SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB CFExpress B Card Review – Understanding Sustained Data Transfer, Temperatures and Thermal Throttling

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

SSD testing at TSSDR differs slightly, depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise storage media. For our SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress B Card testing today, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. To see the best performance possible, the CPU C states have been disabled, C1E support has been disabled, and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) has been disabled.

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

The components of this Test Bench are detailed below.  All hardware is linked for purchase and product sales may be reached by a simple click on the individual item. As well, the title is linked back to the individual build article where performance testing can be validated.

TSSDR ASROCK Z370 TAICHI TEST BENCH   (link)

PC CHASSIS: Corsair Graphite 760T Arctic White Window Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z370 Taichi
CPU: Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8770K
CPU COOLER: Corsair Hydro Series H110i GTX V.2
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair RM850x 80Plus
GRAPHICS: MSI Radeon RX570
MEMORY: Corsair Vengeance RGB 32GB DDR4 3600Mhz C18
STORAGE: Intel Optane 900P 480GB SSD
KEYBOARD: Corsair Strafe RGB Silent Gaming
MOUSE: Corsair M65 Pro Gaming
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of Crystal Disk Info, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, AJA, and TxBench. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.  For our CFexpress testing in this report, we are going to add to this list by including temperature and true data transfer measurements.

PCIE 3.0 X2 CFEXPRESS B AIC CARD READER

We are testing with a very unique PCIe 3.o x2 NVMe 1.3 CFexpress AIC card reader which was designed for our use by Lexar.  It is the only that we are aware of in existence and allows true performance testing of CFexpress, unlike most other USB 3.2 card readers which limit out at 1GB/s.  This is very important in our later testing as it allows us to push the limits of the card to determine temperature and thermal throttling variables.

CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER. 8.6.1

Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.

Crystal Disk Info validates that our SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress B Card is using the NVMe 1.3 protocol and also shows that our testing resulted in over 1TBW to the drive.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.05

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.

This ATTO result shows that the SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress B Card met specs with speeds of 1.7GB/s read and 1.4GB/s write.  You may notice a performance change at the 8MB data mark.  This is thermal throttling which we will cover just a bit later.

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