Game Load Time
The first application test uses Final Fantasy: Stormblood. This is the first test that we will point back to the strong random performance to explain the EX950's performance. Like the 1TB, and 2TB models we've already tested, the 512GB EX950 also leads similar sized products loading the game levels.
PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth
The PCMark 8 Storage Test suite uses nine applications for ten tests. This is a much more diverse test with a few applications using more sequential data in the workloads. The 512GB EX950 still came out on top with the results combined and presented in an easy to digest throughput average.
PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test
Before we dive into the PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test results, I want to setup the target market for the HP EX950. This is a consumer drive designed for consumer workloads. This workload performs best with strong caching but when you rely too much on cache technology, the performance under heavy workloads suffer.
The extended test shows what performance would be like in a high write environment with most of the drive already filled with data. The new SM2262EN controller used in the EX950 is significantly better than the controller and models replaced. The recovery performance after a 5-minute idle time to build fresh data cells for the cache to work efficiently is also better.
SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness and Power Tests
The SYSmark 2014 SE Responsiveness Test uses more applications than the PCMark Storage Tests, and it runs the operating system on the drive under test. Again, we can point back to the high random performance to explain why the EX950 is such a strong SSD. This software suite shows how your PC would perform with each drive on a regular PC doing regular activities.
Notebook Battery Life
One aspect we rarely get to discuss is SSDs that rely heavily on cache and the amount of power consumption it takes to write the data twice. When data comes to the SSD it first writes to the SLC area and then it writes again to the TLC. NVMe SSDs write faster than SATA SSDs, but they also use more power per bit. That is why the average NVMe score in our Notebook Battery Life test using BAPCo's MobileMark software is lower than the average SATA SSD.
The 512GB EX950 scored 308 minutes in our Lenovo Y700-17 gaming notebook. This is on the low-end of the NVMe drive scale, but not the lowest we've ever tested.