Synthetic Benchmarks

Various synthetic benchmarks are available to quickly evaluate the performance of direct-attached storage devices. Real-world performance testing often has to be a customized test. We present both varieties in this review, starting with the synthetic benchmarks in this section. Prior to covering those, we have a quick look at our testbed setup and testing methodology.

Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology

Evaluation of DAS units on Windows is done with the testbed outlined in the table below. For devices with a Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C interface) connections (such as the Samsung Portable SSD X5 1TB that we are considering today), we utilize the Thunderbolt 3 / USB 3.1 Type-C port enabled by the Intel Alpine Ridge controller. It connects to the Z170 PCH via a PCIe 3.0 x4 link..

AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH ATX
CPU Intel Core i5-6600K
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 4 F4-2133C15-8GRR
32 GB ( 4x 8GB)
DDR4-2133 @ 15-15-15-35
OS Drive Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 NVMe 256 GB
SATA Devices Corsair Neutron XT SSD 480 GB
Intel SSD 730 Series 480 GB
Add-on Card None
Chassis Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
PSU Cooler Master V750 750 W
OS Windows 10 Pro x64
Thanks to Cooler Master, GIGABYTE, G.Skill and Intel for the build components

The full details of the reasoning behind choosing the above build components can be found here. The list of DAS units used for comparison purposes is provided below.

  • Samsung Portable SSD X5 1TB (NTFS)
  • DIY TEKQ Rapide - SanDisk Extreme Pro TB3 SSD 1TB
  • LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 500GB
  • Patriot Evlvr TB3 SSD 1TB
  • Samsung Portable SSD X5 1TB (exFAT)
  • TEKQ Rapide TB3 SSD 240GB (NTFS)
  • TEKQ Rapide TB3 SSD 240GB (exFAT)
  • d2 TB2 - SSD

ATTO and Crystal DiskMark

Samsung claims read and write speeds of 2800 MBps and 2300 MBps respectively, and these are backed up by the ATTO benchmarks provided below. Unfortunately, these access traces are not very common in real-life scenarios.

Drive Performance Benchmarks - ATTO

CrystalDiskMark, despite being a canned benchmark, provides a better estimate of the performance range with a selected set of numbers. As evident from the screenshot below, the performance can dip to as low as 46 MBps for 4K random reads at low queue depths.

Drive Performance Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark
Introduction and Product Impressions AnandTech DAS Suite and Performance Consistency
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  • HStewart - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    I search around this drive is $700 for 1T and I hope since Intel has open up the spec for TB 3 - that the prices would drop. I have also heard that new controller will be backwards compatible with USB 3.x - of course at much slower speed.

    One thing that would be nice in review - is compare a similar drive using USB 3.x - actually both Gen 1 and Gen 2.
  • Reflex - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Someone mentioned recently that despite Intel's statement that they would open up TB3, it hasn't yet happened and communication on the topic has ceased. I haven't looked into it myself yet, but if true that implies that it really won't ever go mass market or get much cheaper.
  • The_Assimilator - Thursday, August 30, 2018 - link

    In that case, TB has cemented its legacy as Firewire's successor, and in a few years will vanish entirely unless Intel decides to keep it on extended life support.
  • shelbystripes - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    The throttling scheme is by far the most concerning part of this. I doubt there are firmware changes that could enable greater performance at the same temperature... but I wonder if Samsung could release firmware to increase the maximum internal temperature. 56C seems a bit low as a threshold, given that the thermal protection works as planned. Perhaps raising the throttling threshold to 60-65C could increase performance? The older 850 EVO series was rated up to 70C, and AnandTech preciously reported that the 970 EVO (which this is supposedly based on) gives thermal warnings at 85C.

    Running hot might have a small effect on shelf life, but I doubt most people will be writing 100GB+ to it constantly.

    I would be pissed if I used one of these to make an initial backup and it took several hours due to throttling, but if that one-time load was successful, incremental changes shouldn’t hit the higher thermal threshold at all.
  • shelbystripes - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    Previously, not previously. It’s 2018, why don’t comments have an edit button?
  • shelbystripes - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

  • jordanclock - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    If it means the NAND lasts longer, I think it's a fair trade off.
  • shelbystripes - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    It depends on how balanced the trade off is. 56C seems rather low given the higher thermal limits on other SSDs, and seems to be heavily impacting performance after just a couple minutes of sustained transfer. Raising it to 60-65C shouldn’t heavily impact long term lifespan, since their desktop version can handle higher temperatures just fine.

    I have trouble believing the durability impact, just from raising the throttle temp into the 60-65C range, is so massive that it justifies this much throttling. Especially since this is a mobile device, which isn’t going to serve as a boot drive or anything like that.
  • notashill - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    It's 1C cooler than the TEKQ model and 1/10 the performance, in spite of a larger and heavier package.
  • Dug - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Where do you get 1/10 the performance from?

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