AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

The Destroyer is an extremely long test replicating the access patterns of very IO-intensive desktop usage. A detailed breakdown can be found in this article. Like real-world usage, the drives do get the occasional break that allows for some background garbage collection and flushing caches, but those idle times are limited to 25ms so that it doesn't take all week to run the test. These AnandTech Storage Bench (ATSB) tests do not involve running the actual applications that generated the workloads, so the scores are relatively insensitive to changes in CPU performance and RAM from our new testbed, but the jump to a newer version of Windows and the newer storage drivers can have an impact.

We quantify performance on this test by reporting the drive's average data throughput, the average latency of the I/O operations, and the total energy used by the drive over the course of the test.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Data Rate)

The ADATA XPG SX950 is the slowest MLC SSD in this group, going by its average data rate on The Destroyer, while the similarly-equipped Crucial BX300 is the second-fastest SATA drive in the half-TB capacity class.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Latency)

ADATA has a latency problem on The Destroyer. The SX950's average latency is much worse than any other MLC SSD, and the 99th percentile latency as bad as the TLC-based SU800, which was already an extreme outlier.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Write Latency)

Splitting the average latency up by read and write operations, it's clear that the SX950's troubles are mostly on the write side, though the average read latency is also more typical of a TLC SSD than one with 3D MLC.

ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Write Latency)

The 99th percentile read latency of the ADATA SX950 is not much worse than other 3D MLC SSDs, but the 99th percentile write latency on The Destroyer is unusually high at over 81ms. It appears that the SX950 is being quite aggressive with its SLC caching, leading to a serious backlog when it is finally forced to perform garbage collection. The BX300 avoids this by using relatively small fixed-size SLC caches.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Power)

Given the mediocre data rate and poor QoS indicating a lot of background work, it's not too surprising to see that the SX950's energy usage on The Destroyer is substantially higher than the Crucial BX300 and most other 3D NAND SSDs. The SX950 does shave 25% off the energy usage of the TLC-based ADATA SU800, but Crucial still does much better with the same controller.

Introduction AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy
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  • meacupla - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    ADATA's pricing of their lower end is usually in line with the competition. Or, at least, the last drive I bought from them was.

    This one... not so much
  • KAlmquist - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    If the intention is for these drives to sell at well below MSRP, Adata is not getting off to a good start. Amazon and B&H Photo are both pricing the 480GB model $20 higher than the MSRP, and Newegg is not selling it at all. My guess is that something tipped the retailers off to the fact that there is not going to be a lot of demand for this product, so they either went for a high markup (to compensate for the cost of holding a low turnover item in stock), or in the case of Newegg, decided to pass on it entirely.

    I recently bought a Samsung 850 Pro, which proves that there is still at least one person who is (stupid? gullible? bat shit crazy?) enough to pay up for a premium SATA SSD. :-) With a premium SATA SSD, you are paying for:

    1) Consistent performance. For example, in the Anandtech Storage Bench light test, the ADATA drive does well if the drive is empty, but performance plummets if the drive is full. The Samsung 850 Pro performs almost identically regardless of whether the drive is full or empty.

    2) Reliability. I have no reason to believe the Adata drive is unreliable, but the Samsung 850 Pro has a 10 year warranty and, more important, a long track record in the field. So the 850 Pro wins this category as well.
  • IndianaKrom - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    A couple years ago when I picked up an 850 pro/1 TB, it was at the time the best SATA SSD. Today it is still the best SATA SSD, and it will probably always be. At this stage I would be surprised if anyone manages to extract any more performance out of SATA than what an 850 Pro can do.
  • _mb - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    Where is the "Performance Consistency" test?
    I hope you guys haven't stopped doing that one as that test is the most interesting one and sets you guys apart from other reviewers which don't do that.
  • Billy Tallis - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    The performance consistency test will be reintroduced soon. Since it was the least relevant to real-world desktop usage and the most likely to kill drives, it's been the lowest priority to run on the new 2017 testbed. Now that I'm pretty much done running all my drives through the 2017 test suite, I'll start going back and running the new performance consistency test on them. Those results will probably start being included in the SSD reviews in November, and they'll be added to the Bench database as they're available.
  • Maleorderbride - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    I realize this is not on you Billy, but why is the Mushkin Enhanced Reactor series not part of the 2017 SSD bench? That series is one of only four that someone might actually purchase knowingly.
  • xype - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    So, at which point will it become a waste of time to review SSDs? Unless such a review only takes 15 minutes, I’d assume there’s plenty of hardware where the conclusions is not a simple "Get a Samsung" >90% of the time — or am I being too optimistic?
  • RaistlinZ - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    Q: "So, at which point will it become a waste of time to review SSDs?"

    A: 2016
  • xype - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - link

    Yeah :-/
  • jabber - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    I don't care. The issue is that SATAIII is saturated and all we need now are reliable mainstream hum drum SSD drives for a cheap price. There is nothing else left to achieve on SATAIII. It's like RAM FFS it's all within a few % whether you spend $100 or $200. They get away with it by adding pointless crap like RGB. I bet by XMAS we'll see SATAIII SSD drives with built in RGB on the edges. Anything to cover up and distract from the fact they are no longer anything special and all the same for day to day purposes.

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