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Patriot Hellfire 480GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review (Page 6)

By Jon Coulter from Nov 3, 2016 @ 10:15 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Patriot Memory

Moderate Workload Model

We categorize these tests as indicative of a moderate workload environment.

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's consumer guidelines. Steady state testing simulates a drive's performance similar to that of a drive that been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

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Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

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There's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.

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The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing. This is exactly why we focus on steady state performance.

What we can take away from this test is that the Hellfire suffers a bit more than the others when written into a steady state. In a lightly used 75% full state, the Hellfire outperforms three of the six drives in our test pool. In a steady state, the Hellfire only outperforms the 400GB Intel 750.

PCMark 7 - System Storage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.0

We will look to Raw System Storage scoring for evaluation because it's done without system stops and, therefore, allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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Here again, we see the Hellfire delivering better performance than Intel's 750 Series SSDs. This is where a dedicated NVMe driver would pay dividends for Phison. With NVMe SSDs, moderate workload performance greatly benefits from a dedicated NVMe driver. With a dedicated NVMe driver, we suspect the Hellfire would give the RD400 a run for its money.

PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.4.304

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate consumer type workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's performance.

The Hellfire delivers very respectable performance, especially when you consider the Hellfire is doing this without the benefit of a dedicated NVMe driver. Additionally, this is with the Microsoft Windows 10 NVMe driver, which is absolutely horrendous.

If we run the Hellfire on Windows 8.1, it will deliver over 600 MB/s in storage bandwidth. Again, the Hellfire outperforms Intel's 750 Series SSDs with moderate workloads. Samsung's SM961 is the only other SSD in our test pool that doesn't have a dedicated driver, and the Hellfire outperforms it in this test.

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