AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

The Destroyer is an extremely long test replicating the access patterns of very IO-intensive desktop usage. A detailed breakdown can be found in this article. Like real-world usage, the drives do get the occasional break that allows for some background garbage collection and flushing caches, but those idle times are limited to 25ms so that it doesn't take all week to run the test. These AnandTech Storage Bench (ATSB) tests do not involve running the actual applications that generated the workloads, so the scores are relatively insensitive to changes in CPU performance and RAM from our new testbed, but the jump to a newer version of Windows and the newer storage drivers can have an impact.

We quantify performance on this test by reporting the drive's average data throughput, the average latency of the I/O operations, and the total energy used by the drive over the course of the test.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Data Rate)

The average data rate of the WD Blue SN500 on The Destroyer puts it in a tie with the ADATA SX8200 and ahead of other entry-level NVMe drives. The 250GB SN500 outperforms even the 1TB SATA WD Blue SSD and the 1TB QLC-based Intel 660p. Samsung's 970 EVO Plus is significantly faster overall, but that's to be expected considering there is no more high-end option in this capacity class.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Latency)

The great average and 99th percentile latency scores from the WD Blue SN500 on The Destroyer make it easy to forget that the SN500 is designed to be an entry-level NVMe drive, not a flagship high-end product (to the extent that such a thing is possible with TLC NAND in such small quantities).

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Write Latency)

The average read latency of the WD Blue SN500 on The Destroyer is faster than any other drive in its capacity class, and only 60% slower than the Intel Optane 800p. The average write latency doesn't stand out much from the competition, but the SN500 is still behaving more like a high-end drive rather than showing any of the acute weaknesses often found in entry-level products.

ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Write Latency)

The 99th percentile read and write latency scores from the SN500 are similarly excellent, and better than can reasonably be expected from a DRAMless SSD that we know is doing a lot of background garbage collection during this test.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Power)

The WD Blue SN500 was quite power efficient during The Destroyer; despite being significantly slower overall than the WD Black SN750, the SN500 used a bit less energy in total. The other drives in its capacity class all used at least 50% more energy to complete this test, and the Toshiba RC100 despite seeming most similar at a high level (DRAMless, TLC, NVMe) took several times longer to run the test and used several times the energy.

Cache Sizes & SYSmark 2018 AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy
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  • gglaw - Saturday, April 20, 2019 - link

    There really is no market segment for this drive unless the WD name is enough to sway a lot of customers. Pretty much every week there's an EX920 or Adata 8200 500GB drive for between $70-$80 and they are superior to this drive in every way. You could nitpick on brand reliability, etc, but both those drives have an incredible track record in the last couple years.

    For a primary OS/Apps drive, I would get the faster HP/Adata for a few bucks more, and for a games/storage drive I would get the cheapest SATA I could find (usually an Adata 1TB for $90). Can't think of any scenario I would get a budget NVME over one of these options. This WD drive would have to drop to $60 to be a real contender.
  • DyneCorp - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - link

    There's absolutely a market.

    The SN500 will drop in price drastically. It also will stand out when prices increase, as they always do. Just as QLC dropped in price, just as 3D NAND dropped in price.

    Why you people have to drop negative comments about a product that was just released, I'll never understand. It always drops in price. First world problems, my son.

    By the way, spending "a few bucks more" for an overkill drive makes no sense. The SN500 is more than capable as an OS drive.

    Realistically, WD releasing the SN500 provides more competition and that will lower prices. I really don't understand what your issue is.
  • Cisco Guy 318 - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - link

    Abismal endurance! What happened to petabyte endurance? MLC is bad enough but the newer chips have poor endurance!
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - link

    to paraphrase an ancient consultants' adage: "speed, endurance, capacity; choose two".
  • DyneCorp - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - link

    Except that 64-layer 3D TLC NAND has exceeded planar MLC in every metric?
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - link

    for now, I suppose. so long as TLC is fabricated on 40-50nm, perhaps so. capitalist greed will, in due time, impel vendors to drop down to contemporary nodes in search of capacity. what then? or, is it, now?

    Mr Tallis: true of speed and endurance?
  • DyneCorp - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - link

    Except that 64-layer 3D NAND (and up) from Samsung and Micron/ Intel is at 20nm and Toshiba/ Western Digital is at 19nm. You understand planar TLC basically ceased at 14-15nm?

    Back in 2016, with the advent of smart SLC caching techniques in addition to intelligent controller firmware, SSDs utilizing 3D NAND effectively outpaced 2D "planar" MLC. In fact, the 660p (utilizing 3D QLC) can perform on par (in certain metrics) with SSDs utilizing MLC because of Intel's intelligent pSLC caching strategies.

    In the end, it doesn't matter. You'll never chew through the endurance of a modern SSD when subjecting it to consumer workloads, period. The controller can effectively mitigate write amplification in most circumstances.
  • DyneCorp - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - link

    Abysmal endurance? Far from it. The SN500 carries an endurance rating far above the Samsung 850 EVO and is in SU800 territory; its endurance rating is actually quite high, comparatively.

    You do understand that just about any SSD utilizing 3D NAND has endurance ratings far beyond what 2D planar MLC SSDs had?

    Most importantly, remember this: endurance doesn't matter for consumer drives. SSDs last far beyond their warranted endurance life.It's been tested.

    Why is this? Because modern controllers can effectively mitigate write amplification by several factors. The majority of consumer workloads will NEVER burn through rated endurance, period. Honestly, including a TBW rating is unnecessary.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, April 22, 2019 - link

    You can expend the write endurance of a modern SSD. It isn't a difficult prospect and workloads don't have to be heavy ones for that to happen.
  • DyneCorp - Monday, April 22, 2019 - link

    Under consumer workloads (OS and gaming) no, you cannot. It has been tested. Also, SSDs regularly outlast their given TBW rating by multiple times. If you check the S.M.A.R.T. attributes and software of older planar SSDs you'll see that even heavily utilized SSDs are healthy.

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