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Phison PS5012-E12 Preview with FW 11.0 - Hold On Tight

By: Chris Ramseyer | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: Sep 6, 2018 3:00 pm

1TB Class Performance Testing

 

Product Comparison

 

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Today we're comparing the latest E12 to the most popular high-performance NVMe SSDs shipping today. This includes the HP EX920 and Adata SX8200 both using the SMI SM2262 controller and Micron 64 L TLC. The Plextor M9Pe in the add-in card configuration with an older Marvell controller paired with Toshiba 64L TLC. The SanDisk Extreme Pro NVMe with a custom controller, the first from SanDisk and finally the Samsung 970 Pro and EVO. The 970 Pro is the only product in this group with 2-bit per cell MLC flash.

 

Sequential Read Performance

 

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The Phison E12 drives we've tested so far have a strong dip at QD2 and 4 in our testing. The SanDisk and Western Digital NVMe SSDs have the same issues but only when we run the fully automated suite. The latest version of the E12 has very high QD1 sequential read performance, that only trails the two Samsung 970 Series SSDs by less than 100 MB/s.

 

Sequential Write Performance

 

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The E12's sequential write performance is amazing. We never thought a true 3,000 MB/s (3GB/s) run was even possible with TLC memory. The E12 hits the high mark and even outperforms the Samsung 970 Pro with MLC flash.

Sustained Sequential Write Performance

 

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There is very little performance loss writing to the entire drive thanks to the new firmware and overprovisioned space held in reserve to manage the background activities. Again we see the E12 outpacing the 970 Pro.

 

Random Read Performance

 

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The random read performance is down from the SM2262 drives and the 970 Pro. Phison did gain some performance in QD1 random reads with this firmware. We suspect the mass production (MP) update will further improve random read performance before products ship. MP firmware is typically considered the 1st firmware found on retail drives.

 

 

Random Write Performance

 

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The E12's random write performance doesn't look as good as it is on the line chart. We like using the line chart to see what's possible in our Meltdown-patched world but for most users the QD1 performance is what actually matters. Phison focused on the QD1 performance and hit a home run. The E12 nearly reaches 60,000 IOPS with the SLC buffer. That's Optane-like random write performance.

 

70% Read Sequential Performance

 

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The sequential mixed workload results are the least favorable of the synthetic tests. Mixed workload optimizations, as well as lower level power stages, are usually the last to optimize in the firmware development process.

 

70% Read Random Performance

 

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The random mixed workload results look strong. Phison has come a long way in random performance. The push to build upgrade market components alongside OEM components has benefited both programs in reliability and performance.

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