Four-Corner Performance Testing
Nearly all of the drives on this chart utilize TLC NAND flash with write enhancement technology to deliver high burst speeds that are not sustainable for more than a few seconds. The Samsung SSD 850 EVO is the current midmarket performance leader. Its quad-plane TLC flash breaks the mold and delivers longer sustained write speeds than other TLC SSDs shipping with flash from Toshiba and Micron. The Plextor M6V is a newer model that uses the same playbook as the Reactor. The M6V uses the SMI SM2246EN controller like the Reactor but pairs it with Toshiba's 15-nm MLC flash.
The differences between the drives however, have no affect on the read perimeter tests, as observed in the set of charts above. Sequential random performance is high across the board for all of the drives. The Reactor 256GB isn't as fast as most of the other models at low queue depths in this measurement, but it does operate at higher speeds with larger block sizes.
The sequential write performance is at the lower end of the scale as well compared to most of the other low-cost SSDs. The Adata SP550 and the OCZ Trion 100 have slow buffer flushes to TLC NAND, so the results are inconsistent, much like their write performance.
We get a good look at the difference between Micron's 16-nm MLC and Toshiba's new 15-nm MLC flash with the SM2246EN controller. The Toshiba flash used in the Plextor M6V 256GB is roughly 40MB/s faster. The M6V does cost more than the Reactor, though. Both drives are still in the midrange of sequential write performance, with the SanDisk Ultra II and Samsung 850 EVO earning high marks.
The Mushkin Reactor 256GB delivers nearly 8,000 random read IOPS at queue depth 1 with 4KB of data. We like to see 10,000 IOPS in this test from high performance drives, but there isn't an established standard for low-cost SSDs. The Samsung SSD 850 EVO does manage to achieve that high mark at a low price, though. That's part of the reason it's the standard by which all other low and mid-priced SSDs are measured.
The Plextor M6V 256GB and the Reactor 256GB have nearly the same 4KB random write curve as the drives ramp up from queue depth 1 to queue depth 8. The Reactor is faster than the Ultra II in this test past queue depth 2 and much faster than the Trion 100 and the SP550. The Trion 100 performs a little better with compressible data but not well enough to make up the distance between it and the Reactor.