Performance Consistency

Performance consistency tells us a lot about the architecture of these SSDs and how they handle internal fragmentation. The reason we do not have consistent IO latency with SSDs is because inevitably all controllers have to do some amount of defragmentation or garbage collection in order to continue operating at high speeds. When and how an SSD decides to run its defrag or cleanup routines directly impacts the user experience as inconsistent performance results in application slowdowns.

To test IO consistency, we fill a secure erased SSD with sequential data to ensure that all user accessible LBAs (Logical Block Addresses) have data associated with them. Next we kick off a 4KB random write workload across all LBAs at a queue depth of 32 using incompressible data. The test is run for just over half an hour and we record instantaneous IOPS every second.

We are also testing drives with added over-provisioning by limiting the LBA range. This gives us a look into the drive’s behavior with varying levels of empty space, which is frankly a more realistic approach for client workloads.

Each of the three graphs has its own purpose. The first one is of the whole duration of the test in log scale. The second and third one zoom into the beginning of steady-state operation (t=1400s) but on different scales: the second one uses log scale for easy comparison whereas the third one uses linear scale for better visualization of differences between drives. Click the dropdown selections below each graph to switch the source data.

For more detailed description of the test and why performance consistency matters, read our original Intel SSD DC S3700 article.

Mushkin Reactor 1TB
Default
25% Over-Provisioning

Despite the use of newer and slightly lower performance 16nm NAND, Reactor's performance consistency is actually marginally better than the other SM2246EN based SSDs we have tested. It's still worse than most of the other drives, but at least the increase in capacity didn't negatively impact the consistency, which happens with some drives. 

Transcend SSD370 256GB
Default
25% Over-Provisioning

 

Transcend SSD370 256GB
Default
25% Over-Provisioning


TRIM Validation

To test TRIM, I filled the drive with sequential 128KB data and proceeded with a 30-minute random 4KB write (QD32) workload to put the drive into steady-state. After that I TRIM'ed the drive by issuing a quick format in Windows and ran HD Tach to produce the graph below.

And TRIM works as expected.

Introduction, The Drive & The Test AnandTech Storage Bench 2013
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  • Andy Chow - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    I just checked, my Vertex 4, 256 GB, has 72 TB of Writes from host (Raw value 36277402795) after a little more than 2 years (18461 hours) of use. I kind of expect it to die around the 350 TB mark, so I'm not that concerned. But with this drive I would be. I guess it's based on personal use. Reply
  • Mark_gb - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    It is still Feb 9, 2015, and the price comparision chart shows this new Mushkin and a Samsung 850 EVO both at $390. Mushkin used to be a great memory OEM, but you don't hear much from them anymore. If the Mushkin was $60 cheaper, I would definately buy it. But with the two both at the same price, I would go with Samsung again. Never lost a bit, and it comes with the Samsung Magician toolbox. Reply
  • Powerlurker - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    They still make memory. The problem is that there's much less justification to buy premium RAM nowadays. Reply
  • KAlmquist - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - link

    The prices are only the same if you buy from Amazon. Newegg prices (including shipping) are $361 for the Mushkin drive and $404 for the Samsung 850 EVO. Reply
  • djvita - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    Speaking of SSD reviews, now I want to see this one!

    Crucial MX200 1TB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive - CT1000MX200SSD1
    Sequential reads/writes up to 555 / 500 MB/s on all file types
    Random reads/writes up to 100k / 87k IOPS on all file types Up to 5x more endurance and over 2x more energy efficient than a typical client SSD
    **Dynamic Write Acceleration delivers faster saves and file transfers** (might help in destroyer benchmark)
    Includes spacer for 9.5mm applications
    $446

    Just released on Amazon.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    I will be getting my MX200 samples this week, so the review will come in the next few weeks. Reply
  • rahuldesai1987 - Monday, February 9, 2015 - link

    Great! Keep coming up with the reviews. Reply
  • fastasleep - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    I just ordered this one to put in my 2011 MacBook Pro optical drive bay, alongside an M550 boot drive. Any reason I might want to switch them and put the Mushkin drive as the main boot drive? I'm going to move my iTunes library and video editing scratch disk to the secondary drive and thought the power saving features of the Mushkin would make sense for a secondary drive that's not accessed as often, and the M550 looks like it has higher IOPS and slightly faster sequential read, but slower sequential write (so, a wash there?). Is there a clear choice here for a primary and secondary drive? (and yes the optibay is sata3 - I believe some models that year were still sata2) Reply
  • gcb - Saturday, May 2, 2015 - link

    The only drive in the same price range is the Crucial M500 960GB for $300, and it wasn't included in the comparisson?!!? Reply

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