Seagate 600 Pro-Series 200 GB SSD Review: For The Enterprise

Results: Write Endurance

We typically spend a lot of time evaluating write endurance when we review enterprise-class SSDs. Write endurance is one of the major differentiators separating enterprise and client-oriented drives, after all. As MLC-based storage continues pushing its way into spaces previously filled by SLC NAND, we have to keep a close eye on this difficult-to-benchmark, but still very important variable involved in evaluating solid-state storage.

The rise of read-focused enterprise drives is making this type of testing even more important, since you really want to know what writes will do to storage hardware stacked in favor of reads. Naturally, we have to appreciate the companies that treat write endurance as a first-class specification, and much of the credit for this should go to JEDEC for the JESD218A write endurance testing standard. Instead of issuing vague ratings, we now see most companies specifying their drives to the JESD218A standard, which uses the JESD219A enterprise workload to quantify endurance. This closely matches the types of workloads we use in our Enterprise Workload Performance tests, employing sequential write patterns and large block sizes. The result is minimal write amplification and wear leveling, yielding a better indication of actual P/E cycles for the NAND.

Endurance Rating
Sequential Workload, QD=1, 8 MB
Seagate 600 Pro
Micron P400mIntel SSD DC S3700
NAND Type
Toshiba 19 nm MLC
Micron 25 nm MLC Intel 25 nm HET-MLC
RAW NAND Capacity
256 GB
340 GB264 GB
IDEMA Capacity (User Accessible)
200 GB200 GB200 GB
Over-provisioning
28%70%32%
P/E Cycles Observed (IDEMA)
6,245
34,19536,343
P/E Cycles Observed (Raw)
4,879
20,11327,532
Host Writes per 1% of MWI
12.49 TB
68.39 TB72.69 TB
$/PB-Written
$228.18
$87.73$64.66


As we've seen time and time again, you get what you pay for when it comes to write endurance. Even though Seagate's 600 Pro is an enterprise drive, it is still a read-focused product. When you subject the 600 Pro to excessive writes, you basically throw away money. In fact, it took less than one day to consume 1% of its rated lifespan. If you used this SSD for 100% sequential writes, you could theoretically kill it in a little more than a month.

On the flip side, it's encouraging that we were able to get almost 5,000 P/E cycles out of 19 nm MLC NAND.

We actually had to tax this drive until 4% of its life was consumed in order to generate accurate data. It took nearly 25 TB of writes for the first percentage point to expire, which would have translated to an impressive 10,000 P/E cycles. We were understandingly skeptical of those results, so we kept writing until the values leveled off.

Even though this is the first SSD we've reviewed seemingly built for read-focused use, we expect that the 600 Pro's performance to mirror similar drives currently on other vendors' roadmaps. You should start seeing enterprise write endurance fall into three categories: the first involves read-focused MLC with ~5,000 P/E cycles; the second is best for mixed use, featuring eMLC with ~25,000-35,000 P/E cycles; the last is write-oriented SLC capable of 100,000+ P/E cycles.

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  • mayankleoboy1
    1. Would it have made sense to add more DRAM to increase performance ? On a SSD this expensive, 1GB RAM would hardly add 20$ or so.

    2. On the first page, the fourth paragraph :"Today, Seagate ........... bench today."
    You completely went over my head. It appears you are just throwing names around. Maybe reword that para again ? or explain here ? :)
  • blackmagnum
    Who's joining the party next... WD?
  • Lrxst
    WD bought SiliconSystems in 2009 and has been making WD branded SiliconDrives. I put one in my i5 build shortly after they came out, and I feel like I am the only one who bought one for home use. They still make them, but are focusing on embedded systems at this point. Maybe Seagate will have more luck, but there are a lot of well established players already. I'm pretty luke-warm on Seagate. How do you know your Seagate SSD is on the verge of failure without the telltale Seagate Click of Death®?
  • drewriley
    mayankleoboy11. Would it have made sense to add more DRAM to increase performance ? On a SSD this expensive, 1GB RAM would hardly add 20$ or so.2. On the first page, the fourth paragraph :"Today, Seagate ........... bench today." You completely went over my head. It appears you are just throwing names around. Maybe reword that para again ? or explain here ?


    1) With the DRAM-to-NAND ratio already being 1MB->1GB it is already fairly aggressive, it may have helped with performance consistency, but I don't think you would see much improvement.
    2) Basically, Seagate announced 4 products today
    a) Seagate 600 Pro - Entry level, read-focused, enterprise SSD
    b) Seagate 600 - Consumer SSD, which we will have reviewed tomorrow
    c) Seagate 1200 - High-end, dual-port, 12Gbps SAS SSD
    d) X8 Accelerator - High-end plug-in PCIe SSD

    Hope this helps.

    Drew
  • drewriley
    LrxstWD bought SiliconSystems in 2009 and has been making WD branded SiliconDrives. I put one in my i5 build shortly after they came out, and I feel like I am the only one who bought one for home use. They still make them, but are focusing on embedded systems at this point. Maybe Seagate will have more luck, but there are a lot of well established players already. I'm pretty luke-warm on Seagate. How do you know your Seagate SSD is on the verge of failure without the telltale Seagate Click of Death®?


    You're the one that bought that drive :-) You are right on point with WD/Silicon Systems. They were primarily an embedded flash vendor prior to acquisition. If you look at their webpage, you will see that they only offer SLC-based drives.
  • mayankleoboy1
    drewriley1) With the DRAM-to-NAND ratio already being 1MB->1GB it is already fairly aggressive, it may have helped with performance consistency, but I don't think you would see much improvement.2) Basically, Seagate announced 4 products today a) Seagate 600 Pro - Entry level, read-focused, enterprise SSD b) Seagate 600 - Consumer SSD, which we will have reviewed tomorrow c) Seagate 1200 - High-end, dual-port, 12Gbps SAS SSD d) X8 Accelerator - High-end plug-in PCIe SSDHope this helps.Drew


    Thanks, Drew. This made the paragraph clearer.
  • thecynicalmonk
    "For The Enterprise" Bout time the USS Enterprise got an upgrade! No more waiting for the holo-deck to buffer!! lolz
  • danwat1234
    "For The Enterprise", lol they use isolinear rods and chips. I doubt these SSDs can compete against those at any angle. Maybe from a reliability perspective.
  • rgeiken
    I have had several Seagate drives in the past and they both had reliability issues after their first year. Right now, Seagate is on my Do Not Buy List!!!! For any magnetic hard drive, I would select WD. Have had pretty good luck with that company. When any company produces parts that fail prematurely and then don't supply a replacement promptly, then they are on my DNB List. I will probably buy a Samsung SSD shortly, since with Samsung I have always had good performance and reliability.
  • bards1888
    The DRAM on the SSD is typically only used to store the indirection table, it does not cache user data.