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Geek Culture / hard drive performance review

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Phaelax
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Posted: 2nd Mar 2018 16:45 Edited at: 2nd Mar 2018 16:48
Backing up files on my PC and moving to my new one (finally) and I came across an image of HDD benchmarks I did awhile back. Not sure if I posted this here, I probably made it for the overclockers forum. I thought it'd be interesting to share the progression speeds have made over the years. The top 2 are SSDs, sata3 I believe. The bottom is your standard mechanical drive. What really made SSDs stand out when they first hit the market was their insane access time. The read and write times were a big improvement too.

Now let's fast forward a few years. On my recent build, I used a 250GB Samsung 960 evo NVMe drive. Not only can the software not even measure the acccess time (which from 0.1ms to 0 isn't a big deal), the read speeds are insane! I'm also thrilled with the consistency of those speeds. Just for fun, I ran a benchmark over my new 1TB 850 evo, which seems to be capable of faster speeds than my old mushkin (I paid over $250 at the time I got it, which now gets me a 1tb ssd )

If you have a NVMe interface on your board and you're not utilizing it, you should! We're talking about a transfer rate of 270 - 450MB/s for an SSD versus 1.2 - 1.5GB/s for the NVMe.


Side note, the 850 evo also showed me a 0ms access time, so I'm not certain that part of the benchmark software is working anymore. Both also show higher CPU usage than the older ones. This could be the different system they're installed into or just different version of the benchmark software (HD Tune).
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JLMoondog
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Posted: 2nd Mar 2018 18:05 Edited at: 2nd Mar 2018 18:06
Eventually we'll be measuring the speed in Chronons just to 'see' the differences.

BTW, handy graphs, got to say I'm loving my new SSD ever since I upgraded.
TheComet
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Posted: 3rd Mar 2018 03:18
Here are my results for an SSD, two encrypted, mirrored HDDs with a normal partition and an lz4 compressed partition.


The first two lines test my SSD. I have my rootfs (operating system and all programs) installed on there. I'm using the new M.2 connector which promises up to 32 Gib/s, and I'm getting 2 GB/s, which is about half of that. I'm not sure what the bottleneck is without further investigation.

The next two lines are two 4 TB hard drives (7200 rpm) using zfs "mirror" mode. You might be wondering why they're so slow? Well, there's an encryption layer sitting between the HDDs and ZFS which has a maximum throughput of about 230 MiB/s. Even with this slow speed, I don't really notice much impact in practice. ZFS does a good job of caching files to make up for it.

The last two lines are benchmarks of random text files being written and read from an LZ4 compressed partition. You see that even though the HDDs are being throttled to the 230 MiB/s maximum encryption throughput, being able to compress the data gives a significant increase in performance.

The first 4 were tested using

(basically just reading and writing 1GiB worth of zeros to and from the drive)

The last two were tested by copying an uncompressed tarball of the linux kernel.

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Phaelax
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Posted: 3rd Mar 2018 12:10
Pretty impressive numbers comet. (on the first lines) I'm under the impression that nvme is suppose to be faster than m.2?

Linux also, I believe, has less overhead in its file system than windows and thus faster transfer speeds. At least I think that was true in the past, I'm a bit out of date.

I know you said you didn't notice much of an impact, but that encryption really took the speed down. I'm not too worried about encryption on mine but was considering using compression due to the fact my computer would not fit additional drives into the tiny case. I have my 250gb nvme for the system and a 1tb ssd. That should give me plenty of wiggle room though since the majority of my files are stored on my qnap.... if I can get it to quit disconnecting.
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TheComet
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Posted: 5th Mar 2018 14:27 Edited at: 5th Mar 2018 14:28
Quote: "I'm under the impression that nvme is suppose to be faster than m.2"


If I understand this correctly, nvme is a specific protocol for accessing data on SSDs and is not related to the protocol used to transfer the data. You can access an nvme device over PCIe, M.2, U.2, etc. That's also why my SSD appears as /dev/nvmep0nx even though it's using M.2.

The M.2 connector actually exposes multiple buses. From Wikipedia: Buses exposed through the M.2 connector are PCI Express 3.0, Serial ATA (SATA) 3.0 and USB 3.0

PCIe v3.0 can transfer up to 8 Gib/s, and because M.2 has up to 4 PCIe v3.0 lanes, the maximum transfer speed is therefore 32 Gib/s.

So to answer your question, we'd first have to know which bus you connected your SSD to.
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Phaelax
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Posted: 5th Mar 2018 17:42
Man harddrives have gotten complicated!

According to Gigabyte's website, this is what I have (Gigabyte GA-Z270N-WIFI):

NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 2280 M.2 Connector

It says up to a theoretical 32GB/s. I think I'm a bit shy of that benchmark.
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