Ssd Check Samsung
Windows 10, 8.1 and Windows 7 built-in disk checkers
To begin with, about those tools for checking and diagnosing Windows drives that are applicable to SSDs. First of all, we will talk about CHKDSK. Many people use this utility to test regular hard drives, but how applicable is it to SSDs?
In some cases, when it comes to possible problems with the file system: strange behavior when working with folders and files, RAW “file system” instead of the previously working SSD partition, it is quite possible to use chkdsk and it can be effective. The path, for those who are not familiar with the utility, will be as follows:
- Run Command Prompt as Administrator.
- Type chkdsk command C: / f and press Enter.
- In the command above, the drive letter (in the example. C) can be replaced with another.
- After checking, you will receive a report on the found and fixed file system errors.
What is the special feature of testing SSD versus HDD? The fact is that searching for bad sectors using an additional parameter, as in the chkdsk C: / f / r command, is unnecessary and meaningless: the SSD controller does this, it also reassigns the sectors. Likewise, you should not “search and fix bad blocks on SSD” using utilities like Victoria HDD.
Windows also provides a simple tool to check the status of a disk (including SSD) based on SMART self-diagnostic data: run a command prompt and enter the command wmic diskdrive get status
As a result of its execution, you will receive a message about the status of all connected drives. If Windows thinks (which it generates based on SMART data) everything is in order, “OK” will be indicated for each disk.
How to check SSD for errors, disk health, and SMART attributes
Checking SSD for errors is not the same as similar tests for conventional hard drives, and many of the tools you are used to will not work here for the most part due to the way solid state drives work.
This manual provides details on how to check an SSD for errors, find out its status using S.M.A.R.T. Self-diagnosis technology, as well as some of the nuances of disk failure that may be useful. Also interesting: How to check SSD speed, Programs for SSD drives.
Programs for checking SSD drives for errors and analyzing their condition
Checking errors and status of SSD drives is carried out based on the data of S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, originally the technology appeared for HDD, where it is still used). The bottom line is that the disk controller itself records data about the status, errors that have occurred and other service information that can be used to check the SSD.
There are many free programs for reading SMART attributes, but a novice user may encounter some problems when trying to figure out what each of the attributes means, as well as some others:
- Different manufacturers may use different SMART attributes. Some of which are simply not defined for SSDs from other manufacturers.
- Although you can see the list and explanation of the “basic” attributes of S.M.A.R.T. In various sources, for example, on Wikipedia: https://ru.Wikipedia.Org/wiki/SMART, however, these attributes are written differently and interpreted differently by different manufacturers: for one, a large number of errors in a certain section may mean problems with SSD, for another. It’s just a feature of what kind of data is written there.
- A consequence of the previous point is that some “universal” programs for analyzing the state of disks, especially those that have not been updated for a long time or are intended primarily for HDDs, may incorrectly notify you about the state of the SSD. For example, it is very easy to get warnings about non-existent problems in programs such as Acronis Drive Monitor or HDDScan.
Self-reading of S.M.A.R.T. Attributes without knowledge of the manufacturer’s specifications, it can rarely allow an ordinary user to form a correct picture of the state of his SSD, and therefore third-party programs are used here, which can be divided into two simple categories:
- Crystaldiskinfo is the most popular universal utility that is constantly updated and adequately interprets the SMART attributes of most popular SSDs, taking into account manufacturers’ information.
- Programs for SSD from manufacturers. By definition, they know all the nuances of the contents of the SMART attributes of a solid-state drive of a particular manufacturer and are able to correctly report the state of the disk.
If you are an ordinary user who just needs to get information about what kind of SSD resource is left, whether it is in good condition, and, if necessary, automatically optimize its work, I recommend paying attention to the manufacturer’s utilities, which can always be downloaded for free from their official sites (usually. The first result in the search for a query with the name of the utility).
- Samsung Magician. For Samsung SSD, shows the status of the disk based on SMART data, the amount of recorded TBW data, allows you to view the attributes directly, configure the disk and system settings, update its firmware.
- Intel SSD Toolbox. Allows you to diagnose Intel SSDs, view status data, and perform optimizations. SMART attribute mapping is also available for drives from other manufacturers.
- Kingston SSD Manager. Information about the technical condition of the SSD, the remaining resource by various parameters in percent.
- Crucial Storage Executive. Assesses health for both Crucial and non-Crucial SSDs. Additional features are available only for branded drives.
- Toshiba / OCZ SSD Utility. Health check, setup and maintenance. Displays only branded drives.
- ADATA SSD Toolbox. Displays all disks, but accurate health data including remaining life, amount of data written, check disk, optimize system for SSD.
- WD SSD Dashboard. For Western Digital drives.
- Sandisk SSD Dashboard. Similar Disk Utility
In most cases, these utilities are sufficient, however, if your manufacturer did not take care of creating an SSD verification utility or you want to manually deal with SMART attributes, your choice is CrystalDiskInfo. However, there are also simpler utilities that allow, for example, to get information about the expected life of an SSD disk, for example, SSDLife.
How to use CrystalDiskInfo
You can download CrystalDiskInfo from the developer’s official website https://crystalmark.Info/en/software/crystaldiskinfo/. Despite the fact that the installer is in English (a portable version is also available in a ZIP archive), the program itself will be in Russian (if it is will not turn on by itself, change the language to Russian in the Language menu item). In the same menu, you can enable the display of the names of SMART attributes in English (as they are indicated in most sources), leaving the program interface in Russian.
What’s next? Further, you can familiarize yourself with how the program evaluates the state of your SSD (if there are several of them, switch in the top panel of CrystalDiskInfo) and start reading SMART attributes, each of which, in addition to the name, has three columns with data:
- Current. The current value of the SMART attribute on the SSD, usually indicated as a percentage of the remaining resource, but not for all parameters (for example, the temperature is indicated differently, with the ECC error attributes the same situation. By the way, do not panic if some program does not I will like something related to ECC, often it is a matter of misinterpreting the data).
- Worst. The worst value registered for the selected SSD based on the current parameter. Usually the same as the current.
- Threshold. The threshold in decimal notation, upon reaching which the state of the disk should begin to raise doubts. A value of 0 usually indicates that there is no such threshold.
- RAW values - the data accumulated for the selected attribute is displayed in hexadecimal by default, but you can enable decimal in the menu “Service”. “Advanced”. “RAW-values”. According to them and the manufacturer’s specifications (everyone can write this data in different ways), the values for the columns “Current” and “Worst” are calculated.
But the interpretation of each of the parameters may be different for different SSDs, among the main ones that are available on different drives and are easy to read as a percentage (but they can have different data in RAW values):
- Reallocated Sector Count. The number of reassigned blocks, the very “bad blocks” discussed at the beginning of the article.
- Power-on Hours. SSD operating time in hours (in RAW values converted to decimal format, hours are usually indicated, but not necessarily).
- Used Reserved Block Count. The number of used reserved blocks for reassignment.
- Wear Leveling Count. The percentage of wear on memory cells, usually based on the number of write cycles, but not for all brands of SSD.
- Total LBAs Written, Lifetime Writes. The amount of data written (in RAW values can be LBA blocks, bytes, gigabytes).
- CRC Error Count. I will highlight this item among others, because with zeros in other attributes for counting different types of errors, this one may contain any values. Usually, everything is in order: these errors can accumulate during sudden power outages and OS crashes. However, if the number grows on its own, check that your SSD is well connected (no oxidized contacts, tight connection, good cable).
If some attribute is not clear, is absent from Wikipedia (the link was given above), try simply searching for its name on the Internet: most likely, its description will be found.
In conclusion, one recommendation: when using an SSD to store important data, always have it backed up somewhere else. In the cloud, on a regular hard drive, optical disks. Unfortunately, with solid state drives, the problem of a sudden complete failure without any preliminary symptoms is relevant, this must be taken into account.
Testing SSD speed in CrystalDiskMark
Usually, when you come across a review of an SSD, the information about the speed of its work shows a screenshot from CrystalDiskMark. Despite its simplicity, this free utility is a kind of “standard” for such testing. In most cases (including in authoritative reviews), the testing process in CDM looks like this:
- Run the utility, select the drive to be tested in the upper right field. Before the second step, it is advisable to close all programs that can actively use the processor and access to disks.
- Clicking on the “All” button to run all tests. If you need to check the performance of the disk in certain read-write operations, just click the corresponding green button (their values will be described below).
- Waiting for the end of the check and receiving the results of the SSD speed assessment for various operations.
For basic validation, other test parameters are usually not changed. However, it may be helpful to know what can be configured in the program and what exactly the different numbers mean in the speed test results.
Download CrystalDiskMark and launch information
You can download the latest version of CrystalDiskMark from the official website https://crystalmark.Info/en/software/crystaldiskmark/ (Compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, Windows 7 and XP. The program has Russian language despite the fact that the site is in English). On the page, the utility is available both as an installer and as a zip archive that does not require installation on a computer.
Please note that when using the portable version, a bug with the display of the interface is possible. If you come across it, open the properties of the archive with CrystalDiskMark, check the box “Unblock” in the “General” tab, apply the settings and only then unpack the archive. The second method is to run the FixUI.Bat file from the folder with the unpacked archive.
Values of results of estimation of speed
For each test run, CrystalDiskMark displays information in both megabytes per second and operations per second (IOPS). To find out the second number, hold the mouse pointer over the result of any of the tests, the IOPS data will appear in the tooltip.
By default, the latest version of the program (the previous ones had a different set) performs the following tests:
- Seq Q32T1. Sequential write / read with 32 (Q) request queue depth in 1 (T) stream. In this test, the speed is usually the fastest, since the file is written to sequential linear sectors of the disk. This result does not fully reflect the actual speed of the SSD when used in real conditions, but it is usually compared.
- 4kib Q8T8. Random write / read in random 4 KB sectors, 8. Request queue, 8 threads.
- 3rd and 4th tests are similar to the previous one, but with a different number of threads and the depth of the request queue.
The depth of the request queue is the number of read-write requests simultaneously directed to the drive controller; streams in this context (they were not in previous versions of the program). The number of file recording streams initiated by the program. Various parameters in the last 3 tests make it possible to evaluate exactly how the disk controller “copes” with reading and writing data in various work scenarios and manages the allocation of resources, not only its speed in MB / s, but also IOPS, which is important parameter.
Often times, the results can change noticeably when updating the SSD firmware. It should also be borne in mind that during such tests, not only the disk but also the CPU is heavily loaded, i.E. Results may also depend on its characteristics. This is very superficial, but if you wish, you can find very detailed studies on the dependence of disk performance on the depth of the request queue on the Internet.
In the main window of CrystalDiskMark, you can configure (if you are a beginner user, you might not want to change anything):
- The number of checks (the result is averaged). The default is 5. Sometimes, to speed up the test, reduce to 3.
- File size with which operations will be carried out during scanning (by default. 1 GB). The program indicates 1GiB, not 1Gb, since we are talking about gigabytes in the binary system (1024 MB), and not in the commonly used decimal (1000 MB).
- As already mentioned, you can choose which drive to check. It does not have to be an SSD, in the same program you can find out the speed of a flash drive, memory card or regular hard drive. The test result in the screenshot below is obtained for a RAM disk.
In the “Settings” section of the menu you can change additional parameters, but again: I would leave it as is, and it will also be easier to compare your speed indicators with the results of other tests, since they use the default parameters.
How to check SSD speed
If, after purchasing a solid state drive, you want to know how fast it is, you can do this using simple free programs that allow you to check the speed of an SSD drive. In this article. About utilities for testing SSD speed, what the different numbers in the test results mean, and additional information that may be useful.
Despite the fact that there are different programs for evaluating disk performance, in most cases, when it comes to SSD speed, they primarily use CrystalDiskMark. A free, convenient and simple utility with a Russian interface. Therefore, first of all, I will focus on this tool for measuring write / read speed, and then I will touch on the other options available. Also useful: Which SSD is better. MLC, TLC or QLC, Configuring SSD for Windows 10, Checking SSD for errors.
- Testing SSD speed in CrystalDiskMark
- Program settings
- Tests conducted and speed evaluation
- Download CrystalDiskMark, program installation
Other solid state drive speed evaluation programs
Crystaldiskmark isn’t the only utility that lets you know the speed of an SSD under various conditions. There are other free and shareware tools:
- HD Tune and AS SSD Benchmark are probably the next two most popular SSD speed testing programs. Involved in testing notebookcheck.Net reviews in addition to CDM. Official sites: https://www.Hdtune.com/download.html (both free and Pro versions of the program are available on the site) and https://www.Alex-is.De/ respectively.
- Diskspd is a command line utility for evaluating drive performance. In fact, it is this that lies at the heart of CrystalDiskMark. Description and download available on Microsoft TechNet. https://aka.Ms/diskspd
- Passmark is a program for testing the performance of various computer components, including disks. Free for 30 days. Allows you to compare the result with other SSDs, as well as the speed of your drive compared to the same tested by other users. Testing in a familiar interface can be started through the program menu Advanced. Disk. Drive Performance.
- Userbenchmark is a free utility that quickly tests various components of your computer automatically and displays the results on a web page, including the speed of installed SSDs and comparing them with test results of other users.
- Some SSD manufacturers’ utilities also contain tools for checking disk performance. For example, in Samsung Magician, you can find it under Performance Benchmark. In this test, sequential reads and writes are roughly the same as those obtained in CrystalDiskMark.
In conclusion, I note that when you use software from SSD manufacturers and enable acceleration functions like Rapid Mode, you in fact do not get an objective result in the tests, since the technologies involved begin to play a role. The cache in RAM (which can reach a larger size than the amount of data used for testing) and others. Therefore, when checking, I recommend turning them off.
AS SSD Benchmark
Using the AS SSD Benchmark functionality, you can test the speed of an SSD by running a series of special tests. Testing (benchmarking) SSD is performed as sequential and random read / write data. Disk speed testing is performed without using the operating system cache.
The principle of operation of AS SSD Benchmark is the same as for all applications. A file of a gigabyte is written and read three times to the disk, as a result, the average write and read time is given.
Unlike the apps above, AS SSD Benchmark is a completely free tool.
Best programs for testing SSD speed
For a basic SSD speed test, any application on our list will do, so just pick whichever is more convenient. But if you have additional needs, then it is better to compare the functionality in more detail and choose what will help you cope with the tasks assigned to you.
The best programs to test SSD speed
Many users are migrating to SSDs. One of the key differences from traditional hard drives is that they are much faster. High speed of work means that programs will load faster, files open, and the operating system starts up. But solid-state drives are also different in speed, and therefore you can’t do without an SSD speed test.
There are quite a few applications for measuring the speed of SSDs, but we will consider the most popular and recommended ones. They exactly do their job.
What parameters are important when checking speed
On average, when testing an SSD, the most important parameter is the speed of access to the disk (both read and write). But applications can also check:
- File transfer speed (write / read);
- Data compression speed;
- The presence or absence of bad sectors on the disk;
- SSD technical condition.
There are more complex applications that can assess not only the speed at which the disk is functioning, but also its “health”.
A proprietary utility from Samsung. Although it is primarily intended for testing and obtaining information about Samsung brand drives, it can also be used to test other devices.
How to check SSD speed:
- Go to Performance Benchmark.
- Select the drive for testing from the drop-down list.
- Click on the Start button and wait for the end.
The results will be available in the form of 4 scales: Reading and writing in sequential and random order, respectively.
Key features of Samsung Magician:
- Checking the general health of the SSD
- Samsung Hardware Authentication
- Reading S.M.A.R.T.-Attributes
- Diagnostic disk scan and fix errors found
- Optimizing performance by enabling RAPID mode (if available)
Passmark is a program for comprehensive performance testing of PCs and laptops, in particular, SSD speed test. It works for free in the Trial version, but if you purchase a commercial license ( 29 at the time of this writing), you can:
- Seek extended technical support,
- Export test results to convenient text formats,
- Use various scripts,
- Run advanced tests (they are also available in the full version, but only during a thirty-day trial period).
Disk Mark tests SSD hard drives using multiple approaches. The test results can be compared with global indicators. Similar SSD models and more or less fast in terms of write and read speeds.
In addition, Performancetest has the following key features:
- Test read and write to SSD separately;
- Check synchronous and asynchronous accesses;
- Check sequential and random accesses;
- Change the size of the data block for reading or writing to improve performance;
- Resize test file.
We advise you to download the Performancetest program if you need a comprehensive test of hardware (processor, RAM, adapter.) And comparison with current components.
Review of NVMe-drive Samsung 970 EVO Plus: plus from the heart
- Page 1. Specifications. Appearance and internal structure
- § Specifications
- § Appearance and internal structure
- § Software
Samsung has been a center player in the consumer solid state drive market for a long time. And the superiority of the South Korean manufacturer is quite natural: over the past few years, it has been offering the best SSDs for the mainstream market, which outperform competing offerings in terms of both performance and support and reliability. Samsung has been able to show its technological superiority especially clearly with the growing popularity of NVMe drives. Having become one of the first manufacturers to see the promise of a new high-speed interface, Samsung has long been a leader in this segment, offering users the best SSDs of this class.
However, not feeling worthy of competition, last year Samsung somewhat slowed down the pace of improving its products, and the announcement of the 970 EVO in May was not yet another revolution that users were waiting for from the company. This model only slightly increased performance over the popular 960 EVO, which opened up a window of opportunity for Samsung‘s competitors. And they did not fail to use this window.
As a vivid illustration of what has been said, I would like to quote from our final article about the SSD market last year: “If a year ago the Samsung 960 EVO was the benchmark for consumer NVMe SSD, which demonstrates a fundamentally better performance compared to any other option, then in 2018 everything is in has changed radically. And even though the South Korean manufacturer has updated its core offering with an improved 970 EVO, today the best price / performance NVMe SSDs are no longer in Samsung’s range. Now there are already at least two alternative platforms, based on which drives can offer at least not the worst consumer qualities “.
Indeed, the WD Black NVMe SSD and ADATA Ultimate SX8200, which appeared in the second half of last year, were able to seriously shake Samsung’s hegemony. These drives offered a better combination of price and performance than the Samsung 970 EVO, which, while not undermining the sales of the South Korean manufacturer’s products, at least severely hurt his pride. So it comes as no surprise that the response was not long in coming: today Samsung is announcing an upgraded NVMe drive that should become the new favorite among enthusiasts. The 970 EVO Plus. And although its name seems to hint that this is just an improved version of the 970 EVO, the manufacturer promises very noticeable progress in performance. In a press release, they write about the new product: “Thanks to a combination of the latest V-NAND technology and firmware optimizations, the 970 EVO Plus delivers 57% higher random write performance than the 970 EVO.” And such a noticeable increase in one of the basic characteristics makes us believe that we have a model that can really become a new icon in the segment of consumer NVMe SSD.
Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus is interesting for another reason. This drive is one of the first to use 96-layer 3D flash memory. Formally, such models have already been announced by Toshiba, but the 970 EVO Plus is a much more massive product, by the example of which we can trace the trend. Which leads to the further growth of the structure of flash memory in the vertical dimension.
In short, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is a re-release of the familiar 970 EVO, timed to coincide with the move to a denser fifth-generation TLC 3D V-NAND with 96 layers. The usual 970 EVO used 64-layer memory of the fourth generation, but now Samsung has more advanced filling, which, on the one hand, has a reduced cost, and on the other hand, has improved performance and power consumption characteristics. Mass production of 96-layer memory began at Samsung enterprises back in July last year, but now its volume and yield has reached such proportions that the manufacturer has begun to officially transfer its actual drives to such memory.
But in fact, the 970 EVO Plus is not the first Samsung product to use fifth-generation flash memory. Since last fall, small batches of Samsung 860 EVO have been supplied to the market, converted from 64-layer to 96-layer TLC 3D V-NAND, and if you bought such drives towards the end of the year, then it is likely that you could get a version with updated memory. You can find out about this from the expanded model number given on the drive: if the third character from the end is “B”, then you have an improved version of the 860 EVO based on the fifth generation memory.
However, in the case of the Samsung 860 EVO, the move to 96-layer memory has changed almost nothing. The fact is that the characteristics of this drive are largely limited by the controller and the SATA interface, so for this model the manufacturer decided not to announce the change of the filling. But in the case of the 970 EVO NVMe drive, the changes were really very noticeable.
The fifth generation flash memory received an updated Toggle DDR 4.0 interface with a 40% increase in bandwidth, as well as a reduced operating voltage from 1.8 to 1.2 V. In addition, latencies have noticeably decreased in it: the write speed to cells has increased by about 30%, and the response time when reading has decreased by 37%. To 50 μs. In other words, the use of the new 96-layer memory, provided that the firmware is properly optimized, can increase the performance of the drive, as illustrated by the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. All the basic performance characteristics have increased in it: both the linear write speed and the performance during random operations, and we are talking about a fairly noticeable progress.
|Samsung 970 EVO||Samsung 970 EVO Plus||Growth|
|Linear read speed, MB / s||Up to 3500||Up to 3500||0%|
|Linear recording speed, MB / s||Up to 2500||Up to 3300||32%|
|Random read speed, QD1, IOPS||Up to 15000||Up to 19000||27%|
|Random write speed, QD1, IOPS||Up to 50,000||Up to 60,000||20 %|
|Random read speed, QD32. 4 threads, IOPS||Up to 500,000||Up to 600,000||20 %|
|Random write speed, QD32. 4 streams, IOPS||Up to 480,000||Up to 550,000||15 %|
However, it should be understood that the Samsung 970 EVO Plus remains a close relative of the 970 EVO and is equipped with exactly the same eight-channel Phoenix controller with five ARM cores as its predecessor. Yet the performance improvements are solely due to the use of the new flash memory and the firmware optimizations necessary to build the correct operation with it.
It is appropriate to remind here that 96-layer TLC 3D V-NAND, which is designed and manufactured by Samsung, is fundamentally different from similar memory from other manufacturers. Samsung’s approach is to grow 96-layer semiconductor crystals in a single process, while other manufacturers practice assembling 96-layer crystals from a pair of 48-layer blanks. It is this engineering approach of the South Korean manufacturer that made it possible, on the one hand, to introduce a significant number of improvements at this stage, and on the other, to maintain a low and convenient 256 Gbps capacity for modern SSDs. Therefore, the Samsung SSDs built on 96-layer memory of the fifth generation are definitely better than existing and promising competing products.
At least their specs look really promising.
|Series||970 EVO Plus|
|Form factor||M.2 2280|
|Interface||PCI Express 3.0 x4. Nvme 1.3|
|Flash memory: type, process technology, manufacturer||Samsung 9x-Layer 256Gbps 3D TLC V-NAND|
|Buffer: type, volume||LPDDR4, 512 MB||LPDDR4, 1 GB|
|Max. Sustained sequential read speed, MB / s||3500||3500||3500|
|Max. Sustained sequential write speed, MB / s||2300||3200||3300|
|Max. Random read speed (4 KB blocks), IOPS||250,000||480,000||600,000|
|Max. Random write speed (4 KB blocks), IOPS||550,000||550,000||550,000|
|Power consumption: idle / read-write, W||0.05 / 4.2-6.0|
|MTBF (mean time between failures), million h||1.5|
|Recording resource, TB||150||300||600|
|Overall dimensions: L × H × D, mm||80.15 x 22.15 x 2.38|
|Warranty period, years||five|
First of all, it should be noted that in everything that does not concern performance, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus repeats the characteristics of its predecessor. In particular, with the transition to the new memory, there were no changes in the terms of the guarantee and the declared resource. The warranty period of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the same five years, and the maximum resource is determined based on the possibility of overwriting a third of the storage capacity per day.
The similarities between the 970 EVO Plus and the 970 EVO include the recommended prices. They are exactly the same for different series of drives, and ultimately the new 970 EVO Plus models will displace the SSD of the previous family, which are currently being discontinued.
However, as follows from the above table, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus lineup does not yet provide a 2TB drive, while the 970 EVO of this size exists. This is explained by the fact that Samsung has not yet managed to launch the fifth-generation 512-gigabit TLC 3D V-NAND crystals required to increase the capacity, and the 2 terabyte version of the 970 EVO Plus will be released later (April is called as a preliminary temporary reference point).
As for the increase in performance, it is associated exclusively with changes in the characteristics of flash memory. There are no tricks in the Samsung 970 EVO Plus firmware, and Intellegent TurboWrite SLC caching technology functions in this SSD exactly the same as in the 970 EVO. Fast cache is formed of two segments: static, 3 or 6 GB in size, and dynamic, the size of which can be several times larger. While the static segment is located in the spare area of the flash array, the dynamic part uses the unallocated part of the main flash array, and therefore its size can vary depending on how much free space is on the drive.
|Drive capacity, GB||250||500||1000|
|Total SLC cache size, GB||3-13||3-22||6-42|
|Static part, GB||4||4||6|
|Dynamic part, GB||Up to 9||Before 18||Up to 36|
It is very easy to illustrate the work of Intellegent TurboWrite using the graphs of the continuous sequential write speed on the Samsung 970 EVO Plus version of various capacities (measurements were carried out in the most advantageous situation. On a free SSD).
The SLC cache size of the 970 EVO Plus has not changed compared to the 970 EVO, but the speeds have clearly increased both when writing data in SLC mode and when writing directly to the TLC memory array. In high-speed mode, versions of a drive with a capacity of 500 TB and higher now give out 3.2-3.3 GB / s, the maximum for the PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface, and when writing directly to a flash memory array in TLC mode, the performance of a terabyte model can reach incredible 1.7 GB / s. The graphs reveal well the fact that the linear recording performance of the 970 EVO Plus really improved by 35-50% in absolutely any situation.
over, if you do not go beyond the SLC cache, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus turns out to be even more productive than the 970 PRO MLC drive! And this means that Samsung’s new mainstream NVMe SSD can be safely declared the drive with the fastest TLC memory in write mode. However, the gap from competing products is not too big. WD Black NVMe based on 64-layer BiCS3 memory from SanDisk can offer almost the same write speed to an array of flash memory in TLC mode.
⇡ # Appearance and internal structure
In appearance, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus hardly differs from its predecessor. The novelty is made in the form factor M.2 2280 and has a one-sided design. Traditional stickers are placed on both surfaces of the drive. On the reverse side is a special heat dissipation label with a layer of copper foil, and on the front side there is an information decal, which contains detailed information about the product, including serial number, article number, date of manufacture and a key to reset encryption.
If you remove the stickers from the drive, you can see that the Samsung 970 EVO Plus inherits the PCB layout from the 970 EVO. The only difference is in the nomenclature of installed microcircuits. Here, for example, what the disclosed 500GB version of the 970 EVO Plus looks like.
The basic Phoenix controller is most easily recognized. It is covered with a nickel-plated lid to facilitate heat dissipation. Next to it is an LPDDR4 memory chip, which is used to store a copy of the address translation table. Its capacity is standard and is calculated on the basis of 1 MB per 1 GB of flash memory. The TLC 3D V-NAND array is composed of two chips, each of which contains 4, 8 or 16 semiconductor crystals, depending on the capacity of the SSD.
For example, for a half-terabyte drive, chips with 8 flash memory crystals inside are used, since the capacity of the fifth generation 96-layer TLC 3D V-NAND chips used in the 970 EVO Plus is 256 Gbit. Thus, the Phoenix controller in the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500 GB can use two-fold interleaving of devices in each of its channels. For this reason, the fastest option in the 970 EVO series is the 1TB model.
The declared volumes of the representatives of the 970 EVO Plus series are multiples of 250 GB, which means that approximately 91 percent of the total amount of installed flash memory is available to the user. Another 2.5-4.5 percent of the capacity is allocated for the static SLC-cache, working within the Intellegent TurboWrite technology. The rest of the space is used by the controller for internal needs. For garbage collection, wear leveling and for a reserve fund.
Samsung’s mass storage devices are traditionally supplied with Magician’s proprietary service utility, which, starting from version 5.3, is also compatible with the 970 EVO Plus. It is customary to set this utility as an example of what software should accompany consumer SSDs, because it is not so easy to make any claims to its functionality or interface.
Samsung Magician 5.3 allows you to get general information about the drive, its mode of operation, firmware version and the amount of recorded data. Also, the utility makes it possible to get acquainted with the state of the attributes returned to S.M.A.R.T.
The program allows you to conduct evaluation tests of the drive’s performance and make sure that it is fully compatible with the system in which it is installed.
Using Magician, you can manually send a batch of TRIM commands to the drive, and also adjust the size of the unallocated space by transferring part of the SSD capacity to an additional spare zone.
Magician also manages the Samsung 970 EVO Plus’s AES-256 hardware encryption features that are compliant with the full range of current standards (including Microsoft eDrive / Encrypted Drive-IEEE1667 and TCG Opal). In addition, the utility allows you to create a bootable “USB flash drive” for complete physical erasure of data using the Secure Erase command.
Testing is performed on Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise x64 Build 16299, which correctly recognizes and services modern solid state drives. This means that the TRIM command is supported and actively used during the tests, as in normal everyday use of the SSD. Performance is measured with drives in a “used” state by pre-filling them with data. Before each test, the drives are cleaned up and maintained using the TRIM command. There is a 15-minute pause between individual tests, which is allotted for the correct practice of garbage collection technology. All tests use randomized incompressible data.
The section within which the operation speed is tested is 32 GB in size, and the duration of each test is forty seconds. Such parameters, in particular, will allow obtaining more relevant results for those SSDs that use various SLC caching technologies.
Applications and tests used:
- Iometer 1.1.0
- Measuring the speed of sequential read and write data in blocks of 128 KB (the most typical block size for sequential operations in desktop tasks). Testing is carried out at different depths of the request queue, which allows you to evaluate both realistic and peak performance parameters.
- Measuring the speed and latency of random read and write in 4 KB blocks (this block size is used in the vast majority of real operations). The test is carried out twice. Without a request queue and with a request queue of 4 commands deep (typical for desktop applications that actively work with a branched file system). Data blocks are aligned relative to flash drive pages.
- Determination of the dependence of the random read and write speeds during operation of a drive with 4K blocks on the depth of the request queue (in the range from one to 32 commands). Data blocks are aligned relative to flash drive pages.
- Determination of the dependence of the random read and write speeds when the drive is operating with blocks of different sizes. Blocks from 512 bytes to 256 Kbytes are used. The depth of the request queue during the test is 4 commands. Data blocks are aligned relative to flash drive pages.
- Measuring performance under mixed multithreaded load and establishing its dependence on the ratio between read and write operations. The test is carried out twice: for sequential read and write operations in 128 KB blocks, performed in two independent threads, and for random operations with 4 KB blocks, which are performed in four independent threads. In both cases, the ratio between read and write operations varies in 20 percent increments.
- Investigation of SSD performance degradation when processing continuous random write operations. It uses 4KB blocks and a queue depth of 32 commands. Data blocks are aligned relative to the flash drive pages. The test duration is two hours, instantaneous speed measurements are carried out every second. At the end of the test, the ability of the drive to restore its performance to its original values is additionally checked due to the work of garbage collection technology and after the TRIM command.
Pcmark 8 Storage Benchmark 2.0
- A benchmark based on emulating real disk load, which is typical for various popular applications. The test drive creates a single NTFS partition for the entire available space, and PCMark 8 runs the Secondary Storage 2.0 test. As test results, both the final performance and the execution speed of individual test traces generated by various applications are taken into account.
With the release of the Coffee Lake Refresh processors, we decided to once again update the test system that is used to measure the performance of NVMe SSD models. After all, such drives are primarily bought by enthusiasts moving to new platforms, and therefore it is logical to use the most relevant components in test tests.
As a result, a computer with an ASRock Z390 Taichi motherboard, a Core i7-9700K processor with an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics core and 8 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM is used as a test platform. During testing, drives with M.2 interface are installed in the corresponding slot of the motherboard connected to the chipset. Drives in the form of PCI Express cards are installed in the PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot, also working through the chipset.
The volume and speed of data transfer in benchmarks are indicated in binary units (1 KB = 1024 bytes).
A separate clarification should be made regarding the closure of the Meltdown and Specter processor vulnerabilities. Existing patches significantly reduce the performance of solid-state drives, so measurements are taken with deactivated OC patches designed to fix these vulnerabilities.
⇡ # List of test participants
As a result, the list of tested models looks like this:
- ADATA XPG SX8200 480 GB (ASX8200NP-480GT, firmware SVN105);
- Intel SSD 760p 512 GB (SSDPEKKW512G8, firmware 004C);
- Kingston A1000 480 GB (SA1000M8 / 480G, firmware E8FK11.G);
- Samsung 970 EVO 500 GB (MZ-V7E500BW, firmware 2B2QEXE7);
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB (MZ-V7S500BW, firmware 1B2QEXM7);
- Samsung 970 PRO 512 GB (MZ-V7P512BW, firmware 1B2QEXP7);
- Western Digital Black NVMe 500 GB (WDS500G2X0C, firmware 101020WD).
Used NVMe driver versions:
- Intel Client NVMe Driver 220.127.116.117;
- Microsoft Windows NVMe Driver 10.0.16299.371;
- Samsung NVM Express Driver 18.104.22.1682.
⇡ # Sequential read and write performance