512GB Performance Results
We'll be comparing the Team Group MP34 against some popular competition. Rocking the same Phison E12 controller as Team Group's drive, we have results from the MyDigitalSSD’s BPX Pro and Gigabyte Aorus RGB. With their own in-house built NVMe controllers, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus and WD’s newly revised Black SN750 represent their respective companies’ latest and top-end products to date. Additionally, we’ve included the SMI SM2262-powered Intel 760p and the Adata XPG SX8200 Pro, the latter of which which features the updated SM2262EN controller. The Crucial P1 features an SMI SM2263 controller and QLC NAND. Finally, we’ve thrown in results from a Samsung 860 EVO to show any advantages these NVMe SSDs have over their SATA-based SSD siblings.
Trace Testing – PCMark 8 Storage Test 2.0
PCMark 8 is a trace-based benchmark that uses Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, World of Warcraft, and Battlefield 3 to measure the performance of storage devices in real-world scenarios.
Team Group's MP34 does very good in PCMark 8. With an overall score of 5,101 points and an average bandwidth of 693MB/s, it lands in third place. It even bested Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus by a hair. The MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro was able to edge out with a single point more in score, thanks to its extra over-provisioning, which helps to deliver consistent performance with heavier workloads. But, as we can see, even without overprovisioning, the Team Group MP34 is impressive.
Game Scene Loading - Final Fantasy XIV
The Final Fantasy XIV StormBlood benchmark is a free real-world game benchmark that easily and accurately compares game load times without the inaccuracy of using a stopwatch.
Like the performance in PCMark 8, the MP34 did well in our game load test. It is light-years ahead of any HDD with a total time of 22.33 seconds vs over 36 seconds. The Team Group drive is competitive with other options out there, but overall the difference between one SSD to another, even something of the SATA flavor like Samsung’s 860 EVO, isn’t much.
Transfer Rates – DiskBench
We use the DiskBench storage benchmarking tool to test file transfer performance with our own custom 50GB block of data. Our data set includes 31,227 files of various types, like photos, PDFs, and videos. We copy the files to a new folder and then follow up with a read test of a newly-written 6 GB file.
When it comes to file transfer performance, nothing can beat the Intel Optane SSD 905p, but some can come close. The MP34 performed fairly average in our 50GB file copy test. Overall, it ranks in 6th place and bested the Aorus RGB, but was outperformed by the ADATA SX8200 Pro, BPX Pro, Samsung 970 EVO Plus, and even the Crucial P1. In read performance, it did a bit better. It came in close second, just behind the Samsung 970 EVO Plus to read our 6GB test file, and outscored the other E12 based options.
SYSmark 2014 SE
Like PCMark, SYSmark uses real applications to measure system performance. SYSmark takes things much further, however. It utilizes fourteen different applications to run real workloads with real data sets to measure how overall system performance impacts the user experience. BAPCo's SYSmark 2014 SE installs a full suite of applications for its tests, which includes Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, Corel WinZip, several Adobe software applications, and GIMP. That also makes it a great test to measure the amount of time it takes to install widely-used programs after you install a fresh operating system.
Team Group’s MP34 installed SYSmark 2014 SE without a hitch. It came in fourth place, tying the Aorus RGB, and was only two seconds slower than the Intel 905p. After we put it to the test, it returned a fantastic responsiveness score of 1716 points, which was almost on par with the Intel 760p and Samsung 970 EVO Plus yet again.
ATTO is a simple and free application that SSD vendors commonly use to assign sequential performance specifications to their products. It also gives us insight into how the device handles different file sizes.
In ATTO, the MP34 delivers essentially the same performance as any other E12 based SSD, up to 3.5/2.1GBps read/write. This outperforms the Crucial P1 and Intel 760p, but the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro beats it slightly in writes and Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus comes out triumphant with its monster read and write performance.
CrystalDiskMark (CDM) is a simple and easy to use file size benchmarking tool.
As we saw in ATTO, the MP34 is able to deliver essentially 3.5/2.1GBps read/write speeds. This is at an unrealistically high queue depth of 32, but at a more realistic QD of 1, it does very well too; about 2.1/2.0GBps read/write.
4K random performance, like sequential performance, was very underrated. Rather than only being able to deliver upwards of 190/160K IOP read/write, our tests show it is much more capable. With performance numbers reaching upwards of 302K/485K IOPS read/write, it lands second place in random performance. At more realistic lower QDs, it is fairly average. At QD1 it delivers about 13/43K IOPS read/write.
Sustained Sequential Write Performance
Official write specifications are only part of the performance picture. Most SSD makers implement an SLC cache buffer, which is a fast area of SLC-programmed flash that absorbs incoming data. Sustained write speeds can suffer tremendously once the workload spills outside of the SLC cache and into the "native" TLC or QLC flash. We hammer the SSDs with sequential writes for 15 minutes to measure both the size of the SLC buffer and performance after the buffer is saturated.
The MP34 would be an odd drive out if it didn’t feature an SLC write cache to help boost write performance. In our testing, it was able to absorb about 12-14GB of data before slowing down from 2.1GBps to an average of 675MB/s. While this is great and ranks it third overall in write performance, the BPX Pro’s SLC cache bests it by giving users an extra 12GB before it slows down.
We use the Quarch HD Programmable Power Module to gain a deeper understanding of power characteristics. Idle power consumption is a very important aspect to consider, especially if you're looking for a new drive for your laptop. Some SSDs can consume watts of power at idle while better-suited ones sip just milliwatts. Average workload power consumption and max consumption are two other aspects of power consumption, but performance-per-watt is more important. A drive might consume more power during any given workload, but accomplishing a task faster allows the drive to drop into an idle state faster, which ultimately saves power.
Power consumption is well regulated. Just one thing stands out: During our 50GB file transfer, the drive consumed about the same amount of power as the other E12 based SSDs, but hit a slightly higher maximum. This is probably due to the 1.35v DDR3L DRAM cache rather than the 1.2V DDR4 DRAM cache the others have. Luckily, this didn’t impact its efficiency score, where it averaged 90MBps per watt. As well, at idle it consumes ~0.4W when ASPM is disabled and about 53 milliwatts when it is enabled.
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