We categorize these tests as indicative of a moderate workload environment.
PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests
Version and / or Patch Used: 126.96.36.199
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 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
OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State
Secondary Volume Empty - FOB
There's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.
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. We are looking for a minimum score of 50K when the drive is in a steady state.
With this testing, the 2TB 850 EVO's capacity advantage results in slightly better performance than we are getting from the 1TB 860 EVO. We don't have a 1TB 850 EVO in the lab for comparison, so we had to use the 2TB model which is slightly faster than the 1TB model. Samsung's 860 Pro and OCZ's VX500 both deliver better steady-state performance, which comes as no surprise considering both have MLC-flash arrays.
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
Whenever a SATA SSD scores 7K or above with PCMark 7 it is in an elite class. Capacity wins out again for the 2TB 850 EVO. The 860 EVO takes third place, but it's way out in front of the non-Samsung contenders.
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. We focus on the total score first and then storage bandwidth when evaluating PCMark 8 results.
OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used
PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's overall performance.
Samsung SSDs are still the only SATA SSDs to crack 300 MB/s storage bandwidth. They are really in a class of their own when running moderate workloads. This time the 860 EVO gets the better of the 850 EVO when running moderate workloads, and this is despite a significant capacity disadvantage. This is another lab record for a 1TB class TLC SSD.
BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE System Performance
Version and / or Patch Used: 188.8.131.52
SYSmark 2014 SE is considered the gold standard for testing system performance because it is an application-based benchmark. This test gives us the ultimate in real-world results because it utilizes actual applications running on the system, instead of playing back recorded traces. If you want to know what kind of impact a particular SSD will have on your system's overall performance; this test will show you.
Our systems are much more powerful than the calibration system (1000-point baseline) used by BAPCo, so we ran an OCZ TL100 120GB SATA III SSD to establish a comparison point relative to our test systems. We will be running this test going forward and we will add drives to our chart as we test them.
We haven't tested a lot of SATA SSDs with SYSmark, but we are comfortable in saying that the 860 EVO likely delivers the best overall system performance of any SATA SSD with a TLC flash array. The 860 EVO sets another lab record for a TLC SATA SSD by scoring 1600 with the responsiveness test.
Note: we are replacing our PCMark 8 Extended testing with SYSmark because we believe SYSmark is much more relevant for consumer SSD testing.
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