AnandTech Storage Bench - Light

Our Light storage test has relatively more sequential accesses and lower queue depths than The Destroyer or the Heavy test, and it's by far the shortest test overall. It's based largely on applications that aren't highly dependent on storage performance, so this is a test more of application launch times and file load times. This test can be seen as the sum of all the little delays in daily usage, but with the idle times trimmed to 25ms it takes less than half an hour to run. Details of the Light test can be found here. As with the ATSB Heavy test, this test is run with the drive both freshly erased and empty, and after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB - Light (Data Rate)

Both capacities of the Samsung PM981 offer great average data rates on the Light test. Their performance when full or empty is improved over the Samsung 960 EVO and comes close to the 960 PRO.

ATSB - Light (Average Latency)ATSB - Light (99th Percentile Latency)

The average and 99th percentile latency scores of the PM981s aren't much of an improvement over Samsung's last generation, but this is still a new record for flash-based SSDs, even though the PM981 is using TLC NAND.

ATSB - Light (Average Read Latency)ATSB - Light (Average Write Latency)

The average write latency of the PM981s is great whether the test is run on a full or empty drive, but the average read latency is slightly worse than the 960 PRO when the test is run on a full drive.

ATSB - Light (99th Percentile Read Latency)ATSB - Light (99th Percentile Write Latency)

The 99th percentile read latency of the PM981s is record-setting when the Light test is run on an empty drive, but only the 1TB sets a record when the test is run on a full drive. The 99th percentile write latency is excellent on both drives in either test scenario.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy Random Performance


View All Comments

  • tsk2k - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    It's all about that 3D-Xpoint nowadays. Reply
  • rsandru - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    Speaking of which, can we have the Optane 900p data points back in? Reply
  • boeush - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    Hmm, yeah - all about 1 TB 3D XPoint - how much would that cost, again, and what's the retail availability of the M2 form-factor? Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    Unfortunate after so many years of complete domination samsung is not even trying anymore. It will be TLC all over in order to squeeze out every cent worth of profit from that advantage. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    "...the PM981 has caught up to or surpassed the MLC-based 96x drives on many tests, setting new records not just for TLC-based drives but for client SSDs as a whole."

    Right; they're clearly not trying at all. :|
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    " order to squeeze out every cent worth of profit from that advantage."

    That's called business. If rivals don't like it, they should make something better and bring it to market. I might not like how Samsung has managed its pricing, etc., but if I were them, then based on fiduciary duty to shareholders I would do exactly the same thing.
  • ddriver - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    They are not, but it requires north of a simpleton's way of looking at it to see it. Because they could have kept MLC and offered a significant boost in performance thought the entire drive.

    And the claim that using TLC it catches up on MLC drives is just nonsense. There is no engineering miracle here. There is simple caching at play, the drive doesn't touch TLC for the duration of AT's flimsy test suite. Once the drive runs out of cache performance quickly gets abysmal - about 750 mb/s once it gets to the point of using TLC directly. Not to mention the reduced endurance.

    Granted most casual consumers won't be doing anything as data intensive, but many prosumers will, which means that current consumer grade drives are no longer adequate for prosumer applications, which wasn't the case with the previous generation, indicating that samsung is indeed taking a step back.

    And things are not looking too well in the more affordable enterprise range neither, its lousy with TLC as well. Meaning that samsungs devolution now forces prosumers to shop for the much more expensive high-end enterprise storage solutions.

    I don't mind TLC. What I mind is depriving the market of MLC. I didn't mind paying the MLC premium for the 960 PRO over the EVO. It was a good deal. I mind that they are taking that deal away from the market. And if you had 2 properly working brain cells you'd mind that too.
  • MFinn3333 - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    "There is simple caching at play, the drive doesn't touch TLC for the duration of AT's flimsy test suite."

    What? Here is the destroyer benchmark's description...
    Total GB Read: 1583.02 GB
    Total GB Written: 875.62 GB
    Total IO Operations: 49.8 million
    Queue depth is 50% 1 depth.

    What is your definition of flimsy?
  • mkaibear - Friday, December 01, 2017 - link

    This is deedee, his definition of "flimsy" is "if there is any possible way in which I can be right, then I meant that". Reply
  • ddrіver - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    Exactly. The products are better because time passes on and technology advances, not because they are actually struggling to make them better. Profit is their number one concern performance just happens to increase from time to time... Reply

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