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Samsung 960 PRO NVMe SSD 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 distributionconfiguration: 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:

While random IOPS are significantly off the pace set by the Samsung 950 PRO, they’re more than double the rate set by the very best SATA drives.

In our next section, we test linear read and write bandwidth performance and compare the speed of the RD400 SSD against several other top storage products using the AIDA64 Disk Benchmark.


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4 comments

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  1. Costea

    Which brand of SSD do you trust most?
    Samsung. My 850 evo, is running with the speed of the ram, in rapid mode. That’s fast enaugh! 2900 mb/sec, seq.write , on a8-7600, chipset a88x, ram at 1800 mhz.

  2. EricW

    This was definitely an upgrade to the 256GB 950 Pro I had not all that much for the 950 Pro 512GB. Hopefully we eventually start to see price savings with the additional layers.

  3. D Daniels

    Confused. How is it that a 3 to 5 times “performance improvement” equates to imperceptible real world benefits. Won’t windows load faster? Won’t game zone load times be slashed?

    If not, is it xpoint we should be expecting to achieve these goals?

    1. David Ramsey

      Easy: because most of the data transfers you’ll make are quite small, in the kilobytes-to-hundreds of kilobytes range.

      Say you’ve got a 250-kilobyte block of data to read. With a SATA SSD that can do 550 megabytes per second, you can get that data in about 1/2200th of a second.

      Now with a spiffy new m.2 NVME SSD that can sustain 2.5 gigabytes per second, that data transfer take 1/10,000th of a second. Can you tell the difference, sitting in your chair?

      Of course, there will aways be use cases where the difference _is_ perceptible. But booting Windows or loading game zones isn’t just about raw data transfer rates; there’s a lot of computation going on.

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