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Samsung SSD 850 PRO Solid State Drive Review

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Iometer IOPS Performance

Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. Iometer does for a computer’s I/O subsystem what a dynamometer does for an engine: it measures performance under a controlled load. Iometer was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and formerly known as “Galileo”. Intel has discontinued work on Iometer, and has gifted it to the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL). There is currently a new version of Iometer in beta form, which adds several new test dimensions for SSDs.

Iometer is both a workload generator (that is, it performs I/O operations in order to stress the system) and a measurement tool (that is, it examines and records the performance of its I/O operations and their impact on the system). It can be configured to emulate the disk or network I/O load of any program or benchmark, or can be used to generate entirely synthetic I/O loads. It can generate and measure loads on single or multiple (networked) systems.

To measure random I/O response time as well as total I/O’s per second, Iometer is set to use 4KB file size chunks over a 100% random sequential distribution at a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O’s per target. The tests are given a 50% read and 50% write distribution. While this pattern may not match traditional ‘server’ or ‘workstation’ profiles, it illustrates a single point of reference relative to our product field.

All of our SSD tests used Iometer 1.1.0 (build 08-Nov-2010) by Intel Corporation to measure IOPS performance. Iometer is configured to use 32 outstanding I/O’s per target and random 50/50 read/write distribution configuration: 4KB 100 Random 50-50 Read and Write.icf. The chart below illustrates combined random read and write IOPS over a 120-second Iometer test phase, where highest I/O total is preferred:

Iometer_Random_4K-IOPS_30QD_Results

The Samsung SSD 850 PRO produced our all-time best recorded score with 94,985 IOPS, leaving the OCZ Vector 150 (88,299 IOPS) and Vector 450 (87,323) SSDs that previously delivered the best combined IOPS performance fell nearly 6000 IOPS behind the new leader. OCZ’s Vertex 4 (83,494) and Vertex 3 Max IOPS Edition (83,117) trail behind with notable scores, before the Intel 520 SSD (80,433) and Intel 335 (80,015).

After the top-performing storage products, IOPS performance results quickly taper off. It should be noted that nearly all modern SSDs deliver I/O far beyond the needs of multi-tasking power users and hardcore gamers, and would be ideal for workstation systems running utilizing virtual machines.

In our next section, we test linear read and write bandwidth performance and compare its speed against several other top storage products using EVEREST Disk Benchmark. Benchmark Reviews feels that linear tests are excellent for rating SSDs, however HDDs are put at a disadvantage with these tests whenever capacity is high.


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14 comments

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  1. Matt M.

    If you can find your way past the numerous prompts to get to SSD support you “might” be able find the right person to answer your question.
    Don’t bother buying an SSD if you are using a NVIDIA controller. Think about getting a separate controller such as a SIIG as a partial work around the compatibility and speed issue.

    1. Olin Coles

      NVIDIA chipsets are decent, but they just aren’t as competitive as Intel or AMD boards. All of our testing is done on Intel chipsets, and I’ve had good experience with AMD motherboards, but I wouldn’t suggest NVIDIA-based motherboards for much anymore. Sorry!

  2. John P. Myers

    Samsung has updated their MSRP listings:

    128GB – $129.99 USD ($1.02/GB)
    256GB – $199.99 USD ($0.78/GB)
    512GB – $399.99 USD ($0.78/GB)
    1TB – $699.99 USD ($0.68/GB)

    1. Olin Coles

      The prices we published were those sent to us last night. If they’ve changed in the few hours since then, it’s only on paper. The only prices that matter are those at places like Amazon and Newegg.

    2. Olin Coles

      It turns out the prices we published were exactly correct, and match those found at Newegg and Amazon: http://amzn.to/1lCj1je

  3. joey

    Enable RAPID and nearly double those performance scores.

    1. Olin Coles

      RAPID would add system-supplemented performance to the benchmark, and would not be appropriate for a SSD review that compares apples to apples.

      1. Hank Tolman

        RAPID Mode actually doesn’t use the SATA channel to improve performance. It uses up to 1GB of RAM to cache data. RAPID mode analyzes all storage related activity by inserting itself as a filter driver in the Windows storage stack. It provides RAM caching based on a number of factors, like access frequency, file types, system status, and RAM availability. It also caches the ‘hot data’ across sessions and reboots.

        I consistently get 900+ MB/s using RAPID mode, but it doesn’t represent real SATA performance since it really just intelligent RAM caching.

        Read more at http://benchmarkreviews.com/15347/samsung-840-pro-solid-state-drive-review/

  4. Chris

    It’s fast, but the question is, is it worth paying almost 2 times as much in terms of capacity:cost as much as the MX100?

    – The MX 100 offers power loss protection
    – There is limited end to end data protection too in the MX100

    Against this, there’s the SSD 850 Pro, which is very fast, and has 40 nm NAND (which lasts longer).

  5. Caring1

    I’m still trying to figure out the difference from the 840 Pro.
    Didn’t that also come with Magician software and Rapid Mode?
    The Read/ Write figures look the same, so does the IOPS.

    1. Olin Coles

      Read the review. This is explained in the first two paragraphs, and also at the end of page two. Hint: 32-layer 3D V-NAND Flash, 200% write endurance in Total Bytes Written (TBW), and active write power has been reduced by up to 40% due to Samsung 3D V-NAND technology.

      1. Caring1

        Yep, I read the review before my previous post thank you.
        Strangely the article stated this > “Benchmark Reviews tests the 256GB Samsung SSD 850 PRO against the fastest solid state drives available.”
        Yet omitted to include the 840 Pro. Funny that considering what I already pointed out, the figures look the same!

  6. Stormprobe

    This review says it has a 5-year warranty, but it actually has a 10-year.

    1. Olin Coles

      That detail was published exactly how Samsung supplied it, so if they’ve increased the warranty it was done so after the product launch. Myself and others would like you to reference your source for this information.

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