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

On The Destroyer, ADATA's S50 Lite offers similar overall performance to good PCIe Gen3 drives and the early Gen4 drives based on the Phison E16 controller. The power consumption is also similar to the Phison E16 drives, which is a bit disappointing since the S50 Lite's SM2267 controller is just a four-channel design, which should save a bit of power.

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, we see the S50 Lite's performance on the Heavy test falling in the same general range as the top PCIe Gen3 drives, and it is clearly slower than top of the line Gen4 drives. The S50 Lite also has somewhat disappointing performance on the full-drive test runs, with higher write latencies than we'd like to see from a TLC drive. Power efficiency continues to be poor, though it is within the normal range for high-performance drives.

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 S50 Lite appropriately does well, with slightly better overall performance than any of the PCIe Gen3 drives, and decent full-drive performance with no concerning latency scores.

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

The ADATA S50 Lite underperforms on all three of the PCMark 10 Storage tests. The most important comparison here is probably the Intel 670p, which uses basically the same controller and theoretically inferior QLC NAND. But the 670p's firmware is tuned so that it gets the most benefit out of its SLC cache on all three of these tests, which clearly isn't happening for the S50 Lite.

Introduction Synthetic Tests: Basic IO Patterns
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  • FunBunny2 - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - link

    "every dollar spent on QLC is a dollar not spent on TLC -- nor MLC."

    it's been ages since I looked, but I'd wager that not even Enterprise RDBMS Storage Appliances are built with SLC any more. where did it all go? :)
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, May 6, 2021 - link

    SLC is an extreme example for most workloads. MLC is a far more enlightening one for consumers, as is the transition from planar to 3D TLC. Reply
  • Wereweeb - Saturday, May 1, 2021 - link

    That is not economies of scale, that is market share. What you want is not to make TLC cheaper, but to boycott QLC.

    I wouldn't have disagreed with you when QLC came out. But right now I'd consider it good enough for most consumers, regardless of it being technically inferior to TLC.

    The truth is, there just isn't any real world difference in performance between modern SSD's when it comes to the tasks a typical consumer faces. Only gamers and workstations benefit from TLC, and while it's natural to want to prevent it from becoming a "Luxury product" like MLC did, I think that there will always be demand for SSD's with higher endurance and throughput than QLC.

    If you want to spread awareness about the negative aspects of QLC, do it intelligently, instead of acting like a conspiracy theory weirdo.
    Reply
  • Wereweeb - Saturday, May 1, 2021 - link

    Actually, to correct myself: there are SSD's that are objectively bad and should be banished from this dimension, they're called DRAMless SATA SSD's. But thankfully, that issue has already has been sorted out by history. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, May 3, 2021 - link

    That exact same argument was sued for MLC when TLC came out, and we all saw what happened to MLC.

    QLC is "cheaper" and more importantly has far less endurance then TLC. Built in obsolescence. It's a horrible product for consumers, slower then TLC, especially when the drive fills up, and isnt noticeably cheaper for th econsumer then TLC is.

    QLC is garbage, and outside of extreme capacity drives like sabarent's rocket q 8TB, makes no sense.
    Reply
  • Wereweeb - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - link

    A 2TB TLC SSD's warranty can cover for 667 Gigabites of writes per day for 5 years. Which consumer will exceed that? Chia miners? How much data have you written into your computer today?

    The existing MLC capacity has merely been redirected to enterprise consumers, who actually DO need to entirely rewrite their SSD's daily. And for those cases there's also Optane and the new low-latency SLC (Z-NAND).

    Give QLC SSD's some dedicated SLC + a tiering software and it beats TLC drives in endurance. The Enmotus FuzeDrive P200 does exactly that and ot has an endurance of 3,600 TBW, or 1 DWPD. Two to three times the warrantied endurance of your typical TLC drive.

    That's the future we're headed towards. QLC for bulk storage, tiered with SLC or an NVRAM (Optane or competitor) for hot storage.

    Plus, IIRC there is a 8TB QLC SSD that refuses to fold data from the SLC cache into QLC until it *needs to*, so if you fill less than 2TB of data it essentially behaves like a pSLC SSD. You might have to ask NewMaxx for the details (And to fact-check me) tho.
    Reply
  • Wereweeb - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - link

    Plus, the warrantied storage is typically VERY conservative, and is only supposed to stop the enterprise people from buying the cheaper and lower-binned consumer SSD's.

    So I expect that in most consumer workloads the FuzeDrive is going to roughly match the endurance of TLC, which itself is more than sufficient for your typical consumer to use for over 10 years - at which point the SSD will either have failed from other problems, or be old outdated garbage that might not even fit in a modern computer.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, May 6, 2021 - link

    I expect the Zip drive and the Deathstar hard drive from IBM.

    The Zip drive was a massive market success despite being an extremely shoddy and unreliable design. It should be unbelievable (and isn't) that a product that bad was allowed to become so common.

    Expect the worst. Companies are in business to 'sell less for more'. If they could sell you an old boot fished out of a toxic lake rather than a computer, for the same money, they would -- in a New York minute.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, May 6, 2021 - link

    When you end up with bits of tech that are better than half-baked trash like the Zip drive then be pleasantly surprised. Don't be surprised when tech like the Zip drives gives you the click of death. Inadequate product quality is one of the results of inadequate regulation. Reply
  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, May 6, 2021 - link

    "Deathstar hard drive from IBM"

    I believe you're referring to the Deskstar's famous temperatures?
    Reply

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