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ZOTAC Sonix 480GB NVMe PCIe AIC SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Mar 22, 2016 7:03 pm
TweakTown Rating: 87%Manufacturer: ZOTAC

Moderate Workload Model

 

We categorize these tests as indicative of a moderate workload environment.

 

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

 

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.

 

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's guidelines. Steady state testing simulates a drive's performance similar to that of a drive that been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

 

zotac-sonix-480gb-nvme-pcie-aic-ssd-review_28

 

Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

 

zotac-sonix-480gb-nvme-pcie-aic-ssd-review_29

 

There's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.

 

zotac-sonix-480gb-nvme-pcie-aic-ssd-review_30

 

The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing. This is exactly why we focus on steady state performance.

 

Moderate workload performance is an area where we would like to see some improvement. Phison-powered SSDs have always struggled a bit with moderate workload performance. We have seen incremental improvements with each new firmware release, and we fully expect to see improvements in this area through future firmware updates.

 

 

PCMark 7 - System Storage

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.0

 

We will look to Raw System Storage scoring for evaluation because it's done without system stops and, therefore, allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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This test backs up our Vantage results. The Sonix again struggles with moderate workloads.

 

 

PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.4.304

 

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

zotac-sonix-480gb-nvme-pcie-aic-ssd-review_33

 

zotac-sonix-480gb-nvme-pcie-aic-ssd-review_34

 

PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's performance. The Sonix performs much better than any SATA-based SSD, but again falls short when compared to the NVMe based competition.

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