We turned to the most popular consumer NVMe SSDs available today to test against the new ADATA SX8200 Pro 1TB.
There are a few side stories that will play out in the testing portion of this review. The first and most obvious is the performance between the SX8200 that the SX8200 Pro replaces. The second is how close the SX8200 Pro gets to Samsung's 970 Pro, the last consumer SSD with MLC flash. Finally, we have one of the most important comparisons for shoppers, how does the SX8200 Pro perform next to the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro that costs $25 less and carries a massive 1,025 TBW endurance advantage.
Sequential Read Performance
The new 1TB SX8200 Pro scales with sequential reads really well. The drive reaches peak throughput faster than the Samsung 970 Pro, and both deliver just over 3,500 MB's. This is an improvement over the older SX8200, but both drives show similar ramp up to queue depth (QD) 2. The new Pro model does have a slight advantage in at QD1.
Sequential Write Performance
The Samsung 970 Pro hasn't been the burst sequential write leader since the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro came to market. Even the WD Black NVMe/SanDisk Extreme Pro NVMe overtook Samsung's prosumer drive last year. The SX8200 Pro matches the BPX Pro step for step in this test. The two drives walk away from the pack at all queue depths.
The sequential burst write performance a massive improvement over the older SX8200 here.
Sustained Sequential Write Performance
The drive still uses 3-bit per cell flash, and without a massive spare set of blocks from overprovisioning, the technology doesn't exist yet to stop the TLC roll off. The SX8200 Pro uses a dynamic buffer that shrinks as you put more data on the drive. The SLC provides a 500 MB/s performance increase with sequential data over the previous model, but it comes at the expense of a smaller overall duration of writes.
Random Read Performance
We've preached about the importance of low queue depth random read performance in nearly every review. In this test, we see how the new SX8200 Pro leads the other drives in this area. The drive should perform extremely well in consumer applications. We will look at those on the next page.
Random Write Performance
The new Pro ramps up the random writes quickly but hits a plateau at QD2 with right around 110,000 IOPS. Some of the other drives scale a little higher but need more queue depth to get there and start with lower performance at QD1.
70% Read Sequential Performance
Until this point, the 1TB SX8200 Pro has performance nearly perfect. There are some opening in the armor of Silicon Motion's controllers. The weak point in sequential mixed workloads when moving more than a few media files at a time. The drive does really well with one coming and going but fails to scale as you pile on the workloads, like processing two movies at the same time with an application such as IMG Burn that reads and writes the data during the processing. You get the same disk throughput per as you would with a single operation. You would need a very powerful multi-core processor to churn data at a higher rate than 1200 MB/s.
70% Read Random Performance
The drive doesn't have any issues with the small block size random data mixing. The large performance increase in random read speeds allows this drive to surpass everything else on the market today and that will lead to very strong application performance on the next page.
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