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frumper15
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Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:57 am

Hello gerbils
The other day I splurged on the Aero 15x that was listed on the deals as I was in need of a laptop for upcoming travel and the combination of size and features won me over. Everything has been pretty great so far with one exception - the NVME write speeds as measured by CrystalDiskMark, Atto, and just a windows copy test all seem abysmal for a modern ssd. The best I've been able to achieve is 150 Mb/s for sequential. The drive ( https://www.transcend-info.com/Embedded/Products/No-946 ) says it's rated for 1200 mb/s write speeds so I'm an order of magnitude off. It appears that I'm not the only soul experiencing this (https://www.reddit.com/r/gigabyte/comme ... erforming/ ) but unfortunately my magic "just start working" fix hasn't happened yet.

I've tried updating all the drivers on the machine and the bios with no appreciable gains. My last hope is a windows update that is running right now but if that doesn't do the trick I'm at a loss. The driver for the drive is listed in Device Manager as being a Microsoft variety from 2006 which I suspect as being the problem. Unfortunately, a google search for "ts512GMTE510t driver" hasn't been very fruitful nor has searching windows update worked either. That's my current angle of attack along with writing Gigabyte support but that holds little hope for me.

I'll update if it magically starts working but otherwise I thought I would tap into the huge pool of knowledge that is TR in the meanwhile. Thanks in advance for any advice or help.
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Waco
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:24 am

Raw TLC write speeds are generally between 100-300 MB/s on smaller drives. The 1200 MB/s quoted speed is a burst speed into whatever caching mechanism the drive has.

Short answer: That's how they're supposed to work, and manufacturers rarely quote sustained write speeds for exactly this reason.
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Kougar
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:42 am

What Waco said. If your drive is 128 or 256GB the SLC "fast-write" cache size is going to be small and once filled the "bare metal" write performance will be abysmal as you're seeing.

That specific model M.2 drive is DRAM-less as well, which is never a good sign for performance. The only "just start working fix" there is is to leave the drive & laptop idle for half an hour until it clears its SLC cache.
 
frumper15
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:45 am

Thanks guys - that's what I was afraid of. I've pretty much been writing to the drive constantly since I got the machine so that makes sense. I'll let it "rest" for a bit and see if that fixes things. That's pretty disappointing in a $2k machine when all the review units appear to have had a far superior Toshiba drive. I'll probably end up playing musical drives and move this one to storage/backup duty and put my Samsung gumstick in the drivers seat instead. I'll report back with an update.
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Voldenuit
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:43 am

frumper15 wrote:
Thanks guys - that's what I was afraid of. I've pretty much been writing to the drive constantly since I got the machine so that makes sense. I'll let it "rest" for a bit and see if that fixes things. That's pretty disappointing in a $2k machine when all the review units appear to have had a far superior Toshiba drive. I'll probably end up playing musical drives and move this one to storage/backup duty and put my Samsung gumstick in the drivers seat instead. I'll report back with an update.


You have the 512 GB drive, right? It shouldn't be running out of cache. Are you running Crystaldiskmark tests sequentially? Some NVMe drives can get hot and throttle towards the end. do you get the same result if you run the sequential write test in isolation?
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frumper15
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:01 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
You have the 512 GB drive, right? It shouldn't be running out of cache. Are you running Crystaldiskmark tests sequentially? Some NVMe drives can get hot and throttle towards the end. do you get the same result if you run the sequential write test in isolation?

Yes, it's a 512 drive. Right now it's installing a windows update and task manager is reporting that as 97% utilization of the disk. I won't be able to truly test the used up cache theory until that completes but when I just ran CrystalDiskMark again on just the sequential test it was 1400ish read and 75 write. 75.
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TravelMug
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:27 pm

It's some silly Windows settings reset/change issue:

https://www.reddit.com/r/gigabyte/comme ... te_speeds/

The laptop is great, but the software support is abysmal. My one is an early unit with all the parts as in the review units (LG display, Toshiba SSD, Ripjaws 2666 RAM), but I pretty much stuck with the default image and the drivers only gotten updated through the Gigabyte software as needed (meaning when I encountered an issue with something). This kept it from behaving weirdly and my battery life stayed awesome, but unfortunately the GPU drivers are still 388.92 so I will have to update to a newer version from NV eventually and then see what happens with the battery life.
 
frumper15
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:10 pm

TravelMug wrote:
It's some silly Windows settings reset/change issue:

https://www.reddit.com/r/gigabyte/comme ... te_speeds/

The laptop is great, but the software support is abysmal. My one is an early unit with all the parts as in the review units (LG display, Toshiba SSD, Ripjaws 2666 RAM), but I pretty much stuck with the default image and the drivers only gotten updated through the Gigabyte software as needed (meaning when I encountered an issue with something). This kept it from behaving weirdly and my battery life stayed awesome, but unfortunately the GPU drivers are still 388.92 so I will have to update to a newer version from NV eventually and then see what happens with the battery life.

Thanks for the link - I hadn't come across that one yet. Unfortunately, enabling write-cache hasn't made any noticeable difference for me.

I went ahead and pulled my Samsung SM951 from my work computer to drop in there as a primary drive next week after the tiny Torx bit I need arrives and I make sure this spare SSD I used in my work computer is up to snuff (an unexpected reboot has me nervous about wiping the samsung just yet.) I'm literally still waiting for a single (albeit large) windows update to complete. It's been literally all day and it's been at 92% for about an hour but SSD activity is still high. Disappointing to say the least.
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:40 pm

My money's on this being a "you saturated the SLC write cache" issue, possibly combined with thermal throttling.

If the driver is really as old as you say, lack of TRIM support could eventually come into play, making things even worse.
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frumper15
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:26 pm

just brew it! wrote:
My money's on this being a "you saturated the SLC write cache" issue, possibly combined with thermal throttling.

If the driver is really as old as you say, lack of TRIM support could eventually come into play, making things even worse.

I'm really hoping this windows update that is taking an eternity to complete may improve the situation even a little (it's at 93% now after another hour) but it's looking like this just might be the best the drive can do. I'm torn whether or not I should attempt to force Gigabyte (or newegg, for that matter) to get me a unit that has the Toshiba drive in it or if I should just move this drive to mass storage/backup duties and move on with my life. Honestly everything else about the machine is great which is why it's so frustrating to have such a dog of a drive - I mean - the price difference between this turd and something like an intel, crucial, samsung, WD, adata, Toshiba.... pretty much anything else can't be that great at an OEM level.
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Waco
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:32 pm

In normal use I bet you don't get out of the cache mode a whole lot. Initial install/update is likely the only place you'll see it unless you're hammering it with writes consistently.
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DPete27
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:31 am

Odd, I don't see any Intel RST drivers on the Aero 15X support page. That was going to be my suggestion. Perhaps you can get it straight from Intel? I also can't find any firmware downloads for that particular drive.

I presume you've already installed the latest chipset drivers?

Transcend website wrote:
Transcend's MTE510T M.2 SSD is a DRAM-less SSD

That wont help. Large sequential writes are worst case scenario for SSDs, especially SLC>MLC>TLC>QLC. Many/most have at least some DRAM and/or SLC cache to buffer over this weakness for "typical" size writes. The Transcend product page states there's an SLC cache on this drive but it doesn't state how big the SLC cache is. Also, 1200MB/s is for high QD random writes.
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I've come to expect that any computer I buy with an SSD is going to be about the worst/cheapest SSD you can find so that the manufacturer can keep the price tag as low as possible. For that reason, I usually just buy the model with the smallest SSD (or none at all) figuring I can do much better buying aftermarket.
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frumper15
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:51 pm

DPete27 wrote:
I've come to expect that any computer I buy with an SSD is going to be about the worst/cheapest SSD you can find so that the manufacturer can keep the price tag as low as possible. For that reason, I usually just buy the model with the smallest SSD (or none at all) figuring I can do much better buying aftermarket.


Yes to all the most up to date drivers. I also learned that all Microsoft drivers are dated 2006 in order to allow drivers from manufacturers to always be "newer" if they exist at all. In this case I haven't been able to find newer or any drivers for this drive in particular.

At this point I'm waiting to see what Gigabyte support's response is - I'm hoping they are super awesome and are willing to send/swap a Toshiba drive that all the reviewers seem to have gotten. I uploaded my screenshots from ATTO and Crystal disk mark showing sub-100Mb/s write speeds and I hope they agree that is terribly slow. I believe the drive is a turd, but that is seriously horrendous performance for any SSD, let along an NVME pcie 3.0 4x drive. If they tell me tough luck I will probably end up dropping in the Samsung SM951 into the drivers seat and making sure I write a few cautionary tales here and elsewhere for potential buyers of this laptop. It's really sad that if this drive is performing as expected that they would ever put this in any product, especially not what I think is a flagship notebook.
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Kougar
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:48 pm

Win 10 has the latest NVMe drivers installed already. If you really wanted to live dangerously you could install Samsung's own NVMe driver, but given it was customized for its 950/960/970 brand NVMe drives it's probably not a good idea nor would it be likely to help anything.

To be honest there's not a lot of point with the drive being NVMe without a DRAM cache. It's at the absolute bottom of the barrel, no way around it. Transcend has a SSD utility, but weirdly its own utility doesn't appear to have a firmware update function... which would be the first manufacturer's SSD utility I've ever seen that didn't. https://www.transcend-info.com/Embedded/Essay-20
 
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:56 pm

Yes, DRAM-less NVMe is clearly aimed at cost-sensitive small form factor use cases, not performance use cases. It has a reason to exist, but if you're expecting decent performance out of it you're going to be disappointed.

Just because NVMe is fast doesn't mean all NVMe devices are fast. It's like how many USB 3 thumbdrives have write throughput in the single-digit MB/sec range, which wouldn't even come close to saturating USB 2.
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:00 pm

DPete27 wrote:
I've come to expect that any computer I buy with an SSD is going to be about the worst/cheapest SSD you can find so that the manufacturer can keep the price tag as low as possible. For that reason, I usually just buy the model with the smallest SSD (or none at all) figuring I can do much better buying aftermarket.

Ever bought a Macbook Pro?
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frumper15
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:58 pm

Good news (he says apprehensively) - Gigabyte support suggested that I try restoring the machine using the built in utility (press F9 on startup). The other alternative was to either return to Newegg and hope for the best or put my own drive in. So, despite my apprehension that it would possibly make a difference I did it. It was a quick operation (which piqued my interest given how slowly things loaded previously) and the first thing I did upon rebooting into the "fresh" install was run Crystal Disk Mark. Bam - 1468 read, 1439 write. I was somewhat in disbelief, but ATTO tells the same story.

Now the question becomes what went wrong last time and I'll be more careful as I'm updating drivers to do one at a time and check performance in between to see if there is something wrong or if it was just a fluke. Wish me luck.

I tried Transcends SSD software and it wouldn't recognize the drive - I suspect because it's an OEM drive so that wasn't help either along the way.
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Waco
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:01 pm

Your write cache gets completely cleared on a fresh install. Some caching schemes are pretty lazy at draining the write cache unless you put it under pressure or leave it in particular idle States for long periods of time. Benchmarks will only get you back to steady state again eventually.
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frumper15
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:41 am

Update to the situation - despite the great specs of the machine and what I knew its potential could/should be it wasn't feeling "right" to me. There were two potential culprits in my mind - lack of dual-channel memory caused by the single 16GB stick and that SSD. For future reference - DRAM-less TLC drives, even when they're NVME PCIE 3.0 4x drives, are to be avoided if possible. There was a 500GB Samsung 970 EVO on sale and the stick of memory that I had identified as being compatible with the existing stick of Kingston had dropped by $25 for some reason so I snagged both of them.

I decided on a clean install of Windows 10 on the 970 and a short while later was greeted with a much snappier experience than previously - particularly when launching any new program. A few days later the second stick of memory arrived and the transformation was complete. Now, I don't think the Aero 15x was a slow laptop before these changes and to anyone not used to a fast SSD or that speed processor wouldn't think anything of the few slowdowns experienced. In fact, gaming felt exactly the same after the level was loaded.

However, I can't help but feel like the machine would have been much better out of the box with a much better SSD (and it appears there is a Toshiba drive that also ships that is much better) and dual channel memory. I understand manufacturers have to choose areas to save costs but I think they chose wrong here. I have a more capable machine with more memory and storage now, but it did cost more and is honestly more than i need at this point in time. I could have chosen to get a 2x8GB kit of memory and sold the other stick and I could have chosen to RMA and rebuy hoping for the Toshiba drive on the other machine if I was cost constrained but I didn't. I also don't think a $2,000 laptop should have that many compromises either.
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Waco
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:03 pm

Expensive laptops with gimped memory is a surprisingly normal thing. It's incredibly frustrating to see high end CPUs and IGPs killed by single channel DRAM.
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:34 pm

Is still almost impossible to find low to mid end laptops with SSD's. They pretty much all have 1TB spinners. Boo. Some have 16GB Optane chips, but I can't get myself to recommend any computer with spinning disks anymore.
 
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:08 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Is still almost impossible to find low to mid end laptops with SSD's. They pretty much all have 1TB spinners. Boo. Some have 16GB Optane chips, but I can't get myself to recommend any computer with spinning disks anymore.


If they have Optane chips, it means they have a M.2 slot for an aftermarket NVME expansion. I'll admit it's a hassle to reinstall OS on laptops, especially w proprietary drivers for peripherals and Fn-key controls.
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Waco
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:47 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
I'll admit it's a hassle to reinstall OS on laptops, especially w proprietary drivers for peripherals and Fn-key controls.

I haven't found it to be too bad on recent laptops - my ASUS clean-installed from Windows 10 media and everything worked without downloading anything from ASUS directly.
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Re: Slow NVME SSD write speeds on Aero 15x

Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:00 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Is still almost impossible to find low to mid end laptops with SSD's. They pretty much all have 1TB spinners. Boo. Some have 16GB Optane chips, but I can't get myself to recommend any computer with spinning disks anymore.


If they have Optane chips, it means they have a M.2 slot for an aftermarket NVME expansion. I'll admit it's a hassle to reinstall OS on laptops, especially w proprietary drivers for peripherals and Fn-key controls.

That’s a good point. M.2 drives have gotten stupid cheap too for small sizes. I assume most are bootable?

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