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

The Samsung SSD 980 turns in decent overall scores for an entry-level drive on The Destroyer, but it doesn't quite match the performance of the WD Blue SN550. In particular, Samsung's latency scores are quite a bit higher, especially for write operations. The 500 GB 980 struggles compared to the 1 TB model, but still pulls off an overall average data rate that's better than the 1TB SATA 870 EVO.

The SSD 980 does use less energy to complete The Destroyer than the 970 EVO Plus or 980 PRO did: slower and lower power worked out to lower overall energy consumption. But Samsung's performance-oriented NVMe drives have long been notable for their high energy consumption, and the SSD 980's results are nothing special in the context of other competitors on the market.

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

Moving on to the Heavy test, the Samsung SSD 980 improves its standings considerably. Performance when running the test on an empty drive is now competitive with mainstream TLC NVMe drives, including the latency scores. When the test is run on a full drive, the SSD 980's performance drops considerably, and it ends up on par with the WD Blue SN550. The 99th percentile latency scores are much higher for the full-drive test runs, but it's not an egregious outlier like a few of the other entry-level NVMe drives.

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 Samsung SSD 980's performance is a step below mainstream TLC NVMe drives with DRAM, but it's not a huge difference. Even for the full-drive test runs, the latency scores all stay better than the 870 EVO SATA SSD, so there's nothing to complain about in that department. Energy consumption is a bit on the high side given that low-end drives often save quite a bit of power on light workloads, but the SSD 980 is still an improvement over Samsung's performance-oriented NVMe drives.

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 Samsung SSD 980 scores very well on the Full System Drive, likely helped by the large SLC caches. Its rankings fall a bit with the Quick System Drive and Data Drive tests as more drives are also able to fit the tests within their SLC caches or pull ahead with higher sequential IO speeds.

Introduction Synthetic Tests: Basic IO Patterns
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  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Intel is really not the best company to compare with. Intel is obsessed with QLC nonsense even more than Samsung is, it seems. And, Intel is rubbing its mitts together about foisting PLC onto the public, as if its new 9000 series FX CPUs aren't enough of a disaster.

    I have had good results with the Inland TLC drives, both in SATA and in NVME format. However, Gigabyte designed one of the motherboards I have so idiotically that the Performance Plus drive can't be used. The NVME slot is too close to the CPU socket (hits my EK block) and the expansion slot (hits that, too). One would think an ATX board with one NVME slot could be done intelligently, especially with what was once the top chipset.

    Due watch with Inland, though, because the product naming is not nearly as clear as it should be. There are "Premium" and "Professional" drives, for instance — as if there is some kind of clarity there.
    Reply
  • Slash3 - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    I've replied to one of your previous posts about this NVMe issue, but as it seems to be your favorite campfire story so I'll try digging a bit deeper this time.

    NVMe M.2 drives fit fine on that motherboard. It's a close fit, but nobody else has had the same difficulties. If the drive doesn't fit, it means it isn't installed correctly or has an oversized heatsink on it. Since the Inland drives don't ship with a heatsink, that means it's not lined up properly in the slot.

    That EK uses a weird, oversized mounting bracket isn't Gigabyte's fault. It's not Inland's (Microcenter's) fault. It's an EK problem.

    Do you still have the drive? Do you own a dremel? You probably need to shave a chunk out of that waterblock bracket to allow clearance.

    Failing that, grab a $13 NVMe M.2 to PCI Express x4 AIC adapter off of Amazon, or the vendor of your choosing. You can mount the drive in the last slot (PCI Express 3.0 x4) with no performance penalty, it'll be far from your cursed EK bracket, and you'll save hours by not having to bring it up in every article. ;)

    https://www.amazon.com/M-2-NVMe-PCIe-3-0-x4/dp/B07...
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - link

    Incorrect.

    1. The drive’s PCB hits the waterblock bracket.

    2. The drive does have a heatsink and it is an Inland.

    3. It’s impossible to install an NVME drive incorrectly as long as one know how to push the edge connector all the way in.

    4. ‘Oversized’ says who? ATX is a big board. One slot on the board. Gigabyte couldn’t manage to put it in an intelligent place.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - link

    You seem intent on blaming everything but Gigabyte but the fact is that the drive also hits the slot. It doesn’t just hit the EK bracket. It hits the slot as well!

    Gigabyte is at fault.
    Reply
  • Slash3 - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    Nothing of the sort, I'm just mystified as to how a standard NVMe M.2 seemingly won't fit on that board, since it's not at all difficult to find pictures of an NVMe M.2 mounted in that exact slot.

    I do owe you an apology, though, with regard to the heatsink statement! If you've got the Inland Performance Plus (Gen4 - on a Z390?) NVMe M.2, they do indeed have a heatsink, similar to that on the Corsair MP600.

    This model?

    https://90a1c75758623581b3f8-5c119c3de181c9857fcb2...

    That said, it doesn't seem to extend past the edge of the PCB more than a millimeter or so. My assumption is that even without the heatsink, the bracket would still be contacting the PCB from the way you've described it - it might clear the x1 slot side in this kind of stark naked configuration, but the other edge would still be blocked, which wouldn't do you much good.

    No argument that the board's got the M.2 slot in a very funky place, but it's absolutely fair to point a finger at the EK bracket, too.

    I think I referenced a similar image before, but here's a regular NVMe M.2 happily existing in the troublesome slot via some stock imagery:

    https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/jakarta...

    https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-jakar...

    https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-jakar...

    Cozy, but it works!

    I'd still look into the cheap slot adapter route - it's not an elegant solution, but it'll work just as well and won't keep you up at night cursing Gigabyte into the early hours. ;)
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    The EK bracket is just one part of the problem. The PCB also hits the slot.

    So, even with no EK bracket the board is unacceptably poorly designed.
    Reply
  • edzieba - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Oof, those latencies! For basically the same price, I'd take the "way overpriced" 670p over this any day of the week! Peak transfer rates are worthless, SSDs live or die by their random read latencies for perceived performance. Reply
  • cyrusfox - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    But on all the marketable metrics it is a win, Right Brand, highest sequential numbers. Any conversation more nuanced doesn't matter to the majority. They have a hit on there hands and with how economical the design is the margins should be good enough, solid win for Samsung. Reply
  • GREAT Expectations - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Literally in the first paragraph: "product stacl" Reply
  • XacTactX - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    The performance send very good with an empty drive but it really drops off when the drive is full of days. In the ATSB Heavy benchmark the performance for from 936 MBps to 496 MBps. I wonder how much free space we have to keep in the drive so the performance will stay closer to 936 MBps Reply

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