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ADATA XPG SX8200 240GB & 480GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: May 29, 2018 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 99%Manufacturer: ADATA

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.

 

Focusing in on 75% full, which would be the most typical user state for most users, the SX8200 sets new lab records for a TLC-based SSD. In a steady state, the SX8200 does take a bit of a beating, falling to the middle of the pack. The good news is that steady-state performance is rarely a consideration in the consumer space.

 

 

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. When evaluating NVMe SSDs we are looking for a minimum score of 11,000

 

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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Up to this point, the SX8200 has shown itself to be considerably faster then Intel's 760P. However, this time the 760P delivers considerably better performance. For reasons unknown, the SX8200 does not like this particular test when data is on the drive. If you look at our maxed-out-performance page you will see that the SX8200 scores an amazing 18K when empty.

 

 

 

PCMark 8

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.4.304

 

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs 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

 

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. This is where we see a real disadvantage for smaller capacity SSDs. This capacity disadvantage is why the 1TB 970 EVO and 1TB Extreme Pro are outperforming the 240 and 480GB SX8200. We believe that if we had the 960GB SX8200 in the lab it would deliver a storage bandwidth of over 800MB/s. We have seen a similarly configured HP EX920 1TB SSD do it.

 

 

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE Application Performance

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.0.70

 

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.

 

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Capacity is much less of an advantage with SYSmark. A few points are a big deal when comparing SYSmark results. Look at the SX8200, it is smashing all the TLC-based competition. The only SSD on our chart that can beat the SX8200 in responsiveness is the $1000 MLC powered 960 Pro 2TB. Even then, the 480GB SX8200 beats it in total score.

 

This is the real deal, this is what matters most - actual application performance. These results are one of several reasons why we believe IMFT 64-layer TLC flash is currently the best there is. As we see it, it's worst to first for ADATA, SMI and Micron.

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