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 and unlike our Iometer tests, 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.

We quantify performance on this test by reporting the drive's average data throughput, a few data points about its latency, and the total energy used by the drive over the course of the test.

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer (Data Rate)

The average data rates sustained by the SP550 on The Destroyer are pretty good by budget drive standards. It's generally performing on par with other TLC drives of twice the capacity.

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer (Latency)

The latency situation for the SP550 is not good. Each model has a higher average service time than any other drive of equal capacity, except for the Crucial BX200, with the two smaller drives reaching values close to HDD rotational latency. While the Phison-based drives have lower average data rates, they are better at keeping the latency under control.

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer (Latency)

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer (Latency)

The frequency of moderate latency outliers is a bit higher for the SP550 than the competition, but it does a decent job of preventing the most extreme outliers that would not pass unnoticed by a user.

AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer (Power)

The BX200 posted an incredibly bad energy usage score but the SP550 completely turns that around and is the most energy-efficient drive with planar TLC NAND. Most MLC drives still score better due to completing the test in a shorter time span, but the SP550 is bridging that gap.

Performance Consistency AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy
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  • zmeul - Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - link

    I have the 120GB version and I'm disapointed in it - after just one month it started showing cell voltage drift and on the 2nd month it gotten worse:
    note: it's on a SATA2

    A-Data offers no FW update for this drive
  • hojnikb - Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - link

    Thats pretty much what you can expect with any sub 20nm TLC drive.
  • zmeul - Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - link

    well, I wish I knew that before I bought it
    but neither Anand or any other site does this kind of "over time" testing
  • Samus - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    Basically you've found out first hand: AVOID any TLC drive, even TLC VNAND from Samsung isn't immune to what you are experiencing. At least you only spent $40. I still think the BX100 and OCZ ARC 100 are\were the best value, but they've spiked in price because they are no longer in production and the BX200\Trion 100/150 are a joke. My cheap go to drives now are Sandisk SSD Plus. Super cheap drive, still MLC, and suspect a reliable Marvell controller. Even the Sandisk Z400s is a reliable drive if you can get over the pretty poor least it isn't TLC performance.

    The laws of physics are being toyed with using NAND in TLC mode. You can't reliable store 3 values in a binary state. My childish layman's explanation goes like this: With SLC it was simple because if it was "on" it was a 1. With MLC if it was "on" it was a 1 and if it was "off" it was a 1. Using TLC, if its "on" it's a 1 if it's "off" its a 1 and if its "half" it's a 1. LOL
  • hojnikb - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    Actually, vnand tlc is just fine and possibly better than ~15nm MLC.

    Much larger cells offset the 3 bit per cell disadvantage.
  • Samus - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    I get that it's 40nm, so "leakage" isn't really an issue, but it still suffers from TLC's inherently poor write performance. I still prefer MLC. Especially since, as it stands right now, MLC and TLC drives are virtually the same price. I still pickup old Crucial M500's and Intel SSD320/X25-M's...and occasionally you can find new M500's in retail (Microcenter has the M550 256GB models for $60 right now)

    Well, they DID. I bought the last 5 at my local store I guess.

    They have the M500 240GB new for $67.99. Quality Marvell controller, MLC NAND, proven firmware and reliability. Until TLC drives are half that price for the same capacity I don't see what the big deal is.
  • KAlmquist - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    I'm have a hard time believing that 16nm TLC NAND is a good idea. The problems that Samsung has had with data degradation on the 840 EVO suggests that even with 19nm TLC NAND the cell size is too small. While the reviewed drive is priced attractively, I'd be more inclined to buy an MLC drive, or the Samsung EVO 850, which is TLC but with a large cell size.
  • LarsBars - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link

    The MU02 firmware update for the Crucial BX200 resolved the strange ATTO plots that were mentioned in this review. At least for me.
  • jabber - Friday, March 25, 2016 - link

    Mmmmm the BX200. The one I got in to test finally bottomed out at a super 40MBps write speed. That was about 6 weeks ago with the latest firmware then. BX200 = Junk. The BX100, now that was and still is a quality drive.
  • bogdan_kr - Saturday, March 26, 2016 - link

    @Billy Tallis
    I would like to ask about AnandTech Storage Bench - Light. How long (typically) does it take to finish this bench?
    I mean I can see it is designed to read and write about 41GB of data. SP550 480GB finished it with 299.02 MB/s average data rate score so does that mean it took about 140 seconds?

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