SanDisk X400 SSD Review (512GB)

PCMARK VANTAGE X64 HDD SUITE

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as Xbox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

PCMARK VANTAGE RESULTS

The SanDisk X400 delivers an average score of 73,513 points during its PCMark Vantage run. The majority of results were in the 300-400MB/s range. Performance was best during the Windows Media Center portion and the worst in the Windows Media Player benchmark reaching 264MB/s. Let’s see how it compares to other SSDs in PCMark 8’s extended testing!

SanDisk X400 512GB PCMark Vantage

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.

SanDisk X400 SSD PCMark 8 AB

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.

SanDisk X400 SSD PCMark 8 AL

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.

SanDisk X400 SSD PCMark 8 TLat

In our consistency testing with PCMark 8 the SanDisk X400 shows off average bandwidth results, beating out that of the Samsung 750 EVO and Crucial BX200 and more in line with the results of the other test pool drives. The Samsung 850 EVO remains one of the best performing TLC drives we have tested to date as can be seen in this comparison. However, during the degrade portion of the test the SanDisk X400 surpasses it and keeps close during the recovery sections. Overall, consistency is very good within each respective section of the test.

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HERETIC
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HERETIC

Hey Sean-Is this a replacement for the Ultra 2??????
Would have liked to have seen how large the SLC cache is-guessing around 8GB.

If you ever get a chance-could you test a Samsung 650.It’s a strange one,it sits
below the 750 EVO (which is not much more than a 640 EVO) and yet best I can
tell it’s 3d nand.Perhaps lower binned nand that don’t make 850 spec…………….

Sean Webster
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No, it is not the Ultra II replacement. The Ultra II is part of their consumer product line. The X400 is part of their client/business product line.

We will look into the Samsung 650.

porsche
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porsche

Hi Sean (or anyone:) ), I was about to buy a 512GB X400, but noticed that at userbenchmark.com, the older X300 series seems to have outperformed the X400 in write speeds by as much as 50%. Can anyone provide any insight?

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