AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

Our AnandTech Storage Bench tests are traces (recordings) of real-world IO patterns that are replayed onto the drives under test. The Destroyer is the longest and most difficult phase of our consumer SSD test suite. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

ATSB The Destroyer
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The SLC cache on the 2TB Intel 670p isn't large enough for The Destroyer to operate entirely within the cache, as we saw with the massive 8TB Sabrent Rocket Q. But the big SLC cache is still enough for the 670p to score very well overall on this test, clearly outperforming all the smaller entry-level NVMe SSDs we have tested, and more than a few mainstream and high-end models as well. The 670p's biggest weakness is with 99th percentile write latency, but even that score isn't problematic.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

The ATSB Heavy test is much shorter overall than The Destroyer, but is still fairly write-intensive. We run this test twice: first on a mostly-empty drive, and again on a completely full drive to show the worst-case performance.

ATSB Heavy
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

As with The Destroyer, the empty-drive test run of the Heavy test shows that the 670p's performance can compete with good TLC drives. It's only on the full-drive test run that the QLC NAND starts to hold back the 670p. Even so, it fares better than almost all the competing entry-level drives and keeps the 99th percentile latencies down to reasonable values.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light

The ATSB Light test represents ordinary everyday usage that doesn't put much strain on a SSD. Low queue depths, short bursts of IO and a short overall test duration mean this should be easy for any SSD. But running it a second time on a full drive shows how even storage-light workloads can be affected by SSD performance degradation.

ATSB Light
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

On the Light test, the Intel 670p comes very close to matching the performance of mainstream TLC NVMe drives for both the empty and full drive test runs. Write latencies (average and 99th percentile) are still clearly higher than TLC drives, but not high enough to be a noticeable performance problem in storage-light real world usage. Power consumption is a bit on the high side, but that appears to be more due to the SSD controller than the downsides of QLC NAND.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmarks

The PCMark 10 Storage benchmarks are IO trace based tests similar to our own ATSB tests. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

PCMark 10 Storage Traces
Full System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Quick System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Data Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency

Since we run the PCMark 10 Storage tests starting from an empty drive, the Intel SSD 670p is able to make full use of its large and very fast SLC cache. That puts it at the top of the charts for both the Quick System Drive and Full System Drive tests, and competitive with good TLC drives on the Data Drive test that is more geared toward sequential IO.

Introduction Synthetic Tests: Basic IO Patterns
POST A COMMENT

72 Comments

View All Comments

  • Wereweeb - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    What are you smoking? Four bits per cell is indeed 33% more bits per cell than three bits per cell. Reply
  • Bp_968 - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    He's smoking "math". Lol. 3 bits per cell is 8 voltage states, and 4 bits per cell is 16 voltage states, which is double. If your going to comment with authority on an advanced subject you should learn the basics, and binary math is one of the basics. Reply
  • bug77 - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    Yeah, it doesn't work like that.
    3 bits is 3 bits. They hold 8 possible combinations, but they're independent of each other.
    4 bits is 33% more than 3.
    Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    3 bits per cell is 8 POSSIBLE voltage states, but any given cell can only exist in one of those states at a time. The possible voltage states are not the cell's data storage capacity. The number of bits per cell is the cell's data storage capacity. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    "3 bits per cell is 8 POSSIBLE voltage states, but any given cell can only exist in one of those states at a time."

    which incites a lower brain stem question: does NAND and/or controllers implement storage with a coding along the lines of RLL or s/pdif (eliminate long 'strings' of either 1 or 0) in order to lower the actual voltages required? if only across logically concatenated cells, so 1,000,000 would store as 1,00X where X is interpreted as 4 0? I can't think of a way off the top of my head, but there must be some really smart engineer out there who has?
    Reply
  • code65536 - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    Um, voltage states are not storage--it's instead a measure of the difficulty of storing that many bits. QLC is 4 bits per cell, and needs to be able to discern 16 voltage states to store those 4 bits. TLC needs to discern only 8 stages in order to store 3 bits. What that means is that QLC stores 33% more data at the expense of 100% more difficulty. Each bit added doubles the difficulty of working with that data. SLC->MLC was 100% more difficulty for 100% more storage. MLC->TLC was 100% more difficulty for 50% more storage. TLC->QLC was 100% more difficulty for 33% more storage. And QLC->PLC will be 100% difficulty for only 25% more storage. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    I think at this stage it's also worse than double the difficulty - the performance and endurance penalties are very, very high. Reply
  • HarryVoyager - Monday, March 8, 2021 - link

    The 660p initially showed a significant price advantage; I was able to get a 2TB at $180, but it has since disappeared.

    That said, in day to day practical use, I haven't seen much difference between a 860 Pro, the 660p and an XPG Gamix X7.

    All of them have been considerable faster than my harddrives, and pretty much all of them can feed data faster than my CPUs or network can process it.

    I know at some point that will change, and we will see games and consumer software designed to take advantage of the sort of data rates that NVME SSDs can provide, but I'll likely get a dedicated NVME drive for that, when that day comes.
    Reply
  • RSAUser - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    No one who looked at the actual daily write warranty said that.

    I've never had a TLC drive file as a host OS drive, only the two times I bought a QLC one after two years.

    So my Motto is TLC for host, QLC for mass storage.
    Reply
  • yetanotherhuman - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    Nope, in my mind TLC is still a cheap toy, fit for a less important machine or maybe a games drive. MLC, 2-bit per cell, is still the right way to go, and QLC is so shit that it should be given away in cereal boxes. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now