Game Load Time
On the previous page, we looked at synthetic performance to understand how each drive reacts to different types of data and workloads. On this page, we test with applications (or several at the same time) to see the true performance.
The 2TB HP EX950's superior random read, write, and mixed workload performance allows the drive to load the Final Fantasy: Stormblood levels faster than the other drives on the charts today. The two next-gen NVMe SSDs break into the 13-second range while the other drives all fall in the 15-second range.
PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth
The PCMark 8 Storage Test uses nine common applications to run through ten tests that cover a broad range of consumer tasks like Word, Excel, Photoshop and so on. The applications use the four corners, random, sequential, small and large block sizes.
The HP EX950 delivers more than a 2x performance increase in throughput over the SATA SSDs and surpasses the two NVMe drives with ease. The BPX Pro, the only other next-gen NVMe drive in the test follows closely behind though.
PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test
The PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test uses the same applications as the Standard Test but preconditions the drives, and runs the applications much closer together. In the Recovery Phases, the test uses a 5-minute idle time to pause the workloads. This gives the drives time to perform background garbage collection.
Under heavy use in the Degrade and Steady State phases, the 2TB HP EX950 trails the Samsung 970 EVO and mixes in with the other drives. With idle time in place to allow the drives to recover, the EX950 quickly shoots to the top of the performance range. This drive wasn't designed for workstation workloads, and that's clear in the more stressful areas of the chart. It is an excellent NVMe SSD for consumer workloads.
SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness and Power Tests
The Responsiveness Test comes from BAPCo's SYSmark 2014 SE suite and mimics a typical day of office work. The base score of 1,000 comes from an OEM version of the Samsung 850 EVO, a strong SSD for latency to start with.
The previous generation HP EX series outperformed every other NVMe SSD in 2018 and the new EX950 looks to do the same in 2019. With so few next-gen 2TB drives shipping today, we can't certify the EX950 as the best 2TB drive, but we can say it's the best we've tested so far.
Notebook Battery Life
The Notebook Battery Life test comes from BAPCo's MobileMark 2012 suite and uses a similar routine to the SYSmark test. In this version, we use a Lenovo Y700-17 gaming notebook with both SATA and NVMe support. The EX950 delivers 324 minutes of battery life or right around the average for modern SSDs. The drive scores better than the other NVMe drives, but trails the two SATA SSDs.
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