Results: Enterprise Workload Performance
Our next set of tests simulate different enterprise-oriented workloads, including database, file server, Web server, and workstation configurations.
The database workload (also categorized as transaction processing) involves purely random I/O. Its profile consists of 67% reads and 33% writes using 8 KB transfers.
Considering our 4 KB results on the previous page, it should come as no surprise that the SSD DC S3700 outpaces Micron's P400m at all queue depths.
The file server workload, which consists of 80% random reads of varying transfer sizes, does offer more of a surprise. The P400m not only holds its own at higher queue depths, but it actually performs better than Intel's drive at lower queue depths.
The Web server (100% read, varying transfer size) and workstation (80% reads, 80% random) workloads put Intel's SSD DC S3700 back in the lead. While the P400m comes within 2,000 IOPS on the Web server workload, it trails by a more notable margin when we subject it to the workstation test.
Seriously though, I wonder why Tom's doesn't run one of their basic "real-world" tests used on consumer SSDs (such as Tom's 7zip test) on one of these professional SSDs just so that we can get an idea how they compare to the consumer-level stuff.
In particular, Tom's always says that comparing one SSD to another is nearly moot point when you consider the magnitude of improvement an SSD has over a traditional HDD; it would be nice to know if these pro-level SSDs are of a similar magnitude of improvement over consumer SSDs or whether the difference is actually less.
The difference is much, much less in terms of performance difference. Tom's has told us this time and time again.
In desktop loads, very very less difference.
In server loads, huge difference. Plus, these server SSD's wil maintain high speeds even after large amounts of data is continuously being written.
How would this compare to a true SLC SSD ?
It'd probably still be inferior overall and not even be cheaper at that point. Over-provisioning is only good for mitigating MLC's disadvantages over SLC AFAIK, not replacing SLC.
Even in server workloads, there are many desktop drives where the performance difference is still not great. For example, Vector is right up there at the tops of the charts with Samsung 840 Pro in performance and many cheaper alternatives are often not far behind in performance. Endurance is another matter, but that wasn't the question. If you want a seriously significant performance difference like with HDDs versus cheap consumer SSDs, you have to consider SSD RAID and/or extreme PCIe storage.
Also, many consumer drives have no trouble keeping performance over time with lots of data written. That's also not an enterprise-only feature.
Some back of the napkin calculations - If you have a consumer 512GB MLC SSD with no over-provisioning, and the MLC was high grade consumer, you could expect 5K P/E cycles. In order to mimic the P400m, which is 35K P/E cycles, the usable space would be ~75GB. By dong that, you would be paying roughly $7/GB for usable storage(assuming you paid $512 for your consumer drive). For SLC, you are looking at 17GB of usable space and $30/GB.
No matter how you look at it, consumer grade MLC will never get close to eMLC and SLC in terms of write endurance, unless the price goes down by orders of magnitude compared to eMLC and SLC.
You are correct. Many drives, such as the 840 PRO, would perform great on the enterprise performance tests. There are also a lot of consumer drives that would have problems over time if they aren't allowed to TRIM every so often. We limit the scope of our testing because the main use cases for these drives are enterprise. Will some companies use them in workstations, absolutely. The same can be said for high-end RAID cards too. Nearly every consumer drive would perform very poorly when you take into account write endurance and other enterprise features.
"These hard drives are really cool...you're not even gonna believe it..."