BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE

BAPCo's SYSmark 2014 SE is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation and data/financial analysis. In addition, it also addresses the responsiveness aspect which deals with user experience as related to application and file launches, multi-tasking etc. Scores are calibrated against a reference system that is defined to score 1000 in each of the scenarios. A score of, say, 2000, would imply that the system under test is twice as fast as the reference system.

SYSmark scores are based on total application response time as seen by the user, including not only storage latency but time spent by the processor. This means there's a limit to how much a storage improvement could possibly increase scores, because the SSD is only in use for a small fraction of the total test duration. This is a significant difference from our ATSB tests where only the storage portion of the workload is replicated and disk idle times are cut short to a maximum of 25ms.

For this review, SYSmark has been used on two different machines: a relatively high-end system with a six-core Intel Core i7-8700K processor and 16GB of RAM, and a more limited system with a quad-core Intel Core i5-7400 processor and just 4GB of RAM. The low-end system spends a lot of time swapping thanks to its small amount of RAM, and this adds greatly to the storage workload.

AnandTech SYSmark SSD Testbed
CPU Intel Core i7-8700K
Motherboard Gigabyte Aorus H370 Gaming 3 WiFi
Chipset Intel H370
Memory 2x 8GB Kingston DDR4-2666
Case In Win C583
Power Supply Cooler Master G550M
OS Windows 10 64-bit, version 1709

 

AnandTech SYSmark SSD Low-End Testbed
CPU Intel Core i5-7400
Motherboard ASUS PRIME Z270-A
Chipset Intel Z270
Memory 1x 4GB Corsair DDR4-2666
Case In Win C583
Power Supply Cooler Master G550M
OS Windows 10 64-bit, version 1709

None of the Optane Memory modules are large enough to serve as a Windows boot drive alone as well as storing all the applications used for SYSmark, so this section only tests the Optane Memory and Optane SSD 800P as cache drives. (The 118GB Optane SSD 800P is pretty much the smallest drive that can could run SYSmark, but it doesn't leave much room for user data.)

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE - Data / Financial Analysis BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE - Media Creation

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE - Office Productivity

The Data/Financial Analysis, Media Creation, and Office Productivity sub-tests are all relatively insensitive to storage performance, and they are shown in order of decreasing sensitivity to the CPU and RAM differences between the two test systems. These results show that a mechanical hard drive can hold back application performance, but almost any solid state storage system—including Optane Memory caching—is sufficient to shift the bottlenecks over to compute and memory.

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE - Responsiveness

The Responsiveness test is less focused on overall computational throughput and more on those annoying delays that make a computer feel slow: application launching, opening and saving files, and a variety of multitasking scenarios. Here, moving off a mechanical hard drive is by far the best upgrade that can be made to improve system performance. Going beyond a mainstream SATA SSD provides diminishing returns, but there is a measurable difference between the SATA SSD and the fastest Optane SSD.

Energy Usage

The SYSmark energy usage scores measure total system power consumption, excluding the display. Our SYSmark test system idles at around 26 W and peaks at over 60 W measured at the wall during the benchmark run. SATA SSDs seldom exceed 5 W and idle at a fraction of a watt, and the SSDs spend most of the test idle. This means the energy usage scores will inevitably be very close. A typical notebook system will tend to be better optimized for power efficiency than this desktop system, so the SSD would account for a much larger portion of the total and the score difference between SSDs would be more noticeable.

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE - Total System Power

The Intel Optane SSD 900P is quite power-hungry by SSD standards, but running a hard drive is even worse. The Optane Memory M10 and 118GB 800P further add to power consumption when used as cache devices, but they speed up the test enough that total energy usage is not significantly affected. The 32GB Optane Memory doesn't offer as much of a performance boost, and it lacks the power management capabilities of the more recent Optane M.2 drives.

Test Procedures AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy
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  • shadowx360 - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - link

    Windows Storage Spaces or ZFS can do it. Right now I have 2x256GB SSDs mirrored to accelerate a 5x4TB hard drive array. I set 100GB as a write-back cache that automatically flushes to the HDDs, so random write is SSD-level quick. I also pin about 20GB of files to the SSDs permanently and the rest is rotated between free space and system-managed hot files. Reply
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    400-500MB/s vs 1.5GB/s, not really much of a difference, either way you will have to wait for that HDD to write to the cache drive 1st at 100MB/s or less (since they're small files, HDD works faster on transfer with larger files).

    If you got a set of constantly used files, move those to the SSD, problem solved.
    Reply
  • evernessince - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    Or you buy an X470 motherboard or pay $10 to get StoreMI, which also makes a cache but is much cheaper and can use any SSD as a cache, which saves you money, allot of it. Reply
  • CheapSushi - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    You can use any Optane drive like ANY SSD too. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    It's faster in zero real-world situations. It's larger than an SSD bought for the same total money, but not larger than an SSD at the same cost as the optane drive (256GB) + the same HDD you'd use for optane caching. Your point is... flawed. Reply
  • Keljian - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    This is actually not true. It's faster for Mysql/sqlite in 4k situations when the cache is tuned for it. What uses sqlite? - games, most office software, web browsers.. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    For $160-$170 (<$150 on sale, basically the price of 64GB of Optane) you can get a the WD Black 512GB M2 NVME PCIe SSD that does 2000MB+/sec rear for all 512GB.

    Why the hell is Optane so expensive. 5-7x the price of traditional NAND?
    Reply
  • Arnulf - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    Because it is crap which nobody would buy if it was priced close to SSDs of similar performance and capacity:

    "It costs 5-7 times more than SSDs, must be something magical about it, let's buy one honey!"

    Much like $1000 mobile phones, bait for the stupid.
    Reply
  • CheapSushi - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    Because it uses phase change instead of NAND and it's new tech. They're trying to recoup R&D cost. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    "hey're trying to recoup R&D cost. "

    PCM is decades old tech. look it up. throwing good money after bad, just like pharma.
    Reply

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