1TB Class Performance Testing
Every comparison drive in the charts today is or should be extremely popular. The Intel 600p was popular last year. It came to market with an aggressive price and created the entry-level NVMe market with the MyDigitalSSD BPX. The Intel SSD 760p, another drive with the SM2262 controller, succeeded the 600p but Intel didn't release the 1TB version when we tested the updated series.
The Adata SX8200 and HP EX 920 are the other two SSDs with the SM2262 controller. Both series are very similar to the Mushkin Pilot.
The Plextor M9Pe came to market with lackluster performance. It's not a drive many people talk about but after Plextor released the fourth and fifth firmware revisions, the performance has increased significantly. The SanDisk Extreme PRO 3D NVMe SSD is a nice drive but we lost some interest after the SM2262 drives came to market.
Samsung SSDs will always be popular. The company's current NVMe lineup is the 970 Series. It comes in two versions that are different by the flash technology. The mainstream series is the 970 EVO with 3-bit per cell (TLC). This has the same memory as the other products in this review, other than the 970 Pro. The Samsung 970 Pro uses 2-bit per cell (MLC), that MLC has several advantages over TLC, but it is also expensive.
Sequential Read Performance
The 1TB Mushkin Pilot doesn't scale well with additional queue depth (QD) workloads when compared to the other SM2262 drives we've tested. That's not much of an issue though because the QD1 sequential read performance is over 2,000 MB/s. You would need a very fast drive to copy data from the Pilot for this to become an issue.
Sequential Write Performance
The sequential write performance is nearly identical to the other drives with the same controller. The drives deliver more than 1,700 MB/s writing data at QD2. The two Samsung 970 Series and the SanDisk write faster but they also cost quite a bit more.
Sustained Sequential Write Performance
The Pilot, EX920, and SX8200 all use different firmware. The SX8200 uses more overprovisioning than the others do. Mushkin's firmware gives the drive more consistency with the SLC buffer, but most users will not see much of a distinction working with large block size sequential data.
Random Read Performance
The HP, Adata, and new Mushkin stand out from the rest of the drives in price, but also when it comes to random data reads. These are the most read types of files in your PC. When we talk about in-out operations per second, IOPS, we're really talking about latency in a language that is easy to convey. The difference between a few macro seconds to read a file doesn't seem like much, but when repeated hundreds or thousands of times it becomes significant. IOPS is an easier way to look at the numbers because .003 and .005 is rather dull. It doesn't make nice charts, either.
The 1TB Pilot surpasses both the Samsung 970 EVO and Pro. It's only slightly faster than the SX8200 at QD1 random reads, but not quite as fast as the EX920 at this task.
Random Write Performance
The Pilot surpasses the other SM2262 drives in random data writes. It gets very close to the QD1 performance set by the Samsung 970 Pro with data bursts.
70% Read Sequential Performance
Mixed workloads are the practice of reading and writing data at the same time. SSD architectures and firmware hands mix the workload differently. The Pilot falls near the bottom of our charts with mixed sequential data. The performance is quite a bit different compared to the HP EX920, which led all of the drives in this test at QD2.
70% Read Random Performance
The drive didn't have any problems leveraging the high random performance to score well in this mixed workload test.
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United States: The Mushkin Pilot NVMe SSD - The American SM2262 retails for $XXX at Amazon.
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