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G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD World Exclusive Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 6:02 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: G.Skill

Anvil Storage Utilities

 

Version and / or Patch Used: RC6

 

So what is Anvil Storage Utilities? First of all, it's a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or the write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.

 

Anvil Storage Utilities is not officially available yet, but we've been playing with the beta for several months now. The author, Anvil on several international forums, has been updating the software steadily and is adding new features every couple of months.

 

We can use Anvil several different ways to show different aspects for each drive. We've chosen to use this software to show the performance of a drive with two different data sets. The first is with compressible data and the second data set is incompressible data. Several users have requested this data in our SSD reviews.

 

 

0-Fill Compressible Data

 

g_skill_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_world_exclusive_review_55

 

Incompressible Data

 

g_skill_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_world_exclusive_review_56

 

The SandForce controllers used in the Phoenix Blade compress data that is not already compressed and then writes less data to the flash. This increases performance and reduces the wear on the flash. It also means data that is already compressed writes slower than data that is not. Here we see a number of results with both data types and can compare the difference between compressible and incompressible performance.

 

Low Queue Depth Read IOPS

 

g_skill_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_world_exclusive_review_57

 

Of all the all-in-one RAID products on the chart, the G.Skill Phoenix Blade is the only one to get close to 10K random read IOPS at QD1. The 10K mark is an important number because it is the same performance level offered by the fastest consumer SSDs like the Samsung 850 Pro. Anything under 10K QD1 random read IOPS means you're penalized for going with an all-in-one product. The G.Skill Phoenix Blade doesn't have this problem.

 

Also, in this chart, you may notice I included the QD8 setting in the low queue depth.

 

High Queue Depth Read IOPS

 

g_skill_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_world_exclusive_review_58

 

The reason why we put QD8 in the low QD chart is because the Phoenix Blade uses an enterprise RAID controller that can scale to high queue depths without a penalty. The Fujitsu and ASUS all-in-one products use Marvell consumer SATA RAID controllers that do not scale well to high queue depths. You can see the brick wall and reduction in performance at ultra-high queue depths with the consumer RAID based products.

 

The G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB scales well all the way up to QD128! At QD128, we returned a result of over 215K IOPS. G.Skill's marketing document only lists 90K read IOPS, but that isn't a valid return, we suspect internal company testing only went to QD32, where you would stop testing regular consumer products that use SATA technology. SATA doesn't scale past QD32.

 

Low Queue Depth Write IOPS

 

g_skill_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_world_exclusive_review_59

 

Our write IOPS chart changed as well, in these tests we go to QD64, but on the low chart we show QD1 to QD8. Again, the Phoenix Blade 480GB gives us the equivalent QD1 performance to high-end consumer SATA drives, so there isn't a penalty for using enterprise technology. The drive scales well too.

 

High Queue Depth Write IOPS

 

g_skill_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_world_exclusive_review_60

 

At QD64 random write, we measured the Phoenix Blade to 269K IOPS.

 

The trick is getting YOUR workload that high. If you are just a gamer, this isn't going to happen, but if you multitask, run several Hyper-V systems on your computer or access a lot of data via different streams, then you can get to high queue depth levels and actually take advantage of the performance available.

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