AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

Our Heavy storage benchmark is proportionally more write-heavy than The Destroyer, but much shorter overall. The total writes in the Heavy test aren't enough to fill the drive, so performance never drops down to steady state. This test is far more representative of a power user's day to day usage, and is heavily influenced by the drive's peak performance. The Heavy workload test details can be found here. This test is run twice, once on a freshly erased drive and once after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB - Heavy (Data Rate)

The average data rates from the new WD Black SSD on the Heavy test are essentially tied with the Samsung 960 EVO. Premium drives like the Samsung 960 PRO and Intel Optane SSD 900P are faster, but the WD Black and SanDisk Extreme PRO NVMe SSDs still clearly belong in the high-end market segment.

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

The average and 99th percentile latency scores from the WD Black on the Heavy test are among the best from any flash-based SSD. The 99th percentile write latency of the WD Black shows much less performance loss from a full drive than the Toshiba XG5 or Samsung 960 EVO.

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

The WD Black is one of the top drives for average read latency, and the average write latency is only slightly higher than that of the Samsung 960 EVO. The performance hit when the test is run on a full drive is no worse than what most MLC-based drives suffer.

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

Western Digital's new controller architecture provides great QoS for read operations, with 99th percentile latencies lower than any of the competing flash-based SSDs. The 99th percentile write latencies are top notch but don't stand out from the crowd.

ATSB - Heavy (Power)

The WD Black and SanDisk Extreme PRO join the Toshiba XG5 as some of the few NVMe SSDs that offer load power efficiency comparable to good SATA SSDs. The total energy used during the heavy test is only slightly higher than the Crucial MX500 and Western Digital's own SATA drives with the same 64L 3D TLC NAND.

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer AnandTech Storage Bench - Light
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  • Chaitanya - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Nice to see some good competition to Samsung products in SSD space. Would like to see durability testing on these drives. Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Yes it nice to have competition in this area and important thing to notice here a long time disk drive manufacture is changes it technology to meet changes in storage technology. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Looks like WD's purchase of SanDisk is showing some payoff. If only Toshiba would have taken advantage of OCZ (who purchased Indilinx) in-house talent. The Barefoot controller showed a lot of promise and could have easily been updated to support low power states and TLC NAND. But they shelved it. I don't really know why Toshiba bought OCZ. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Friday, April 6, 2018 - link

    Indeed! Samsung did have too long time performance supremesy and that did make the company to upp the prices (natural development thought).
    Hopefully this better situation help uss customers in reasonable time frame. Too much bad news to consumers last years considering the prices.
    Reply
  • XabanakFanatik - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Whatever happened to performance consistency testing? Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    The steady state QD32 random write test doesn't say anything meaningful about how modern SSDs will behave on real client workloads. It used to be a half-decent test before everything was TLC with SLC caching and the potential for thermal throttling on M.2 NVMe drives. Now, it's impossible to run a sustained workload for an hour and claim that it tells you something about how your drive will handle a bursty real world workload. The only purpose that benchmark can serve today is to tell you how suitable a consumer drive is for (ab)use as an enterprise drive. Reply
  • iter - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Most of the tests don't say anything meaningful about "how modern SSDs will behave on real client workloads". You can spend 400% more money on storage that will only get you 4% of performance improvement in real world tasks.

    So why not omit synthetic tests altogether while you are at it?
    Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    You're alluding to the difference between storage performance and whole system/application performance. A storage benchmark doesn't necessarily give you a direct measurement of whole system or application performance, but done properly it will tell you about how the choice of an SSD will affect the portion of your workload that is storage-dependent. Much like Amdahl's law, speeding up storage doesn't affect the non-storage bottlenecks in your workload.

    That's not the problem with the steady-state random write test. The problem with the steady state random write test is that real world usage doesn't put the drive in steady state, and the steady state behavior is completely different from the behavior when writing in bursts to the SLC cache. So that benchmark isn't even applicable to the 5% or 1% of your desktop usage that is spent waiting on storage.

    On the other hand, I have tried to ensure that the synthetic benchmarks I include actually are representative of real-world client storage workloads, by focusing primarily on low queue depths and limiting the benchmark duration to realistic quantities of data transferred and giving the drive idle time instead of running everything back to back. Synthetic benchmarks don't have to be the misleading marketing tests designed to produce the biggest numbers possible.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Good answer, Billy. It won't please everyone here, but that's impossible anyway. Reply
  • iter - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    People do want to see how much time it takes before cache gives out. Don't presume to know what all people do with their systems.

    As I mentioned 99% of the tests are already useless when it comes to indicating overall system performance. 99% of the people don't need anything above mainstream SATA SSD. So your point on excluding that one test is rather moot.

    All in all, it seems you are intentionally hiding the weakness of certain products. Not cool. Run the tests, post the numbers, that's what you get paid for, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that you do your job. Two people pointed out the absence of that tests, which is two more than those who explicitly stated they don't care about it, much less have anything against it. Statistically speaking, the test is of interest, and I highly doubt it will kill you to include it.
    Reply

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