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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  • deil - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    I have 8 TB drive AND I would enjoy some speedup as current usual run takes ~~5h full run. With that 32 GB joke drive even if it would not double the speed, Speedup of 20% time is a lot in my case. AND I don't get to redesign anything to use another drive or have to build 8 TB ssd raid. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    On what basis do you think you'll achieve any speed-up, though? Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    Yeah, I can't see why 5x the NAND for the cost wouldn't almost always be preferable for budget systems.

    I can only see this making sense for datacenter use.
    Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    Primocache does the same thing.

    I've got an 80gig in my desktop, a 60 in an Asus laptop that has two 2.5 bays and a 16gig M.2 in my Inspiron 7559.

    I don't use RAM as a buffer, just the SSD. Works great, unless you have an unstable system. Any time you lose power or don't shut down cleanly the cache resets. With the cache, however, my main box boots in about 20-30 seconds, all apps loaded, where as just running the mechanical drive a reboot is nearly a 4 minute affair.
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    Ironically, these drives work better with AMD motherboards than Intel:
    https://fudzilla.com/news/pc-hardware/46145-amd-st...
    Reply
  • CajunArson - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    Where does Idiot-Zilla prove that Optane works "better" with AMD motherboards than Intel?

    But for a site that starts with "Fud" I will give them credit for dispelling the completely wrong "FUD" that is actually spread by AMD fanboys that Optane is a proprietary technology that only works with Intel products. Never has been proprietary.
    Reply
  • philehidiot - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    "Fud" is also an excellent Scottish swear word. I particularly enjoy using it due to it's brutal bluntness. Reply
  • ianmills - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    Intel was the one who claimed a coffee lake motherboard was needed for optane. Most likely the slow speed has to do with the spectre/meltdown fix that greatly slows down disk operations done in different user spaces on Intel chips Reply
  • bananaforscale - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    Oh but it *is* proprietary, you just don't know what the word means. Look it up. It *doesn*t* imply anything about compatibility. Reply
  • nevcairiel - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    All hardware really is, so the only argument anyone could reasonably make would be about the interface/compatibility when using that word. Reply

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