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Toshiba PX03SN 12Gb/s SAS3 Enterprise SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: May 21, 2014 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Toshiba

4k Random Read/Write




We precondition the 800GB Toshiba PX03SNF080 for 9,000 seconds, or two and a half hours, receiving performance reports every second. We plot this data to illustrate the drive's descent into steady state.


This dual-axis chart consists of 18,000 data points, with the IOPS on the left and the latency on the right. The green dots signify IOPS, and the grey dots are latency measurements during the test. We place latency data in a logarithmic scale to bring it into comparison range. The lines through the data scatter are the average during the test. This type of testing presents standard deviation and maximum/minimum I/O in a visual manner.


Note that the IOPS and latency figures are nearly mirror images of each other. This illustrates that high-granularity testing can give our readers a good feel for latency distribution by viewing IOPS at one-second intervals. This should be in mind when viewing our test results below. This downward slope of performance only occurs during the first few hours of use, and we present precondition results only to confirm steady state convergence.




Each level tested includes 300 data points (five minutes of one second reports) to illustrate performance variability. The line for each OIO depth represents the average speed reported during the five-minute interval. 4k random speed measurements are an important metric when comparing drive performance as the hardest type of file access for any storage solution to master is small-file random. One of the most sought-after performance specifications, 4k random performance is a heavily marketed figure.


The Toshiba PX03SN follows the typical pattern of the other Toshiba 12Gb/s SSDs, and peaks at an outstanding 134,855 IOPS at 32 OIO. At 256 OIO, it delivers 117,073 IOPS. The PX02SS averages 117,289 IOPS at 256 OIO, but its peak is at 32 OIO, where it delivers an outstanding 133,871 IOPS. The Toshiba PX02SM averages an impressive 124,550 IOPS.




All three SSDs reach the optimum performance to latency ratio at 32 OIO.




Garbage collection routines are more pronounced in heavy write workloads, leading to performance variability.


The PX03SN brings along a nice surprise with a very clearly defined consistent performance envelope in 4k write testing, averaging 28,443 IOPS at 256 OIO. The PX02SS provides 45,786 IOPS at 256 OIO, and the PX02SM offers 28,602 IOPS.




The improved latency performance from the PX03SN is clear at 256 OIO, where it surprisingly offers better consistency than its eMLC PX02SM counterpart.




Our write percentage testing illustrates the varying performance of each solution with mixed workloads. The 100% column to the right is a pure write workload of the 4k file size, and 0% represents a pure 4k read workload. Mixed workload testing reveals strengths, and weaknesses, that remain hidden during typical tests. In reality, much of the real-world data is going to feature mixed data.


We get a clearer picture of the consistency improvement as the workload begins to add more write activity. The improved consistency is encouraging considering the move from 24nm eMLC with the Px02SM to the 19nm MLC on the PX03SN.




We record the power consumption measurements during our precondition run. We calculate the stated average results during the last five minutes of the test, after the device has settled into steady state.


The PX03SN averages 5.28 watts.




IOPS-to-Watts measurements are generated from data recorded during our precondition run, and the stated average is from the last five minutes of the test.


The Toshiba PX03SN averages 5,184 IOPS-per-Watt. It is important to note the IOPS-per-Watt set forth in the specifications of both drives is with read activity. We measure IOPS-per-Watt with write activity.

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