx2 - Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - link

    I was able to keep the temps down on my SM951 by attaching a small heatsink... I need to do some data logging, but I don't think it's gone over 60C since:
    http://s76.photobucket.com/user/xyvyx/media/Comput...">[IMG]http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j9/xyvyx/Compute...[/IMG]
    Reply
  • stevae - Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - link

    why isn't there a trouble shoot included IF your result comes back that the drive DOES NOT have trim working? this is incomplete article. Reply
  • Invisibleman - Sunday, August 16, 2015 - link

    Kristian,

    Because I didn't read this review earlier and I am now planning to upgrade my PC to an M2 SSD. I came to this review.

    But there is one thing I realy don't understand. As the setup is saying, you have tested with de Asus Z97 DeLuxe. I know there are 2 different versions of this one. 1 is with USB 3.1 support (new version) and 1 with USB 3.0 (Old one) this one I have.

    But if I look at the specs then the Z97 DeLuxe shares the bandwide with SataExpress 1 and have only 2 x PCI Express 3.0/2.0 x 16 Slots (Single at 16x or dual at x8/x8 Mode)

    But as I read the SM951 needs to have PCI 3.0 x 4bus. Am I missing something? For me it seems that the SM951 can't run full speed on this board. If it goes thru Sata Express then also get only PCI 3.0 X 2. But in the test (charts) you are mention PCI 3.0 x 4. How is this possible to get if the Max is PCI 3.0 x 2?

    So can you tell me what I am missing? What do I need to do/buy extra to get this one run one full power meaning PCI 3.0 x 4.

    Regards,
    Hans
    Reply
  • Hoogmade - Monday, December 07, 2015 - link

    What card is used to use the SM951 in a Mac Pro 2012?
    I tried the Addonics ADM2PX4 but that doesn't seem to work.
    Reply
  • dtscaps - Friday, March 11, 2016 - link

    Ok, this is supposed to be a review to guide me what SSD to buy. I read 10 pages of performance specs and 72 more comments dealing with microseconds marginality. The fact that this drive does or does not have an AES self encrypting mechanism adering to OPAL 2 with a possible IEEE1667 extension IS IMPORTANT. IT IS A COMPLETE SHOW STOPPER if the drive cannot encrypt data. Maybe except if you are a kid playing with new toys.

    So, is this SSD self encrypting ?
    Does it support Opal 2
    Does it support the IEEE1667 extension?
    Reply

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