While SSD shoppers have had a great time recently due to some of the super-enticing prices and deals, there has been plenty of negative news surrounding them. Most of the heat has been on Samsung as two of its most premium tier products, the 980 Pro and the newer 990 Pro, have been under fire lately due to some pretty serious issues. However, more bad news could be heading its way as a new test by PCPartPicker finds that the 970 Evo Plus suffers an alarming 64% slowdown in sequential read performance test.
Some of the other tested Samsung drives weren't as terrible as the 990 Pro showed a 48% drop while the 980 Pro exhibited a 38% dip. However, Samsung SSDs aren't the only one showing these kinds of symptoms as other vendor's products were also showing similar performance degradation issues. Only the WD SN850X was unaffected as it showed just a 7% fall. In total, eight 1TB drives were tested. Here are the full results:
- Samsung 970 Evo Plus (64% Drop)
- Seagate Firecuda 530 (53% Drop)
- Samsung 990 Pro (48% Drop)
- SK Hynix Platinum P41 (48% Drop)
- Kingston KC3000 (43% Drop)
- Samsung 980 Pro (38% Drop)
- Crucial P5 Plus (25% Drop)
- Western Digital Black SN850X (7% Drop)
The following test methodology which was used by PCPartPicker to carry out the evaluation. Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS was the OS for this test and a ~200GB file was used for assessment:
- "NVMe format" of the SSD and a 10 minute rest.
- Initialize the drive with GPT and create a single EXT4 partition spanning the entire drive.
- Create and sequentially write a single file that is 20% of the drive's capacity, followed by 10 minute rest.
- 20 runs of the following, with a 6 minute rest after each run:
- For 60 seconds, write 256 MB sequential chunks to file created in Step 3.
- We compute the percentage drop from the highest throughput run to the lowest.
After running the tests and getting the results, PCPartPicker concluded the following:
SSD High and low-performance regions are apparent from the throughput test run behavior. Each SSD that exhibits sequential write degradation appears to lose some ability to use the high-performance region. We don't know why this happens. There may be some sequence of actions or a long period of rest that would eventually restore the initial performance behavior, but even 2 hours of rest and a system restart did not undo the degradations.
It is noteworthy here that TRIM wasn't enabled in the tests which has led some of the users on Reddit to speculate on the credibility of all the numbers produced. For those who don't know, the TRIM command tells the SSD that specific areas in an SSD contain data that is no longer in use which means they can be wiped. Hence, some believe the use of TRIM could have produced more accurate results that could have been vastly different from the ones we have here. Essentially, it means we may need further testing to verify these findings.
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