2TB Class Performance Testing
Today we're testing the PS5016-E16 reference design in our standard consumer test system outfitted with Intel's Core i7-7700K processor and ASRock's Z270 Taichi motherboard. The system uses 16GB of Crucial memory.
The BAPCo SYSmark and MobileMark tests run on Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17 gaming notebooks with support for both SATA and NVMe SSDs (using PCIe 3.0 x4). PCIe 4.0 desktop testing will begin when our sample systems arrives, hopefully soon.
Sequential Read Performance
The Phison E16 reference design SSD is limited by the PCIe 3.0 x4 interface but we knew that would be an issue. Most of the drives in the chart reach the upper 3.0 x4 limits, but that performance comes at higher queue depths than most of us achieve with consumer software.
Sequential Write Performance
The E16 shows the strongest sequential write performance we've seen on a flash-based SSD. We found the drive limited by the bus at just queue depth (QD) 2.
Sustained Sequential Write Performance
Phison now uses an advanced cache system that will operate in SLC mode for the entire drive until it has to fold data to the TLC area. This makes your extended transfers to the drive very quick, even if you have a substantial amount of data on the drive.
Random Read Performance
Phison collaborated with Toshiba for memory so that puts the new E16 at a disadvantage with random reads compared to other SSDs using Micron 64L and 96L flash. We would love to see this controller paired with Micron's low latency TLC. Maybe one day we will see the E16 unleashed with the power of Micron.
Random Write Performance
The random write performance shows the same weak start we see one new drives with the Phison E12 NVMe controller. This is likely due to hardware changes to the flash recently as Toshiba 96L displaces 64L on new products coming from the factory.
70% Read Sequential Performance
Until this point in our testing, the E16 showed some performance improvements over the previous generation on PCIe 3.0 but nothing as radical as what we see in the 70% read sequential mixed performance test.
Here we see the E16 taking advantage of the bidirectional PCIe bus to walk away from the other drives. Here, the drive has access to the 3,500 MB/s from the 70% read, but also access to the 3,000 MB/s on the 30% write side. What we end up seeing is a 4,500 MB/s peak with sequential mixed workloads, a 1,500 MB/s improvement over the previous generation.
70% Read Random Performance
The E16 ultimately takes the top spot in our mixed random test but it starts out well behind the HP EX950 with what Toshiba and Samsung engineers must curse at daily, Micron 64L memory. The random performance isn't bus limited, and we don't expect to see much of a difference in this area on PCIe 4.0.