TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL
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.
Enterprise testing is significantly different as we explore performance in steady state, explore drive latency, and do our best to follow SNIA test protocol. As Super Talent will be marketing the DX1 as a client/consumer SSD, we are going to be following our regular consumer review tests and, if need be, we can later return for additional testing.
This new PCIe Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to be quiet, Corsair, Crucial, Intel, EVGA 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.
|InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
|ASUS Maximus VI Z87 MotherBoard
|Intel Core i7-4770K CPU
|Corsair H100i CPU Cooler
|be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
|be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
|EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
|Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 1600Mhz Memory
|Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
|Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
|NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
|HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA
The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, and PCMark Vantage. In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and, also, to provide validation to results already obtained.
Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, ‘power on’ information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. We can see that the SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not grayed out as with AAM.
One of the great features of the STT PCIe DX1, and entire M.2 family in fact, is that they have SMART Command Transport Technology (SCT).
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.
We see right off that write speeds are less than half of that advertised and the reason for this is most probably the result of this being a 128GB and not higher capacity SSD, as is the norm with all SSDs.
M.2 PCIE X4, M.2 PCIE X2 AND M.2 SATA
Just as a bit of a refresher, we thought we might clarify the two connectors used in M.2 SSDs. The connector on the left is the Plextor M6e M.2 PCIe X2 SSD and has two notches, termed B and M keys. This connector can be used for SATA or PCIe X2, enabling maximum speeds of 550MB/s and 1GB/s. The connector on the right is a singled keyed (M) M.2 PCIe X4 connector and can also be used for SATA data travel. PCIe X4 can reach speeds up to 2GB/s. Both connectors fit into the M.2 host connector which is where the M.2 name came from. The dual M and B keyed connector is used for the Super Talent DX1 and it uses only a single PCIe lane for data travel.