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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  • utmode - Sunday, May 2, 2021 - link

    @Billy Tallis, is there any recent research done on data retention on QLC drive. Electrons are very naughty at staying at a set voltage. Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Sunday, May 2, 2021 - link

    Write endurance limits are set based on how much you can wear out the flash and still have one year of unpowered data retention (or three months for enterprise drives). That's still largely determined with high-temperature accelerated testing, but it's pretty well understood how to do that properly. Reply
  • bansheexyz - Saturday, May 1, 2021 - link

    Can we ban this idiot already? A 10TB QLC drive will have a larger write endurance than a 2TB TLC drive does today. There is nothing inherently wrong with QLC tech, its supposedly inferior write endurance is self-mitigating by the fact that there are more cells to spread writes across. Which is exactly why TLC overtook MLC, and MLC overtook SLC. Go the frick away. Reply
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, May 2, 2021 - link

    Not a fan of freedom of speech/expression/press? Especially when it comes to these money-driven corporations, one needs to put whatever they do under a microscope and pay little heed to their words.

    There's nothing wrong with QLC. It's a product with a place: supposedly, bigger size and cheaper price. (Concerning endurance, if the ratings are true and not made up, they ought to be fine for most people.) But as far as I can see, QLC isn't *that* much cheaper than TLC. About 15-20% or something to that effect. Costly to make, greed, the pandemic, or all three?
    Reply
  • futrtrubl - Sunday, May 2, 2021 - link

    That's pretty much what it should be. QLC holds about 33% more than TLC, or, for the same amount of storage QLC uses 25% fewer cells. It's a less mature tech so I wouldn't expect it to get the full 25% savings, and all the other common components will reduce savings too. Reply
  • MFinn3333 - Sunday, May 2, 2021 - link

    It is 50% more, not 33%.

    If you look at the total number states of a TLC which is 8 or 3 bit cells versus a QLC which is 16 states or 4 bit cells.
    Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Sunday, May 2, 2021 - link

    Voltage states are an enumeration of possibilities; they do not occupy physical space and are not the correct quantity to compare when discussing storage capacity. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Monday, May 3, 2021 - link

    "Voltage states are an enumeration of possibilities; they do not occupy physical space"

    well... would you deny that a larger cell, i.e. one with more atoms, is more capable of storing more distinct voltages with some delta of accuracy? not to mention the whole endurance thingee. IOW, as an applied physics problem, QLC is closer to the razor's edge of performance than lower xLC cells. were all this not true, then manufacturers have been wasting gobs and gobs of moolah to implement stacks of 'olde' larger node NAND for TLC and QLC.
    Reply
  • Tamdrik - Sunday, May 2, 2021 - link

    But most people don't measure their storage devices by how many different states they can maintain-- they measure them by how many bits (or xxx-bytes) they can store. By that (standard) measure, futrtrubl is correct in that a QLC drive holds 33% more data than a TLC drive with the same number of cells (4 bits per cell vs. 3 bits per cell), and if costs are the same per cell, would be expected to cost 25% less for a given capacity (e.g., 1 TB). Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, May 9, 2021 - link

    'But most people don't measure their storage devices by how many different states they can maintain-- they measure them by how many bits (or xxx-bytes) they can store.'

    You really think that's a logically-sound rebuttal?
    Reply

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