Test notes and methods
Here's are the essential details for all the drives we tested:
|Adata SD700 External SSD||USB 3.1 Gen 1||Silicon Motion SM2258||Micron 3D TLC|
|Adata SE730H External SSD||USB 3.1 Gen 2||Silicon Motion SM2258||Micron 3D TLC|
|Samsung 850 EV0 2TB||SATA 6Gbps||Samsung MHX||32-layer Samsung TLC|
|Samsung Portable SSD T3||USB 3.1 Gen 1||Samsung MGX||48-layer Samsung TLC|
|Samsung Portable SSD T5||USB 3.1 Gen 2||Samsung MGX||64-layer Samsung TLC|
USB 3.1 Gen 1 drives were connected to the motherboard via USB 3.0 port. USB 3.1 Gen 2 drives were connected via a 3.1 Gen 2 add-in card. The 2.5" drives were connected via a USB 3.0 drive dock for SATA drives.
We used the following system for testing:
|Processor||Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz|
|Platform hub||Intel Z97|
|Platform drivers||Chipset: 10.0.0.13
|Memory size||16GB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||Adata XPG V3 DDR3 at 1600 MT/s|
|Audio||Realtek ALC1150 with 184.108.40.20644 drivers|
|System drive||Corsair Force LS 240GB with S8FM07.9 firmware|
|USB 3.1 Gen 2 card||Rosewill RC-509|
|Drive dock||StarTech USB 3.1 Single-Bay Dock|
|Power supply||Corsair AX650 650W|
|Case||Fractal Design Define R5|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1 Pro x64|
Thanks to Asus for providing the systems' motherboards, to Intel for the CPUs, to Adata for the memory, to Fractal Design for the cases, and to Corsair for the system drives and PSUs.
We used the following versions of our test applications:
- IOMeter 1.1.0 x64
- TR RoboBench 0.2a
Some further notes on our test methods:
To ensure consistent and repeatable results, the SSDs were secure-erased before every component of our test suite. For the IOMeter database, RoboBench write, and RoboBench copy tests, the drives were put in a simulated used state that better exposes long-term performance characteristics. Those tests are all scripted, ensuring an even playing field that gives the drives the same amount of time to recover from the initial used state.
We run virtually all our tests three times and report the median of the results. Our sustained IOMeter test is run a second time to verify the results of the first test and additional times only if necessary. The sustained test runs for 30 minutes continuously, so it already samples performance over a long period.
Steps have been taken to ensure the CPU's power-saving features don't taint any of our results. All of the CPU's low-power states have been disabled, effectively pegging the frequency at 3.5GHz. Transitioning between power states can affect the performance of storage benchmarks, especially when dealing with short burst transfers.
The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1920x1080 at 60Hz. Most of the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.