Samsung Magician 4.5 RAPID Mode – Evaluated With Demonstrated Speed Increase

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.

RAPID on vs off Total 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.

RAPID on vs off Average Latency Both

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.

RAPID on vs off Total Latency

For this test we used the 120GB Samsung 850 EVO. At first, average bandwidth shows us two things. One, heavy workloads seem to result in lower average bandwidth with RAPID, and two, once the typical consumer light workloads begin, we can see it boosts performance to nearly 3x. Furthermore, we can see that the average latency without RAPID mode reaches up to almost .6ms in the Degrade and Steady State phases. Once RAPID is enabled, latency is cut down to just under .3ms. Over the Recovery phases we can see decent performance of around 0.072ms for latency without RAPID, however, once again, with it enabled we can see an average of 0.023ms for its latency performance. Finally, the total latency, results show that while bandwidth was less in steady state performance, overall, the reduction of average latency significantly speed up the workloads.

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

RAPID mode is a sweet extra feature that Samsung packed with their Magician Toolbox bundle. It allows for many Samsung SSD owners to enable RAM caching on their system in a quick and easy way. Once it is enabled, all the work is automated. The user can simply resume using the system as normal, but now performance is improved.

In testing, Samsung’s synthetic benchmark showed a night and day difference in performance with RAPID mode enabled, but it didn’t feel like it in our perceptible use of the system when enabled. To test out why, we benchmarked our startup time and application load times. As a result, startup was slower, but it was so minute a difference that it shouldn’t cause anyone to lose any sleep over it. Application load times also proved to gain no benefit, however, we were testing only the programs themselves at first. After testing some work files, it followed a similar trend. Recently accessed files should prove to have a faster retrieval speed after reboots, however they did not. Our testing methodology proved RAPID did not afford any benefit outside of Windows default caching behavior in these instances. It wasn’t until our workload testing was done that we saw a performance increase.

Our final testing with PCMark 8 gave us some better insight on how RAPID can improve a system’s performance. Average latency was cut in half and the total latency was cut down by more than that. The average bandwidth results proved something a bit different at first, steady state performance showed to be lower, but when in the recovery phase, average bandwidth shot up to speeds nearly triple to that of the system with RAPID disabled. Based upon our results, we can tell that RAPID actually does work and it really can significantly speed up real world performance.

So in all, RAPID does indeed increase a system’s performance. In day to day usage start up and opening application times will not be affected, however, when it comes to actually working on projects, RAPID will help to speed things up.

User Rating: 4.23 ( 8 votes)

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Karthikeyan
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Took 1.5GB I guess out of my 8GB pc. RAPID is really nice but I think I can live without it too. All that matters is that one has to move from a HDD to SSD for atleast the boot drive. Have the 850 Pro myself. Team RED we are 🙂

Soviet_Rebel
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Soviet_Rebel

Amen to that muthafucka!

Mirko Guti?
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Mirko Guti?

Hi Sean, what are your thoughts on RAID 0 Mode? I have 2 Samsung 120GB 850 EVOs. Should i leave them separate, first one being the system disk with RAPID enabled and second one for programs or should I RAID 0 them? I don’t care for the safety of the data, just speed. I do some prepress design and gaming. When in RAID 0 mode, Samsung Magician doesn’t seem to recognize them. Thanks for your help.

Randy
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Randy

It is my understanding that the EVOs were never meant to be used in RAID configurations, which is probaby why the MAgician software is not recognizing them. For that reason, and better reliability, I chose to stick with the 840 Pro and 850 PROs.

???????????? ?.
Guest
???????????? ?.

owner of a 840 Pro, if you raid them you can’t see them in magician and trim is always disabled(stripe 0,1 etc) <<—no matter what model you have, same applies to 850 PRO

Jon Buckles
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Jon Buckles

Trim has been supported for ssd raid arrays since 7 series motherboards (z77).. download the intel raid driver for your os and your golden. (driver can only be installed once in raid mode)

???????????? ?.
Guest
???????????? ?.

NOT in raid 0,1,5 ..ONLY raid mode but as single disks (TRIM is useless if you use RAID 0(stripe), or raid 1(mirror))

Do your homework and come back 😉

P.S. IDE, AHCI, RAID modes but nowdays only AHCI and RAID modes available

Jon Buckles
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Jon Buckles

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6161/intel-brings-trim-to-raid0-ssd-arrays-on-7series-motherboards-we-test-it

This
article clearly states that trim is indeed supported for raid 0 arrays
on 7 series motherboards. Ive already done my “homework” sir.

???????????? ?.
Guest
???????????? ?.

Well that’s great, in the past the only thing intel did was to manage single drives in “raid mode” if they manage raid0 in 2 drives then kuddos to intel. Too bad you need specific motherboards to do that..

Sean Webster
Guest

For me, I would set up which ever way is easiest for you. I would personally set them up in RAID 0 and store both the OS and programs on the same volume. Just make sure you do routine backups and you should be golden. Samsung Magician does not detect the drives as you have noticed, it is normal. I personally don’t bother with installing Magician in my own system.

Mirko Guti?
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Mirko Guti?

Thanks a lot! RAID 0 it is! 🙂

snadge
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snadge

you cant use RAPID in RAID…tried it

HenkPoley
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HenkPoley

It might work if you use Windows ‘spanned volume’ ? So that’s not RAID, but essentially the same as RAID 0 (combining two disks without redundancy).

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-turn-old-hard-drives-into-one-large-drive-in-windows/

Gary Noah
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Gary Noah

Spanned Volume is not the same as RAID 0. Spanning just writes to one drive at a time. Raid 0 uses two or more drives as one, so reads and writes are faster. A good two drive RAID 0 setup should increase throughput by 60%. So 540 transfer with one becomes 864 with two in RAID 0. A real good setup should almost double reads, writes, and transfer speeds. Spanning will not increase speeds.

Domdym
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Domdym

my friend has a gaming pc with 2 1tb ssds in raid0 he said its the fastest storage he has seen (and he is a professional it technician). but it all depends on the type of raid controller. if its virtual raid I don’t think you should do it unless you really want all your space to be unified. but if its hardware raid you would probably get a faster write and read times.

just my opinion

Macker
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Macker

Unless you are in an enterprise scenario. The raid 0 doesn’t affect real life performance, as most the time the SSD’s bandwidth isn’t your bottleneck. I have done a raid 0 with 850 pros and looked into upgrading my 850 pro to a 950 pro. Benchmark wise yeah the speed performance is way higher. But when i comes to boot time and application speed there is very little difference. Plus with raid 0 your data isn’t safe, and with Rapid Mode’s low latency, it becomes more of a want then a should. shabammm

hedzsoooAkaHeyJoe
Guest

Hi, so if the RAPID tech is ON, then I can get some performance gain in PC games for example or not really? 🙂 (I mean if these games are installed to this SSD & also this games are very often loading textures & other datas from this SSD where the RAPID tech is ON.)

Dan Kaschel
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Dan Kaschel

Definitely not if you’re using a gaming computer. Textures are loaded into VRAM (memory on the video card itself) which is much faster than system RAM or the SSD.

Even machines without a video card will cache as much texture data as possible in System RAM.

Skippy The Elder
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Skippy The Elder

I have 28 GB RAM on a HP Envy 700 430 qe. When I use the rapid drive, I get scores of 3700+ MB Read and 2400+ MB Write. Is that real? The computer is very fast with the 850 Pro 512.

HenkPoley
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HenkPoley

In RAPID mode you are basically using a RAM drive that gets synchronized to disk as quickly as possible. Your RAM is very much faster than the SSD. But you risk losing the data in RAM if your computer loses power.

Arsenal1Again
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Arsenal1Again

That’s what a laptop battery is for. To have no interruption when mains power is lost. I have a business class HP Workstation with two batteries on it for double security. On the workstation there is a lot going on to insure data loss is avoided. It is the perfect environment for the RAPID Mode, especially with 32GB RAM installed and a second SSD in the Optical Drive Bay. The way I work on a laptop makes data loss minimal too. Any data I lose will likely be progress since the last save. I am contantly saving my progress and… Read more »

Prosenjit Biswas
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Prosenjit Biswas

I have only 4GB RAM (DDR2) on a 6+ years old Lenovo Laptop (Core2Duo). The SSD is connected via SATA2 port. Even I got 1800 MB/s read & 1300 MB/s write speed, when rapid mode is enabled. But practically there was no other benefit other than the benchmark results (Other benchmarking tool revealed similar result too). So, finally, I disabled it as it took too much RAM space from my 4GB RAM.

cat1092
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cat1092

You don’t really ‘lose’ that RAM, it’s actually a small RAM disk speeding along your computer. Even one with a SATA-1 MB would benefit, that is, it’s it’s an AHCI enabled one. Samsung tends to be picky, Intel SSD’s less so. The RAPID app only uses 20-25% of your available RAM, depending on if it’s the 840 or 850 series, and in real world testing, I’ve found the RAPID app help SATA-2 computers more so than SATA-3, which usually has other built in features to boost performance. With 4GB, at the most, RAPID will use 1GB RAM, and take my… Read more »

Harvey Rarback
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Harvey Rarback

RAPID mode causes crashes–Windows 7,SP1, Samsung 850EVO. I enabled RAPID mode two months ago and ever since I have seen weird hangs and crashes every three or four days. Disabled RAPID two weeks ago and have seen no crashes since.