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Next-Gen NVMe SSD Showdown: Phison E12 and SMI SM2262EN

By: Chris Ramseyer | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jul 28, 2018 3:00 pm

Game Load Time

 

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The "retail optimizations" are important to consider when looking at the load time test today. Our early reference design and the HP EX920 use the same flash, and same controller - from a hardware view - the software is different. When finally released, SM2262EN drives will be faster than retail products shipping today.

 

The E12 is the fastest game load drive from Phison to date. It's slightly faster than the E7 series that shipped almost exclusively with 15nm planar TLC memory. The E8 that succeeded the E7 is a value-focused mainstream 4-channel controller so Phison hasn't had a new high-performance product to compare to the E12 in two years.

 

 

PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth

 

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The PCMark 8 standard storage test uses ten typical applications to test the storage system. We present the combined results in throughput to gauge performance across a broad range of applications. The two next-generation NVMe drives sit very close together on the chart but still trail the Samsung Pro series models with MLC flash. The HP EX920 is also slightly faster.

 

 

PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test

 

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In the extended storage test using the same applications, we focus mainly on the recovery phases. These are the usage model closest to a consumer workload coming from the initial hit of installing the operating system and applications, like when you first build and deploy a new system.

 

We've mentioned that the two next-generation drives take a different approach to achieving high performance. The SMI SM2262EN relies on cache more than the Phison E12. When you put a heavy emphasis on cache, the heavy workload performance falls lower, but the consumer-focused workloads see a greater improvement.

 

Phison prefers to use more processing power to handle background activities rather than cache. The result is higher performance under heavy workloads, but slightly less performance under less intensive workloads.

 

We've watched this play out for a number of product generations. Products like the Corsair Neutron XTi with a Phison S10 SATA controller are very good under workstation workloads but trail some consumer-focused products in lighter workloads.

 

 

 

SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness and Power Tests

 

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The BAPCo SYSmark Responsiveness Test favors strong cache policies. The workload focuses on light office activities with very little data written during the test. The base score of 1,000 comes from an OEM version of the 850 EVO.

 

The SMI SM2262EN improves on the HP EX920 design slightly and gives users a more responsive system with less latency. The Phison E12 reference design gets much closer to the baseline score but is still delivers a very snappy user experience.

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