Random Read Performance

One of the major changes in our 2015 test suite is the synthetic Iometer tests we run. In the past we used to test just one or two queue depths, but real world workloads always contain a mix of different queue depths as shown by our Storage Bench traces. To get the full scope in performance, I'm now testing various queue depths starting from one and going all the way to up to 32. I'm not testing every single queue depth, but merely how the throughput scales with the queue depth. I'm using exponential scaling, meaning that the tested queue depths increase in powers of two (i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8...). 

Read tests are conducted on a full drive because that is the only way to ensure that the results are valid (testing with an empty drive can substantially inflate the results and in reality the data you are reading is always valid rather than full of zeros). Each queue depth is tested for three minutes and there is no idle time between the tests. 

I'm also reporting two metrics now. For the bar graph, I've taken the average of QD1, QD2 and QD4 data rates, which are the most relevant queue depths for client workloads. This allows for easy and quick comparison between drives. In addition to the bar graph, I'm including a line graph, which shows the performance scaling across all queue depths. To keep the line graphs readable, each drive has its own graph, which can be selected from the drop-down menu.

I'm also plotting power for SATA drives and will be doing the same for PCIe drives as soon as I have the system set up properly. Our datalogging multimeter logs power consumption every second, so I report the average for every queue depth to see how the power scales with the queue depth and performance.

Iometer - 4KB Random Read

Random read performance at small queue depths has never been an area where the Vector 180 has excelled in. Given that these are one of the most common IOs, it's an area where I would like to see improvement on OCZ's behalf.

Iometer - 4KB Random Read (Power)

Power consumption, on the other hand, is excellent, which is partially explained by the lower performance. 

Samsung SM951 512GB

Having a closer look at the performance data across all queue depths reveals the reason for Vector 180's poor random read performance. For some reason, the performance only starts to scale properly after queue depth of 4, but even then the scaling isn't as aggressive as on some other drives. 

Random Write Performance

Write performance is tested in the same way as read performance, except that the drive is in a secure erased state and the LBA span is limited to 16GB. We already test performance consistency separately, so a secure erased drive and limited LBA span ensures that the results here represent peak performance rather than sustained performance.

Iometer - 4KB Random Write

In random write performance the Vector 180 does considerably better, although it's still not the fastest drive around. 

Iometer - 4KB Random Write (Power)

Even though the random write performance doesn't scale at all with capacity, the power consumption does. Still, the Vector 180 is quite power efficient compared to other drives.

Samsung SM951 512GB

The Vector 180 scales smoothly across all queue depths, but it could scale a bit more aggressively because especially the QD4 score is a bit low. On a positive side, the Vector 180 does very well at QD1, though.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light Sequential Performance
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  • nils_ - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    I distinctly remember that when I replaced a SSD in my workstation the Acronis tool, instead of copying my data from the source SSD to the new SSD copied the data to another, unrelated HDD in the system, happily overwriting the Linux partitions stored thereon... I had to unplug everything from the mainboard safe for the old and new SSD to make sure that it doesn't destroy any more of my data. Reply
  • MikeMurphy - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    Macrium Reflect is free and wonderful to use. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link


    Yep, MR is what I use, it works very well and has a good interface.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    Thirded. It works wonderfully. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    OCZ is still beating that Barefoot 3 dead horse for all it's worth. No wonder they went bankrupt. If you don't innovate, you die. Reply
  • ocztosh - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Hello The_Assimilator. Thanks for your comments. Innovation is definitely a key area of focus for us on both the client and enterprise sides of our SSD business. We currently have a lot of resources put on next generation controllers and have been working hard on client SSDs leveraging the latest Toshiba NAND flash, which includes TLC. While some of these products are on the horizon it was natural for us to update our Vector Series with A19 NAND flash, and rather than just make a NAND change we wanted to add new features not normally found in our client class products like power fail management plus (PFM+) to further improve reliability in applications that blur the line between enthusiast and workstation.

    It is true that Barefoot 3 has, and continues to be, a very strong platform for us as we have shipped so many drives based on this in-house controller, and it has been so solid that we have not had to rev silicon a single time. We will continue to push to innovate when it comes to SSD performance, features and cost and are committed to delivering more value for all our customers. Thanks again for your feedback.
    Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    The bigger problem is that the SSD market has stagnated. When their weren't major players (like Samsung) the little guy could cobble something together and make a decent living filling what was a niche market. Now SSDs are mainstream, and through volume alone the big guys can overpower the little guys, let alone R&D, etc. Until the market shifts away from SATA there's no room for niche innovation or clever advances. It's all down to margins right now. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    You do realize the two best-selling controllers are Marvell and Sandforce, and both are older than Barefoot 3. The SF2281 is 3+ years old and still ships in a variety of Mushkin, ADATA, Intel, etc SSD's.

    Barefoot 3 is thoroughly modern, but it does lack some power saving and drive encryption features. I don't think it makes sense for OCZ to update it when PCIe is around the corner and will require a new controller since a bridge will be expensive and not much faster.

    Aside from that, Barefoot 3 is incredibly innovative. I consider it the best controller available aside from Intel's 3rd gen controller (equally as old) and Samsung's MEX. ASMedia is still a little inconsistent and featureless, Marvell has an aging indirection table implementation that yields average performance, Phison is clearly entry-level with relatively low performance and consistency, Silicon Motion and Fusion-IO are power hungry, have quirks with certain NAND varieties and are not cost competitive.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."

    Yeah, George, I'm not planning on getting fooled by OCZ again.
    Reply
  • blue_urban_sky - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Is that the saying from Tennessee where they cant't remember the proper saying? Reply

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