960GB Class Application Testing
Game Load Time
You may have noticed the Crucial graphic on the first page that asks about game data. With low random performance, why would Crucial target gamers with this drive?
A lot of the data that loads for PC games is sequential in nature and uses large block sizes. This is the best scenario for the BX500. The 960GB model actually outperformed all the other drives in the charts today in the 100% sequential read test on the previous page.
PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth
Most applications do not have a heavy focus on large block size sequential data, your operating system included. Random data performance is what makes you PC feel fast, and that carries over to many popular applications including office-focused suites.
The BX500 is faster than the 860 QVO in these applications but trails many of the other drives.
PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test
The extended PCMark Storage Test fills the drives with data and then measures performance through several stages with varying conditions. The BX500 and 860 QVO both show poor performance with the drives filled and in steady-state. The drives both also take longer to recover performance than the others when introduced to idle time.
SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness
As we mentioned, system responsiveness, AKA latency, are what makes your PC feel fast. The link to how the system feels is random performance and more specifically, random read performance. In the mixed workload test, we saw how the increased random write latency could have an impact on random read performance. The BX500 is the only DRAMless SSD in this test and that's why the drive is at the bottom of the responsiveness test.
There are other DRAMless SSDs shipping today but very few 1TB class models. Most companies stuck with 512GB class and smaller drives but in the second half of the year, we will see more products like the 960GB BX500.
MobileMark Notebook Battery Life
In theory, DRAMless SSDs use less power than conventional SSDs because they lack power-hungry DRAM chips. When you look at SSD power consumption in a snapshot, it does look like DRAMless SSDs do use less power. When you shift your focus wider and see consumption over time the picture changes.
The BX500 needs to work longer to manage data during background activities like garbage collection. That means the drive needs more active time before it can return to a low-power idle state. Background data management uses as much power as a random writes with many of the SSDs we've measured.
The high active time means the 960GB BX500 consumes your notebook battery faster than most other SATA SSDs shipping today.