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Samsung 950 Pro M.2 PCIe Gen 3x4 NVMe SSD RAID 0 Report

By: Jon Coulter | RAID in Storage | Posted: Feb 17, 2016 2:15 pm

Moderate Workload Model


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


PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests


Version and / or Patch Used:


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 drives 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 secondary storage device.


OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used




OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State




Secondary Volume Empty - FOB




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




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.


We notice a nice steady-state performance increase with both of our arrays over a single drive. In an empty FOB state, which is totally unrealistic, a single 950 Pro delivers a better score. To illustrate how unrealistic an empty FOB score really is, we only need to look at the Intel 750's results.


Intel's 750 scores almost 400K when it's empty, but when we load up the 750 with data, a totally different picture emerges with scoring dropping to 80K. The 750 goes from a solid first to a solid last. This is why we test with data on the drive for a more realistic evaluation. This holds true for most of the tests we run. If we were to run our testing with empty secondary volumes, most of our test results would be significantly higher.



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






PCMark 7 is showing an increase of about 40% for a 950 Pro array over a single drive. This backs up what we saw from Vantage. All the Samsung offerings easily outperform Intel's 750 Series by a significant margin with the greatest disparity coming from our dual 512GB 950 Pro array, where it outperforms the 750 by almost 100%.



PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth


Version and / or Patch Used: 2.5.419


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






PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. For the first time in our round of testing, a single drive is able to best an array. This is most certainly a result of a single 950 Pro having better 4K QD1 read performance than an array does. As we will see this is an anomaly that doesn't hold true for any of our other tests.


Again we see that the 950 Pro handily outperforms Intel's 750 Series in an OS environment. We also note that the 256GB 950 Pro outperforms the SM951 in real-world type testing despite the fact that the 256GB SM951 outperforms it in synthetic testing.

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