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

  • Kevin G - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    "I also verified that the SM951 is bootable in tower Mac Pros (2012 and earlier)."

    Excellent. The old 2010/2012 towers continue to show that being expandable provides long term benefit. I'm glad that I picked up my tower Mac Pro when I did.

    Now to find a carrier that'll convert the 4x PCIe 3.0 link of the M.2 connector to an 8x PCIe 2.0 link for a Mac Pro. (Two two M.2s to a single 16x PCIe 2.0 link.)
  • extide - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    You will need a PLX chip to do that, you can't just put 2 x4 devices into an x8 slot... Reply
  • jimjamjamie - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    It's pretty hilarious how many people drink the shiny plastic trash bin kool-aid. Reply
  • Tunnah - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    I'm not super knowledgeable on the whole thing, but isn't NVMe really only a big deal for enterprise, as it's more a benefit for multi drive setups ? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    It's of course a bigger deal for enterprises because the need for performance is higher. However, NVMe isn't just a buzzword for the client space because it reduced the protocol latency, which in turn results in higher performance at low queue depths that are common for client workloads. Reply
  • knweiss - Sunday, March 1, 2015 - link

    Kristian, did you ever test how much influence the filesystem has? I would love to see a filesystem comparison on the various platforms with NVMe drivers (Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, etc). Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    Hopefully NVMe will be standard on SSDs by the time Skylake and 100-series chipsets arrive. Reply
  • sna1970 - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    What is the point of this expensive drive when you can have the same numbers using 2 SSD in Raid 0 ?

    and please no one says to me risk of Data Loss .. SSD are not mechanical and the chance of loosing 1 SSD is the same of 2 of them.
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    RAID only tends to increase high QD and large IO transfers where the IO load can easily be distributed between two or more drives. Low QD performance at small IO sizes can actually be worse due to additional overhead from the RAID drivers. Reply
  • dzezik - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    Hi sna1970. You misses Bernouli's "introduced the principle of the maximum product of the probabilities of a system of concurrent errors" it is quite old 1782 but is is still valid. Have You ever been in school. Do You have mathematics classes? Reply

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