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Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SATA III SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 27, 2015 3:09 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Kingston Technology

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended - Consistency Test

 

Heavy Usage Model

 

We consider PCMark 8's consistency test to be a heavy usage model test. This is the usage model most enthusiasts, heavy-duty gamers, and professionals fall into. If you do a lot of gaming, audio/video processing, rendering, or have workloads of this nature, then this test will be most relevant for you. PCMark 8 has built-in, command line executed storage testing. The PCMark 8 Consistency test measures the performance consistency and the degradation tendency of a storage system.

 

The Storage test workloads are repeated. Between each repetition, the storage system is bombarded with a usage that causes degraded drive performance. In the first part of the test, the cycle continues until a steady degraded level of performance has been reached. (Steady State)

 

In the second part, the recovery of the system is tested by allowing the system to idle and measuring the performance after 5-minute long intervals. (Internal drive maintenance: Garbage Collection (GC)) The test reports the performance level at the start, the degraded steady-state, and the recovered state, as well as the number of iterations required to reach the degraded state and the recovered state.

 

We feel Futuremark's Consistency Test is the best test ever devised to show the true performance of solid-state storage in a heavy usage scenario. This test takes on average 13 to 17 hours to complete, and writes somewhere between 450GB and 14,000GB of test data depending on the drive. If you want to know what an SSD's performance is going to look like after a few months or even years of heavy usage, this test will show you.

 

Here's a breakdown of Futuremark's Consistency Test:

 

Precondition phase:

 

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

 

Degradation phase:

 

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 10 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 8 times, and on each pass increase the duration of random writes by 5 minutes.

 

Steady state phase:

 

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

 

Recovery phase:

 

1. Idle for 5 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

 

Storage Bandwidth

 

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we can use to judge a drives performance.

 

kingston-hyperx-savage-240gb-sata-iii-ssd-review_46

 

We consider steady state bandwidth (the blue bar) our test that carries the most weight in ranking a drive/arrays performance. Performance after Garbage Collection (GC) (the orange and red bars) is what we consider the second most important consideration when ranking a drives performance. Trace based steady state testing is where true high performing SSDs are separated from the rest of the pack.

 

Interestingly, the HyperX Savage performs very well in this most brutal of tests. We attribute this to the HyperX Savage's background flash maintenance scheme. The lower performing drives are likely shelving GC (Garbage Collection) commands for idle time, but the HyperX seems to be executing drive maintenance during the workload, allowing it to maintain better than expected steady state performance. We suspect this to be the case because the HyperX Savage is performing better with heavy workloads in a steady state than it does with light workloads.

 

kingston-hyperx-savage-240gb-sata-iii-ssd-review_47

 

We chart our test subject's storage bandwidth as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations. This gives us a good visual perspective of how our test subjects perform as testing progresses.

 

Total Access Time (Latency)

 

We chart the total time the disk is accessed as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations.

 

kingston-hyperx-savage-240gb-sata-iii-ssd-review_48

 

Disk Busy Time

 

Disk Busy Time is how long the disk is busy working. We chart the total time the disk is working as reported at each of the tests 18 trace iterations.

 

kingston-hyperx-savage-240gb-sata-iii-ssd-review_49

 

When latency is low, disk busy time is low as well.

 

Data Written

 

We measure the total amount of random data that our test drive/array is capable of writing during the degradation phases of the consistency test. Pre-conditioning data is not included in the total. The total combined time that degradation data is written to the drive/array is 470 minutes. This can be very telling. The better a drive/array can process a continuous stream of random data, the more data will be written.

 

kingston-hyperx-savage-240gb-sata-iii-ssd-review_50

 

This result is supportive of our suspicion that the HyperX is executing GC commands throughout the test. When the flash is cleaner, more data will be written.

 

 

70/30 Mixed Workload Test

 

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

 

Heavy Usage Model

 

Our 70/30 Mixed Workload test is designed to simulate a heavy usage enthusiast/workstation environment. We feel that a mix of 70% read/30% write, full random 4K transfers best represents this type of user environment. Our test allows us to see the drive enter into and reach a steady state as the test progresses. Phase one of the test preconditions the drive for 1 hour with 128K sequential writes. Phase two of the test runs a 70% read/30% write, full random 4K transfer workload on the drive for 1 hour. We log and chart (phase two) IOPS data at 5-second intervals for 1 hour (720 data points). 60 data points = 5 minutes.

 

kingston-hyperx-savage-240gb-sata-iii-ssd-review_51

 

What we like about this test is that it reflects reality. Everything lines up, as it should. Consumer drives don't outperform Enterprise-Class SSD's that were designed for enterprise workloads. Consumer drives based on old technology are not outperforming today's Hyper-Class SSD, etc.

 

Kingston's HyperX Savage displays little variability throughout the test. At about 21 minutes (data point 250 +/-) into the test, we see the HyperX drive's garbage collection kick into high gear.

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