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Samsung 970 EVO 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jun 20, 2018 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Samsung

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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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 test really highlights the impact low queue depth random read performance has on consumer workloads. As our synthetic benchmarks showed, the 2TB 970 EVO has significantly lower random read performance than the 1TB model. This directly impacts consumer type workload performance as shown by the above chart.

 

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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The results of this test back up what we saw with Vantage. 512Gbit flash offers more density but does so at the expense of performance.

 

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.

 

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PCMark 8 again highlights the fact that 512GB flash is lower performing than 256Gbit. How significant is the impact to the average user? Our next test should give us a clearer picture because it is application-based as opposed to simulated.

 

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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In terms of overall rating, the 2TB 970 EVO and 1TB 970 deliver an identical result of 1952. This indicates that user experience between the two capacity points should be quite similar. The 2TB 970 EVO is showing itself to be a bit more responsive than SanDisk's Extreme Pro, and Plextor's M9PeY.

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