512GB Class Performance Testing
We grabbed seven past and present SATA III SSDs to compare to the 512GB GIGABYTE US Pro. We start with the Corsair Neutron XTI 480GB, possibly the best SSD to use to the Phison S10 controller and Toshiba 15nm MLC flash.
We follow the XTI with three of the best SATA III SSDs shipping today, the Crucial MX500, Samsung 860 EVO and SanDisk Ultra 3D.
The Inland Professional SATA III SSD we tested last month makes an appearance and joins the Toshiba VX500 as the only DRAMless architectures in this review. The Plextor M8V finishes the group and is another entry-level SATA SSD.
Sequential Read Performance
The Phison S10 controller has always produced very good sequential read performance. The GIGABYTE UD Pro with 3D TLC lags behind the Neutron XTI with planar 2D flash by 30 MB/s at queue depth (QD) 2 but with all of these SATA III drives surpassing 500 MB/s, we don't have much to complain about.
Sequential Write Performance
We see a much larger gap in the selected products when writing data. The UD Pro trails all but the Inland Professional SATA III SSD with a gap of 50 MB/s at QD2.
Sustained Sequential Write Performance
3D TLC is significantly faster than older planar (2D) TLC memory. When planar TLC was in the market, we saw sustained sequential write speeds drop to 100 MB/s in 512GB SSDs and even lower in smaller sizes. For many users, the red line is when the transfer speed falls below what you can transfer over a gigabit network, or around 115 MB/s reliably.
The 512GB GIGABYTE UD Pro delivers around 225 MB/s after the initial SLC buffer depletes. The buffer is small in comparison to many of the other drives in the charts today. We often use this performance test to separate premium, mainstream and entry-level SSDs rather than just retail pricing alone.
Random Read Performance
The UD Pro controller features a quad-core architecture and eight channels to the flash, but the drive still has problems reaching the high QD1 random read performance numbers we like to see. We measured just over 6,300 IOPS at QD1, nearly half that of the Crucial MX500 which shares a similar price.
Random Write Performance
It's been a couple of years since we experienced the dramatic waves in the charts. With planar TLC the inconsistent performance created waves in the results, the tests were redesigned to measure burst performance. The GIGABYTE UD Pro has a very small SLC buffer, and that comes through in our tests.
70% Read Sequential Performance
With so many cores, channels and armed with the latest flash technology we expected the UD Pro to perform better in our mixed workload tests. In this section, we look at mixed (reads and writes) sequential data. The UD Pro performs about the same as the Inland Professional SATA III between queue depth 2 and 8. At QD16, the performance takes a sharp downturn, but this is likely an issue with the SLC buffer since we're moving a lot of data with this workload.
70% Read Random Performance
The new UD Pro scored the lowest in our mixed random workload at QD2. The result was even lower than the DRAMless Inland Professional SSD we tested last month. This is a cause of concern for us because the result is nearly half of the Inland, a drive that should be at the very bottom in every test today.
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