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Mushkin Helix-L Low-Cost NVMe SSD Review (Page 3)

By Chris Ramseyer from Aug 1, 2019 @ 23:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Mushkin

Game Load Time

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Moving over to real-world workloads, this page shows the real impact of the sequential tests ran on the previous page.

Loading your video games is not IO intensive on its own. The Mushkin Helix-L stays within one second of the fastest drive on the chart today. The Helix-L is even faster than the mighty Samsung 970 EVO at this task.

PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth

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The PCMark 8 Storage Test uses nine real-world applications in ten scenarios to measure storage performance. The applications vary from games to heavy Photoshop use giving is a well-rounded view from consumer to professional.

The Helix-L comes up short here, but the stumbles come from the heaviest of workloads in this test suite. The more basic tasks, launching and editing a Word document, loading games, and so on perform close to the class leaders.

PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test

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The PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test starts with the drives in a dirty state, how your drive would be after heavy writing. This degrades the ability for the cache to increase performance and is very similar to running your PC with a full or nearly full drive.

The performance is inconsistent with most of the lower-cost drives in the chart. Samsung's V-NAND performs well even though it too relies heavily on the SLC buffer that the company calls TurboWrite.

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The Total Service Time Test measures latency in the same tests. Latency has always been an issue with entry-level and mainstream SSDs, but the move to 3- and 4-bit per cell flash has ramped up the problem. In the recovery phases of the test, the Helix-L's firmware and programming keep the latency at an acceptable level. Many of the other drives, some costing quite a bit more, fail to keep latency in check after a heavy workload.

SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness Test

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The SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness Test is a system-wide measurement designed to compare PC to PC. We use this test to isolate the storage to take advantage of the application suite. This is your "feel" test, how quick the PC moves between applications, starts, and finishes tasks.

Like the previous test, the Helix-L performs well in this test thanks to the architecture and Micron's 64L memory.

Notebook Battery Life

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In general, DRAMless designs don't perform well in the notebook battery life test using MobileMark. Mushkin managed to break the mold and surpass five hours of time on a single battery charge. Our test system is a Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17. This is a gaming notebook designed for high performance and high frame rates rather than battery life.

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