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.

84 comments

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

  2. 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?

    • 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.

  3. Christian Schröder

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

    • 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. Having read your review of the Adaptec 72405 I think the 7805 8-ssd controller with two 1tb disks would make for a very price and performance competitive alternative to the 1920GB Mushkin PCI-e, and it would be scaleable. Based on what you know what’s your take on advantages/disadvantages between the two?

    • The disadvantage of course might be the caliber of 1TB SSDs that you are putting in there, in accordance to your needs. I don’t think you are price matching any enterprise level SSDs with this. As well, although IOPS might be similar (or even a bit better), you won’t be reaching the throughput of the Scorpion.

  7. when this hits $200, it’s mine!

  8. I wonder what Mushkin could have achieved by utilizing 4x M.2 sticks on this card.
    I’ll bet the SATA3 interface of the current sticks is holding back some performance.

  9. Hello Les, its just the average gamer and Windows user, do you think this ssd will make a good system drive for Windows lets say or for storage of games, music, etc? Thanks very much

  10. Soooo, why no simple user tests, like loading game levels or file transfers? Also, it appears this card is internally raided, but what happens to benchmarks if it was externally (motherboard or software) raided?

  11. ??? ???? ?????????? ??????? ? ?????????????, ???????? ?? ??? ????????? ? ?????????? ?????? ??? ??????? ?????? ? ????????????? ? ???????? ?? ????? ????? (SSD PCI-E) ????????????.))) ??? ??????? ?????? ?????, ??? ??? ?????? ????? ? ??????????????? OCZ, ???????? ? ???? ?????? ?? ?????????. ??????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ??????.

  12. Exciting drive!

    I’d like to see OS boot time comparisons, and how well it does creating a system image to itself and other media like a SATA 3 connected SSD. Does Windows need a clean install, or can you image the Scorpion from another SSD of the same capacity or smaller? For me, money wise, this drive is a big leap, and I hope it would not have issues in day to day use as the main drive.

  13. I’d like to see 4×256 Samsung 840 Pro in RAID 0 competing with this. I don’t think it would make much sense to pay for the 1TB version of the Scorpion.

    • Would you be using onboard raid? Because the only thing that could come close to these numbers would be a PCIE 8x LSI Raid card….. And then it’s the same thing really just takes up more space.

      • RAID 0 doesn’t even need an onboard RAID. Software RAID 0 is as good as the most expensive hardware RAID card. Hardware RAID is only useful for parity RAID (5 or 6).

        Necroposting to waste other people’s time is not nice.

      • Uh No
        https://augmentedtrader.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/10-things-raid/

        https://www.adaptec.com/nr/rdonlyres/14b2fd84-f7a0-4ac5-a07a-214123ea3dd6/0/4423_sw_hwraid_10.pdf

        Not only that but the logic is flawed. How pray tell could a combined work load be better than a dedicated load. Now your processor has to work a little harder and those resources are now taken up by software raid. Dedicated cards free up those resources to better be used elsewhere. Now I’m not saying that it doesn’t work, but in mission critical environments there are too many downsides to a software raid. And, to me mission critical includes workstations and gaming hardware. Not only that but so long as you use a single gpu solution you have all of these pci express lanes dedicated to the raid card. Which is a lot better than having to go through a southbridge. Lets not forget either that RAID 0 has the biggest impact on sequential reads and writes. So unless you are a workstation or a highend gamers recording video, real world performance isn’t going to be as noticable beyond boot times. Which still baffles me as to why boot times are a poor mans benchmark……

        For low cost software raid is the way to go, but defiantly not for workstations or servers. So low cost sure. But if you are looking for performance then I’ve made my point.

      • Well, if “to you”, mission critical includes gaming hardware, I’ll leave you with your nonsense right here.

      • Big words you think of them all by yourself? Should I even defend myself against such stupidity? Guess I just did. Server’s, Firewalls and Routers went without saying. How about thinking before you make an ass of yourself and assume? Oxygen thief.

      • Thanks both and I believe both points have been stated. We are not in favor of removing posts, yet at the same time, don’t condone lack of respect for opinion.

      • Fair enough. Great site by they way.

      • Actually, for a single-user, non-enterprise solution there have been tests done to prove that in most cases OS software raid can even outperform HW raid done by websites such as Anandtech. Look it up.

  14. Holy shiz, 2GB/s read/write…

  15. I am assuming you can boot from this SSD?

  16. We elected to trade that for real life transfer and enterprise testing.

  17. Will This Support my Asus Rampage III Extreme Motherboard? the motherboard has 4 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16, x8, x8 or quad x8). Also Can i install Windows 7 on it and boot from it? Please help me out. Thanks in advance.

    • I think RAIDR Express will suit your motherboard better

      • You think so? Asus RaidR express read and write speed is slower. And this one seems faster. I dont mind spending the money for the 480gb Mushkin Scorpion. Will it run fine on my Windows 7 desktop. I want my pc to be super fast. Please let me know. Thanks in advance.

      • My friend i have this VERY card as our boot drive on the system displayed in this review…which is my main system and I love it…Boots fine but I prefer sleep where starting back up is like a second or two.

      • After reading your reviews, I want this card so bad. I just don’t want a problem installing this card and later see that my motherboard doesn’t recognize the card in bios setup when installing windows. I usually don’t put my computer to sleep. Its just start and shutdown after using it and restart if i need to.

      • We have looked at 3 cards now that are the newer ‘plug and play’ type of cards and not had any difficulties whatsoever with installation.

      • Perfect. So the Mushkin scorpion plug and play. Then i wont have any problem. Thank you for replying so fast. I really appreciate your help.

  18. Just picked up one of these. With Crystalmark I seem to get slightly better results than you on everything bar 4K write which is ~80MB/s. Any idea why that would be?

  19. Amazing !
    I really want it, but it seems impossible to find it around the web, no availability at all.
    Where to buy suggestion??
    I really want to upgrade my mac pro definitely.
    Thanks in advance!

  20. I would hold off on buying this card. I just talked to the “God” of enterprise reviews and he says this drive is no bueno. Wait till a real enterprise reviewer runs his testing.

  21. Do you happen to know if the Scorpion Deluxe can be used under Linux OpenSuse?
    The Manufacturer lists drivers for some Linux distributions, but OpenSuse is not listed explicitly.

  22. Have you tested this card in a pci-e 3.0 x4 slot? Is there a difference in performance. I’m using a Z87 motherboard but with two graphics cards (this is a production computer and the duel Nvidia cards are used for CUDA calculations)…with all 3 pci-e 3.0 slots populated the speeds are x8 x4 x4…I would keep the main graphics card in x8, so the Scorpian would be relegated to x4 (but pci-e 3.0…not 2.0).

    Anyway, any thoughts on how performance would be compromised?

    thanks, and GREAT site you have here.

    -Greg

    • PCI 3.0 in 4x is roughly equivalent to pciE 2.0 8x within a 1% margin. SSD are really the only component that can flood the PCIE lanes and this will definitely do it. Keep in mind that there are other things running on it as well. Intel chipsets like yours have some dedicated lanes to VGA so it should only impact the other things like LAN, SATA, USB, FIREWIRE, Peripherals really. Might I suggest if you are worried about performance impact maybe upgrading to an X79 chipset since it is a production computer.

  23. Does it work with mac os x?

  24. Any idea how this drive does running Win8 productivity software? i.e. PCMark 7 or Sysmark?

    • No, I am sorry but we don’t use PCMark 7 in our testing as it is very confusing for the reader and SYSMark is not a fair evaluation system in our opinion as the exact same system configuration must be present to provide comparable results. Our results may be consistent in our system but would never mean anything to the reader as their system makeup always differs significantly. Our ideal is to provide benchmarks that can be copied and similar results attained.

      • Hi, Les. That’s a good point about PCMark7/Sysmark. I think many people who would be interested in running this for a desktop/workstation (non-server) would still like to know how fast it will run on win7/8 applications.
        How about PCMark Vantage HDD? I’ve seen you run this on other SSD’s, and you wrote that the XP941 was the current champ at 140k. Do you think the Scorpion deluxe would be faster? Or is it optimized more for server loads? Thanks! BTW, love your site.

      • It is more optimized for server loads which is why we curbed our testing for that direction. Thanks for the comps by the way!

  25. Hackintosh compatible??

  26. Looking for any other reviews of this device aside from this one. This seems to be the only review that I can find 🙁

  27. Do you know if this suport uefi bios

  28. what they don’t tell you is that it increases 30 seconds more to boot time. Just got one and am very disappointed.

    • You might want to check your installation as it definitely does not addd 30 seconds to boot time. It adds 10 seconds very top while the initial bios boots, something we have mentioned in several PCIe reports.

      Thanks for the input and hollar if we can help.

  29. ?????? ?????! ?? ???????? ?? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ?????????? Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe PCIe ? ????? ? ??? ???????????

    • Each SSD contains four modules of Toshiba Toggle Mode MLC NAND flash memory that is not so easily identifiable as normal branding is not present on the face of the SSD. Each package is 32GB in size for a total of 128GB RAW capacity.

  30. Hello I’m working as an editor and i have a Custom mac aka Hackintosh witch i use for editing. I wanted to know if this ssd is working with Hackintosh could u please help me? I’m having i7 3770k and Asus P8h77-v le motherboard. and I’m using mavericks 10.9.5

    • I see no reason why it wouldn’t work, the card is presented as a logical disk to the OS just like any other HDD in your system. There are no drivers required as it is handled by the bios on the card itself so this will work in any device with a PCI-E slot.

  31. I know this is really old. but does the card take any blade ssd. Like could you use a newer 1tb and put 4 in to end up with 4tb 2GB/s? Also have you spoke to the maker do they plan to make a pci3 maybe with 8 plugs to match the 8x controler? These are barley bigger than the pcie slot. I am sure they could get 8 connections stepped like laptop ram does and still have room to spare for air flow.

  32. for less than 16kb, my benchmark shows this working slower than a normal sata ssd. It’s only after 16kb that it shows better numbers.

  33. Can you boot to Windows 10 with it?

  34. I’m looking for the card by its self, or any low cost 4 slot m.2 card (without the m.2’s installed). Thanks for any help…

  35. I have the Mushkin Scorpion 1920 GB PCIe SSD. Bought is back in 2014. One of the 4 SSDs is bad. I am trying to find a replacement and remove the bad one. The SSD is a SandForce 2281 VB4-SPC.

    This is an old apple SSD with 6 + 12 pin configuration. I can’t seem to find one to buy. Do you know where I might buy one? It would be 512 GB.
    Not on EBay.

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