PNY CS2030 M.2 NVMe SSD Review (240GB) – Our First Look at Phison’s E7 Controller

PCMARK 8 STORAGE

The SSD Review uses PCMark 8’s Storage test suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. With 10 traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games, it covers some of the most popular light to heavy workloads. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices. After an initial break-in cycle and three rounds of the testing, we are given a file score and bandwidth amount. The higher the score/bandwidth, the better the drive performs.

PCMARK 8 STORAGE RESULTS

240gb-pny-cs2030-pcmark-8

In PCMark 8 the CS2030 scored 5068 points and averaged 490MB/s in bandwidth.

pny-cs2030-240gb-pcmark-8-bandwidth

Its score places it very high on our comparison list. As you can see, it edges out slightly above the 250GB Samsung 960 EVO and the higher capacity Kingston HyperX, but is just behind the Intel 750. The OCZ RD400 and Samsung 950/960 PROs, in comparison, however, easily outperform this SSD. Overall, PCMark 8 shows that Phison E7 powered SSDs look to be very competitive in typical real world type workloads.

PCMARK 8 EXTENDED STORAGE WORKLOAD CONSISTENCY TESTING

For our last benchmark, we have decided to use PCMark 8 Extended Storage Workload in order to determine steady state throughput of the SSD. This software is the longest in our battery of tests and takes just under 18 hours per SSD. As this is a specialized component of PCMark 8 Professional, its final result is void of any colorful graphs or charts typical of the normal online results and deciphering the resulting excel file into an easily understood result takes several more hours.

There are 18 phases of testing throughout the entire run, 8 runs of the Degradation Phase, 5 runs of the Steady State Phase and 5 runs of the Recovery Phase. In each phase, several performance tests are run of 10 different software programs; Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop Heavy and Photoshop Light, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word, as well as Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft to cover the gaming element.

  • PRECONDITIONING -The entire SSD is filled twice sequentially with random data of a 128KB file size. The second run accounts for overprovisioning that would have escaped the first;
  • DEGRADATION PHASE – The SSD is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 10 minutes and then a single pass performance test is done of each application. The cycle is repeated 8 times, and with each time, the duration of random writes increases by 5 minutes;
  • STEADY STATE PHASE – The drive is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 45 minutes before each application is put through a performance test. This process is repeated 5 times;
  • RECOVERY PHASE – The SSD is allowed to idle for 5 minutes before and between performance tests of all applications. This is repeated 5 times which accounts for garbage collection; and
  • CLEANUP – The entire SSD is written with zero data at a write size of 128KB

In reading the results, the Degrade and Steady State phases represent heavy workload testing while the recovery phase represents typical consumer light workload testing.

PCMARK 8 RESULTS

As you can see, performance is recorded in terms of Bandwidth and Latency. Bandwidth (or throughput) represents the total throughput the drive is able to sustain during the tests during each phase. Latency, at least for the purposes of PCMark 8, takes on a different outlook and for this, we will term it ‘Total Storage Latency’. Typically, latency has been addressed as the time it takes for a command to be executed, or rather, the time from when the last command completed to the time that the next command started. This is shown below as ‘Average Latency’.

PCMark 8 provides a slightly different measurement, however, that we are terming as ‘Total Storage Latency’. This is represented as being the period from the time the last command was completed, until the time it took to complete the next task; the difference of course being that the execution of that task is included in ‘Total Storage Latency’. For both latency graphs, the same still exists where the lower the latency, the faster the responsiveness of the system will be. While both latency charts look very similar, the scale puts into perspective how just a few milliseconds can increase the length of time to complete multiple workloads.

For a more in-depth look into Latency, Bandwidth, and IOPS check out our primer article on them here.

AVERAGE BANDWIDTH (OR THROUGHPUT)

These results show the total average bandwidth across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the higher the result the better.

pny-cs2030-240gb-pcmark-8-average-bandwidth

AVERAGE LATENCY (OR ACCESS TIME)

These results show the average access time during the workloads across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the lower the result the better.

pny-cs2030-240gb-pcmark-8-average-latency

TOTAL STORAGE LATENCY

These results show the total access time across all tests in the 18 phases. In this graph the lower the result the better.

pny-cs2030-240gb-pcmark-8-total-latency

After many grueling rounds of testing in PCMark 8’s consistency test, we can see that its performance profile is similar in shape to that of the 250GB Samsung 960 EVO. During the heavy workloads (degrade and steady state rounds) its latency is double to triple that of the other products in the comparison and its throughput is approximately half as well. If you are considering this drive for heavy use, take it off your list. There are other products that will much better suit that task. For most everyday use cases, however, PCMark8’s normal storage suite results prove it is a good buy performance wise.

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Rados?aw Or?owskiLes@TheSSDReviewmatMartin KurzHERETIC Recent comment authors
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HERETIC
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HERETIC

4K QD1 read IOPS tells me most likely not Micron flash.
Probably WD/Toshiba slight chance even Hynix.

Martin Kurz
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Martin Kurz

Googling the NAND print reveals other SSD reviews that identify this as a Toshiba 64GB 15nm MLC package.

mat
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mat

As long, as it is double sided, it’s no deal for many slim ultrabooks.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Can you give us a specific of that?

Rados?aw Or?owski
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Rados?aw Or?owski

I wonder how it would behave with some cooling. Maybe problem with heavy loads lies in overheating ? Maybe this ‘m2 shield’ stuff could help. If so then with minimal added cost its perfect.

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