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OWC Mercury Electra MAX 6G 2TB SATA III SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 22, 2016 1:16 pm
TweakTown Rating: 50%Manufacturer: OWC

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

 

owc-mercury-electra-max-6g-2tb-sata-iii-ssd-review_25

 

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

 

owc-mercury-electra-max-6g-2tb-sata-iii-ssd-review_26

 

Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

 

owc-mercury-electra-max-6g-2tb-sata-iii-ssd-review_27

 

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

 

owc-mercury-electra-max-6g-2tb-sata-iii-ssd-review_28

 

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.

 

Initial real-world testing results are better for the Electra Max than what we saw from synthetic testing. However, when we look at the drive's steady-state performance, it's obvious that the drive's garbage collection is unable to keep up. We see a rather odd result in that the drive's 75% filled performance is better than its empty secondary performance. This is because the drive did not clean itself up even when cleaned with diskpart, formatted multiple times, and given an hour of idle time.

 

 

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

 

owc-mercury-electra-max-6g-2tb-sata-iii-ssd-review_29

 

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The Electra Max can muster a score that is not entirely embarrassing, but in comparison to the rest of our test pool, the Electra Max is significantly overmatched.

 

 

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

 

owc-mercury-electra-max-6g-2tb-sata-iii-ssd-review_31

 

owc-mercury-electra-max-6g-2tb-sata-iii-ssd-review_32

 

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.

 

Synthetic testing was not kind to the Electra Max, and neither is our moderate workload testing. 172 MB/s storage bandwidth is by far the lowest bandwidth we've ever recorded with this test.

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