AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

Our AnandTech Storage Bench tests are traces (recordings) of real-world IO patterns that are replayed onto the drives under test. The Destroyer is the longest and most difficult phase of our consumer SSD test suite. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

ATSB The Destroyer
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

For SATA drives, the Samsung 870 EVOs turn in class-leading scores on almost all of the performance metrics. But these improvements are all marginal at best; the SATA interface bottleneck almost completely levels the playing field. The small improvements to read latency brought by the 870 EVO pale in comparison to what is achieved by even entry-level NVMe SSDs.

In stark contrast to the performance numbers, the 870 EVOs turn out to be the most power-hungry TLC drives in this bunch: they sacrifice some of the efficiency improvements the 860 EVO provided, even though drives like the SK hynix Gold S31 have been able to deliver significant improvement on this.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

The ATSB Heavy test is much shorter overall than The Destroyer, but is still fairly write-intensive. We run this test twice: first on a mostly-empty drive, and again on a completely full drive to show the worst-case performance.

ATSB Heavy
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The scores for the Heavy test paint much the same picture as for The Destroyer. The full-drive test runs additionally show that the worst-case performance of the mainstream SATA SSDs is still superior to many entry-level NVMe SSDs, even though the NVMe SSDs significantly outperform SATA for any more normal workload.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light

The ATSB Light test represents ordinary everyday usage that doesn't put much strain on a SSD. Low queue depths, short bursts of IO and a short overall test duration mean this should be easy for any SSD. But running it a second time on a full drive shows how even storage-light workloads can be affected by SSD performance degradation.

ATSB Light
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

On the Light test, the measurable but imperceptible performance advantages of the 870 EVOs over other SATA drives have basically disappeared. The read latency scores on the full-drive test runs may be a tiny bit better than the 860 EVO, but the only scores that have clearly shifted with this new generation are the energy consumption figures that have creeped up.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmarks

The PCMark 10 Storage benchmarks are IO trace based tests similar to our own ATSB tests. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

PCMark 10 Storage Traces
Full System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Quick System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Data Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency

The Full System Drive test from the PCMark 10 Storage suite shows a much wider spread of performance scores among SATA drives than our ATSB traces, but also a much smaller advantage for the NVMe drives. Judging by this test, the 870 EVO offers a small but real improvement to performance compared to earlier SATA drives. The 4TB 870 QVO also scores quite well since it benefits from the same controller and has enough SLC cache to almost match the performance of the 4TB 870 EVO.

The subset of tests included in the Quick System Drive and Data Drive benchmarks show a more level playing field among SATA SSDs, and a greater advantage for NVMe drives. Since we run these tests before the Full System Drive test, each drive is closer to its fresh out-of-the-box state, which helps these tests get closer to showing the theoretical peak performance of a drive.

Introduction Synthetic Tests: Basic IO Patterns
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  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    Cant wait for a 980 EVO, because the price for this 4 TB one is pretty good, which will probably not be much different on an M.2 version.
    And even if, comparable M.2 drives with only 2 TB cost around $400.
    Reply
  • sonny73n - Thursday, February 18, 2021 - link

    Stop lying. 2TB ADATA SX8200 Pro M.2 currently on Amazon is $10 cheaper than this slow and outdated SATA SSD. Reply
  • Qasar - Thursday, February 18, 2021 - link

    maybe he is comparing samsung to samsung ? if thats the case, there is a pretty big price difference between the same capacity. Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    So much wasted space in the 2.5" HDD housing

    I really wish they would bring back 1.8" HDD form factor

    The 1.8" was barely larger than a old PS1/2 memory card.
    Reply
  • Tomatotech - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    They did. It’s called m.2 now. Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    m.2 sticks aren't in a format where you can just slide it in your pocket and go.

    You need to install it into a external housing.

    Traditional M.2 is designed to be installed into your MoBo and left there.

    SATA plugs were designed for Hot Plug while M.2 was never designed for that purpose.

    It was install and leave it there.
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    Use a USB stick then. Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade - Thursday, February 18, 2021 - link

    Some folks want faster speeds & larger drives, a USB stick isn't going to cut it for some folks Reply
  • sonny73n - Thursday, February 18, 2021 - link

    I guess you don't know how to use file sharing features in the OS over gigabit Ethernet or WiFi. You're the only one that still find hot plug useful. Please don't comment for the rest of us. Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, February 18, 2021 - link

    I still occasionally use SATA SSDs as if they were floppies, since all of my desktops have hot-swap bays. But its becoming more common that I use M.2 NVMe SSDs in USB enclosures. Either solution is preferable to WiFi or gigE when transferring tens of GB or more. Reply

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