Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe PCIe SSD Review (480GB) – Wicked 2GB/s Performance at a Great Price

As we had just completed similar testing on the Kingspec 1TB MultiCore PCIE SSD a few days back, we thought it important that we tried to copy that testing scenario as close as possible  and elected to use the same bench, adding into our test stream the OCZ RevoDrive 3×2 PCIe SSD that we also have on hand.   SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have not been changed at all.  Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

KingFast PCIe BenchEnterprise testing is significantly different as we explore performance in steady state, explore drive latency, and do our best to follow SNIA test protocol.  For the KingSpec PCIe SSD, this SSD can be a consumer/enterprise varient so we are going to start things along with our typical consumer benchmarks, and then explore some testing at steady state in IOMeter.

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This new PCIe Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to be quiet, Corsair, Crucial, Intel and InWin for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Maximus VI Z87 MotherBoard
CPU:
Intel Core i7-4770K CPU
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100i CPU Cooler
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD:
MSI Radeon HD 7870 Hawk Gfx Card
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark and IOMeter.  Our IOMeter testing was conducted both in a fresh drive state (at least in the case of the Scorpion Deluxe) as well as testing in steady state and testing was conducted to determine read and write IOPS and throughput, as well as file server, web server and workstation pre-configured tests comparing all drives. This report also contains true-to-life transfer tests of all three cards.

BENCHMARK ANOMALIES

In our analysis of both the KingSpec and Mushkin SSDs, there were serious compatibility concerns with AS SSD Benchmark software as well as Anvil Storage Utilities, in that both were incapable of properly testing write throughput.  We initially thought it might be a system issue and tested both PCIe SSDs on three different systems where we observed the same results from each.  To go one step further, we pulled out our tried and true OCZ Revo 3×2 PCIe SSD and tested it on all three systems where we observed results that matched manufacturers specifications.

In examining both the KingSpec and Mushkin SSDs, we found a common feature which was their use of LSI’s own Fusion MPT2 firmware.  Believing that this could be the only possible reason for such, we contacted LSI and we are awaiting return.  I quick search of the internet seems to indicate that other have experienced similar with the same software.  Having said that, the incompatibility was all the reason we needed to conduct true to life testing, as well as enterprise testing in IOPS

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe 480GB ATTO

Understanding that we can set ATTO to suit our needs with respect to testing incompressible data samples as well, we choose to leave it as a typical person might if they just bought the card and were checking it out quickly.  Understanding that this method represents a very unrealistic data sample, it is still the method used by manufacturers to set their specifications.  A quick look below gives us our first comparison of the Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe, KingSpec Multicore and Revo 3×2 PCIe SSDs:

PCIe ATTO Transfer Speed Comparison

Although the KingSpec is ‘King-of-the-Hill’ at 2.5GB/s read throughput, the Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe handily surpassed it in write performance at 1.9GB/s which was totally unexpected.  Considering we have had (and used) this OCZ Revo 3×2 for a few years now, it still provides amazing performance.  Just for good measure, we also included results of the Samsung 840 Pro SSD as a point of comparison.

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Todd
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Todd

Were your steady state tests with incompressible data, or fully compressible data which is essentially writing zeros to the drive?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Incompressible for an hour….

Les@TheSSDReview
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We tried to explain individual test makeup in steady state paras and it also varies, depending on server needs.

Todd
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Todd

When you are testing with incompressible data, what actual data type are you picking in Iometer, is it Psuedo Random?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Testing in steady state was done and reported in incompressible. The test methodology was explained Thanks ahead.

MikeGR7
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MikeGR7

Thank you Les! That was one of the best reviews!
Only one thing is missing. Add a second 840 Pro in RAID and let’s see the
battle of the year. Almost same price, same capacity but what about performance?
I’m not expecting two 840pro to Surpass that 2GB/s seq read but what about low 4k write?
I’m sure existing owners of high end ssds like 840p, vector etc. Whould LOVE to know
which is the best upgrade path for their OS drive> one of this beasts or Raid their Drives?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Mike, check the results for this drive once again in steady state. I wasn’t comfortable with such low steady state numbers so the tests were conducted once again with better results that are posted. These results are high sequentials in a 100% random environment.

MikeGR7
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MikeGR7

Thank you for the effort and constant improvement.
Whitelisted the site in adblock btw.

Christian Schröder
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Christian Schröder

I ordered the 240GB version of the Scorpion DeLuxe earlier this week. This review made me even more excited! 🙂

Les@TheSSDReview
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Great to hear. Similarly just before posting, another e-mailed stating he had just received his and was ecstatic at the performance. Make sure you follow the instructions because this SSD requires a power cable connection.

Gary Byatt
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Gary Byatt

I’m using an OCZ Revodrive 3 x2. I waited to buy until OCZ patched its firmware problem with the SandForce controller that apparently caused a BSOD. Not had a problem with it and it still super fast. I am not quite ready for an upgrade because it is still so quick, but I am glad to see some competition at last for enthusiast SSDs. Maybe it will force the pace a little for when I am ready to upgrade.

Tucker
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Tucker

Funny,you test with all compressible data. no wonder its so fast.