Last fall, several enterprise SSD vendors reached out to us around the same time, offering review samples of their latest and greatest. We put together an updated test suite for enterprise and datacenter SSDs and spent more than a month hammering the drives. Our review of two SATA drives was published first, but this review of 9 NVMe drives is what we've really been looking forward to. These multi-TB drives show just how far NVMe can go beyond the limits of SATA and SAS SSDs.

 

Two of the products we're looking at today come from familiar manufacturers. Samsung is the dominant player in the SSD market, shipping more drives than the next three companies combined. We have their PM1725a in house: an older flagship model, but still the fastest we've ever tested with almost twice the random read performance of an Intel Optane SSD. SK Hynix sent over their PE6011, a low-power entry-level datacenter U.2 drive that is part of their strategy to reestablish a foothold in market segments where they have faltered in recent years.

We also have two new brands featured in one of our reviews for the first time. DapuStor and DERA are two Chinese drive manufacturers that have been around for a few years but have until recently been focusing on their domestic market. DERA's strategy is more centered around developing home-grown technology to compete with foreign suppliers by designing their own SSD controller. DapuStor worked with familiar names like Marvell and Kioxia/Toshiba to create datacenter SSDs focused on efficiency, while also pursuing a long-term roadmap toward advanced in-house tech.

Nine new drives adding up to 40TB of high-end storage might seem like a lot, but it's barely enough to to cover the breadth of the enterprise SSD market. No two of these models are in direct competition. Enterprise SSD product segments can be defined in terms of form factor, write endurance, capacity and performance. Different use cases will call for a different kind of drive, and there's no one size fits all solution. 

Reviewed Models Overview
(Drives Tested in Bold)
Model Interface Form Factor Capacities Memory Write Endurance
(DWPD)
DapuStor
Haishen3 H3000
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 1 TB
2 TB
4 TB
8 TB
96L 3D TLC 1 DWPD
DapuStor
Haishen3 H3100
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 800 GB
1.6 TB
3.2 TB
6.4 TB
96L 3D TLC 3 DWPD
DERA
D5437
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 2 TB
4 TB
8 TB
64L 3D TLC 1 DWPD
DERA
D5457
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 1.6 TB
3.2 TB
6.4 TB
64L 3D TLC 3 DWPD
SK Hynix
PE6011
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 7mm U.2 960 GB
1.92 TB
3.84 TB
7.68 TB
72L 3D TLC 1 DWPD
Samsung
PM1725a
PCIe 3.0 x8 HHHL AIC 1.6 TB
3.2 TB
6.4 TB
48L 3D TLC 5 DWPD
Previously Reviewed by AnandTech:
Micron
5100 MAX
SATA 2.5" 7mm 240 GB
480 GB
960 GB
1.92 TB
32L 3D TLC 5 DWPD
Samsung
883 DCT
SATA 2.5" 7mm 240 GB
480 GB
960 GB
1.92 TB
3.84 TB
64L 3D TLC 0.8 DWPD
Samsung
983 DCT
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 7mm U.2 960 GB
1.92 TB
64L 3D TLC 0.8 DWPD
Intel
DC P4510
PCIe 3.0 x4 2.5" 15mm U.2 1 TB
2 TB
4 TB
8 TB
64L 3D TLC 0.7–1.1 DWPD
Intel Optane
DC P4800X
PCIe 3.0 x4 HHHL AIC 375 GB
750 GB
1.5 TB
3D XPoint 60 DWPD
Memblaze
PBlaze5 C916
PCIe 3.0 x8 HHHL AIC 3.2 TB
6.4 TB
64L 3D TLC 3 DWPD
Note: Tested capacities are shown in bold

To provide some more meaningful comparisons, we've retested and included several other enterprise SSDs from previous reviews.

Drives In Detail: Samsung & SK hynix
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33 Comments

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  • James5mith - Monday, February 17, 2020 - link

    "... but I would gladly purchase a high performance 16TB SSD."

    Then do so. They aren't ridiculously priced anymore. It's $2000-$4000 per drive depending on manufacturer and interface type.

    What is stopping you?

    The Micro 9300 Pro 15.36TB is ~$3000 on average. That's a U.2. interface drive. Too slow?
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Monday, February 17, 2020 - link

    The lack of an M.2 offering? I have yet to find a single 16 TB M.2 SSD available for retail purchase. I have no problem plunking down a few thousand (provided the performance is comparable to Samsung's offerings). Reply
  • CrystalCowboy - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    Most enterprise drives come either in U.2 or in PCIe. And you can buy PCIe-U.2 adapters. Reply
  • CrystalCowboy - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    For that matter, M.2 - U.2 adapters are available and cheap. Reply
  • NV_Me - Friday, February 14, 2020 - link

    Thanks for all of the insights Billy! BTW I like the addition of the drop down selection on top,

    For the PE6011, what is the TBW on either the 1.92TB or 7.68TB drive? I was curious to know if this was a true "1 DWPD" drive.
    Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Friday, February 14, 2020 - link

    The full spec sheet for the PE6011 just says 1.0 DWPD. It doesn't list TBW. Reply
  • NV_Me - Friday, February 14, 2020 - link

    Next time would it be possible to RANK the charts high-low or low-high for improved readability? Reply
  • Hul8 - Saturday, February 15, 2020 - link

    If you retain the order, it's easier to compare performance of particular drives by glancing from one chart to the next. That's important with a 9-drive roundup.

    Normally when they're doing a single product review, that product is highlighted in one color, and it's predecessors or alteratives with another. In that case those items can always be easily spotted in a ranked graph.
    Reply
  • JohnLee-SZ - Friday, February 14, 2020 - link

    Thanks very much Billy, it's a great review! We DapuStor are continuing developing the whole product portfolio and hope we can deliver some great products to fulfill industry needs. Reply
  • CrystalCowboy - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    PCIe 3.0? Are we supposed to take this seriously? Reply

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