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Apacer Thunderbird PT910 256GB PCIe SSD Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Mar 18, 2015 1:06 pm
TweakTown Rating: 76%Manufacturer: Apacer

Anvil Storage Utilities

 

Version and / or Patch Used: RC6

 

So, what is Anvil Storage Utilities? Anvil Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test, or just the read or the write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.

 

Anvil Storage Utilities is not officially available yet, but we've been playing with the beta for several months now. The author, Anvil, has been updating the software steadily on several international forums, and is adding new features every couple of months.

 

We can use Anvil several different ways to show different aspects for each drive. We've chosen to use this software to show the performance of a drive with two different data sets. The first is with compressible data, and the second data set is incompressible data. Several users have requested this data in our SSD reviews.

 

 

0-Fill Compressible Data

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_55

 

Incompressible Data

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_56

 

The SandForce SS-2241 controller uses compression technologies to reduce NAND flash wear. The side effect is the drive writes already compressed data slower than it writes data that has not been compressed.

 

The overall performance in Anvil is lower than many of the value drives on the market today.

 

Low Queue Depth Read IOPS

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_57

 

In a consumer computer, we want to pay closer attention to the low queue depth random read performance. High queue depth numbers look nice on product boxes, but most of us will never get into the high queue depth range under normal use.

 

The best 2.5" SATA products deliver just over 10K random read IOPS at QD1 and scale up from there. The fastest consumer SSD available today is the Samsung SM951, and it delivers just over 12K random read IOPS. The Apacer Thunderbird PT910 delivers half the random read IOPS of the SM951 512GB native PCIe SSD. The PT910 doesn't manage to deliver the same SM951 QD1 performance until it gets to QD4.

 

High Queue Depth Read IOPS

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_58

 

The PT910 256GB doesn't scale well, even in the high queue depth range. These tests use 46% compression, so that is why we didn't achieve the 100K random read IOPS that Apacer quotes on the specifications. With 100% compressible data, we did manage to achieve higher performance, but with 100% incompressible data, the random read performance was even lower.

 

Low Queue Depth Write IOPS

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_59

 

The PT910 256GB does a little better with random writes at low queue depths, but still falls behind nearly every other drive in this chart.

 

High Queue Depth Write IOPS

 

apacer-thunderbird-pt910-256gb-pcie-ssd-review_60

 

The high queue depth random read performance fell in line with several other products on the market, but well short of the G.Skill Phoenix Blade and OCZ RevoDrive 350, two of the most well-known All-in-One RAID products.

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