Advanced Synthetic Tests

Our benchmark suite includes a variety of tests that are less about replicating any real-world IO patterns, and more about exposing the inner workings of a drive with narrowly-focused tests. Many of these tests will show exaggerated differences between drives, and for the most part that should not be taken as a sign that one drive will be drastically faster for real-world usage. These tests are about satisfying curiosity, and are not good measures of overall drive performance. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

Whole-Drive Sequential Fill

Pass 1
Pass 2

Some of our other tests have shown a few signs that the 870 EVO's write performance can drop when the SLC cache runs out, but this straightforward sequential write pass over the entire drive doesn't reveal any such behavior. The 870 EVO's sequential write performance is extremely consistent, even on the second write pass.

Sustained 128kB Sequential Write (Power Efficiency)
Average Throughput for last 16 GB Overall Average Throughput

Due to the excellent performance consistency, the Samsung 870 EVOs edge out the other SATA drives with marginally higher average sequential write speeds. The entry-level NVMe drives end up much worse off than the mainstream SATA drives once their caches run out, but the more mainstream NVMe drive blows them all away.


Working Set Size

As expected, the Samsung 870 EVO's random read performance shows basically no variation across a range of working set sizes, and that read performance is at least a little bit faster than any of the other SATA drives or the entry-level NVMe drives.


Performance vs Block Sizes

Random Read
Random Write
Sequential Read
Sequential Write

There are no particular surprises in how the Samsung 870 EVO handles IOs of different block sizes. Unlike some drives, it has no trouble with sub-4kB IOs. It offers moderate improvements over the 860 EVO for mid-sized random reads (up to about 128kB). The one negative is that for writes we again see more inconsistency from the 870 EVO than the 860 EVO when testing an 80% full drive. The simple whole-drive sequential write test may not have been able to reveal any SLC caching troubles, but it does seem clear that the caching behavior has some performance regressions for more complicated workloads on a drive that's more well-used—though it's still unlikely to matter for any typical real-world consumer workload.

Synthetic Tests: Basic IO Patterns Mixed IO Performance and Idle Power Management


View All Comments

  • watzupken - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    I don't think SATA is going to go away anytime soon. While it is not as fast as a good NVME SSD, it makes up for it by offering a good price to capacity ratio. It just like why mechanical drive still exists today. Most NVME SSDs are affordable up to around 1TB, and at higher capacity, the prices goes up significantly. Also one is usually limited to 2 or 3 NVME slots due to limitation of number of PCI-E lanes. Thus, having the SATA ports to supplement additional storage is unlikely to go away, at least from a desktop perspective. Reply
  • sonny73n - Thursday, February 18, 2021 - link

    "..,Most NVME SSDs are affordable up to around 1TB, and at higher capacity, the prices goes up significantly."

    Please stop spouting BS.
    ADATA SX8200 Pro 2TB M.2 $239
    Samsung 870 EVO 2TB SATA $249
    Both is on Amazon right now.
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, February 19, 2021 - link

    2TB on black Friday for an ADATA over a year ago. $250 isn't impressive. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, February 19, 2021 - link

    2TB for $200 I meant. Reply
  • Shlong - Thursday, February 18, 2021 - link

    SATA is necessary if you need multiple drives. I only have two M.2 slots on my motherboard but numerous SATA ports. I have a 512GB boot drive and 1TB data drive in both slots. I need more storage so I have a couple 2TB SATA SSD's connected. Reply
  • ET - Saturday, February 20, 2021 - link

    You're confusing SATA with the disk form factor. There are SATA M.2 drive, SATA 2.5" drives and SATA 3.5" drives. SATA M.2 drives get their power from the same connector, by the way.

    The box size has little to do with the interface, more to do with case compatibility. Cases which are built to house multiple drives have spaces set up for them. That's a standard and both cases and drives are designed for it. The drive could theoretically be designed to be smaller (and there were 1.8" drives in the past).
  • TelstarTOS - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    More common? Yes.
    Cheaper? Hell no. Still over 10c/GB
  • Kurosaki - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    A shame the 3 TB version is 379 USD to expensive. This will never work unless price per GB falls to a quarter of today's, and reliability data retention wise gets at least on par with the spinners. 479 for 4TB is just ridiculous. Reply
  • ksec - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - link

    SATA SSD are not intended for Speed though. They are aiming at large storage HDD replacement. Give me a QLC SATA 8TB for $399 and I will still buy it. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, February 19, 2021 - link

    With 8TB it might not be quite so horrible. Reply

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