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
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  • superjim - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    The 1TB 665p has been going for $80-90 since last November. The increased performance of the 670 is nowhere near the relative price increase even with the current chip shortages. SSD prices have stagnated for nearly 2 years now. I bought a 2TB Sabrent Rocket for $220 back in July of 2019. Reply
  • XacTactX - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    I agree with you, and the way I see it, QLC is supposed to be 2x denser than TLC, so manufacturers should be able to offer a significant discount for a QLC drive instead of a TLC drive. When Intel is selling the 665p for $80-90 it is reasonable for a person to buy QLC, but for $150 it's kinda crazy. At $150 I would recommend the Phison E12 or Samsung 970 Evo / Evo Plus, they have more consistent performance and higher write endurance than the 670p. Reply
  • cyrusfox - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    They are going 3 bits per cell to 4 bits per cell. That is not double the density but only 1/3 denser.

    That said I would expect them to be priced competitively as the 660p are priced. I feel like the 665P were on cleareance and I also picked up a 1TB model for $90.

    Eventually they will be priced retail to whatever the market will bear I guess. I was able to pick up a lot of optane 16GB drives for $8-10 recently. I remember when they launched at $40 new...
    Reply
  • XacTactX - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    Thanks for the information, this whole time I was under the impression that MLC has 4 bits per cell, TLC has 8 bits, and QLC has 16 bits. I thought the number of phases per cell is the same as bits per cell. It turns out that MLC is 2 bpc, TLC is 3 bpc, and QLC is 4 bpc. I've been reading about SSDs since 2010, only took me 11 years to figure it out :P

    Yeah I want to try Intel Optane as well, I noticed that the 16 GB version is super cheap, I think it's because OEMs were buying them and now they are liquidating their supply. I want the 32 GB version but the pricing is too expensive, I can't justify $70 for a 32 GB Optane drive
    Reply
  • Zizy - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    Nah, SLC needs to distinguish 2 voltage levels for 1 bit, MLC needs to distinguish 4 voltage levels to read those 2 bits, TLC needs to distinguish 8 for 3 bits etc. Density improvements are going up at a slow pace, while complexity doubles every next step. That's why every next step took longer before it made sense and became successful on the market. We are still at TLC->QLC transition and it seems it will take a while longer before we are close to done. Especially if such overpriced QLC products get launched - you can get a pretty good TLC for the money. Reply
  • kpb321 - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    Time will tell but so far QLC hasn't really provided a benefit in most cases for consumers except at possibly the largest size. If you remember back to the planar TLC it was not very popular and didn't work too well either. Going to the 3d flash manufacturing and subsequently going back to much larger lithography as part of that process is what really made TLC usable and popular. I don't see a similar transition coming to help out QLC so we will have to see if it can slowly improve enough to make it worth while for the typical consumer. Reply
  • ichaya - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    The 960EVO did pretty well for TLC and PCIE3, and a QLC drive that can do PCIE4 speeds would do as well IMO. This endurance is about where the 960EVO was... 370TBW vs 400TBW for 1TB. Just get those speeds up, and it would easily be worth the asking price or more. Maybe in another generation or I hope not two. Reply
  • ksec - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    Yes. I dont mind QLC or even OLC. I want cheaper, and larger SSD. Reply
  • meacupla - Monday, March 1, 2021 - link

    So Intel's CPUs are a dud
    Then their SSDs turned into dud

    If intel somehow screws up their network and wifi chips, that will be something to see.
    Reply
  • Slash3 - Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - link

    *cough*

    https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/support-hardware...
    Reply

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