Samsung 845DC EVO SSD Review: 3-Bit MLC Hits The Enterprise

How We Test Samsung's 845DC EVO SSD

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Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
MotherboardIntel DX79SI, X79 Express
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws Z-Series (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 @ DDR3-1600, 1.5 V
System DriveIntel SSD 320 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
Host Bus AdapterLSI SAS 9300-8e
Tested DrivesSamsung 845DC EVO 960 GB
Comparison DrivesMicron M500DC 800 GBMicron P400m 200 GBIntel SSD DC S3500 480 GBIntel SSD DC S3700 800 GBSanDisk Optimus Eco 400 GBSeagate 600 Pro 200 GB
GraphicsAMD FirePro V4800 1 GB
Power SupplyOCZ ModXStream Pro 700 W
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: AMD 8.883
Benchmark Suite
Iometer v1.1.0Four Workers, 4 KB Random: LBA=Full, Span Varying Queue Depths
ATTOv2.4.7, 2 GB, QD=4
CustomC++, 8 MB Sequential, QD=4
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Enterprise Testing: Iometer WorkloadsReadWrite512 Bytes1 KB2 KB4 KB8 KB16 KB32 KB64 KB128 KB512 KB
File Server80%100%10%5%5%60%2%4%4%10%n/an/a
Web Server100%100%22%15%8%23%15%2%6%7%1%1%

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a working group made up of SSD, flash, and controller vendors, has a testing procedure that attempts to control as many of the variables inherent to SSDs as possible. SNIA’s Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification (SSS PTS) is a great resource for enterprise SSD testing. The procedure does not define what tests should be run, but rather the way in which they are run. This workflow is broken down into four parts:

  1. Purge: Purging puts the drive at a known starting point. For SSDs, this normally means Secure Erase.
  2. Workload-Independent Preconditioning: A prescribed workload that is unrelated to the test workload.
  3. Workload-Based Preconditioning: The actual test workload (4 KB random, 128 KB sequential, and so on), which pushes the drive towards a steady state.
  4. Steady State: The point at which the drive’s performance is no longer changing for the variable being tracked.

These steps are critical when testing SSDs. It’s incredibly easy to not fully condition the drive and still observe out-of-box behavior, which may lead one to think that it’s steady-state. These steps are also important when going between random and sequential writes.

For all performance tests in this review, the SSS PTS was followed to ensure accurate and repeatable results.

All tests employ random data, when available. Samsung's 845DC EVO does not perform any data compression prior to writing, so there is no difference in performance-based data patterns.

For comparison purposes, we evaluated the 845DC EVO against similar products from Micron, Intel, SanDisk, and Seagate.

  • SteelCity1981
    So basicly it's the more durable version of the 840 evo much like opertons and xeons are to the FX and core i7 series.
  • Plusthinking Iq
    like we know now after the ssd endurance test samsung is the worst enterprise candidate.
  • drewriley
    13419610 said:
    So basicly it's the more durable version of the 840 evo much like opertons and xeons are to the FX and core i7 series.

    Yes, that's a fair analogy. Just like the Xeon E3-1275v3 is an i7-4770K, but with ECC support.

  • damric
    I've yet to see an SSD fail due to read/write endurance. I only see them fail when the controller gets bugged, which seems to happen all the time, especially on loss of power.

  • soundping
    I'm guessing this SSD doesn't have to new firmware code that extends life and speed.
  • jase240
    Another win for the EVO. This SSD modified for enterprise workloads makes it a good buy for webservers.

    Hopefully the price will go down after launch, and then I see this being the best choice of webhosts.

    Cheaper and adequate for that workload.
  • Nightmare Twily
    Eh I'll keep my 840 EVO 250GB
  • Nuckles_56
    "Even still, I wand to commend Samsung's execution." (last page 1st paragraph) I guess that is supposed to be want, unless Drew Riley has become a wizard now :D
  • Menigmand
    Commending their execution would be a bit harsh, don't you think?
  • drewriley
    13426610 said:
    Commending their execution would be a bit harsh, don't you think?

    I'm sure worse things were said about Samsung at WWDC '14 yesterday ;)