The Silicon Power P34A80 SSD Review: Phison E12 With Newer Firmwareby Billy Tallis on February 28, 2019 10:00 AM EST
This test starts with a freshly-erased drive and fills it with 128kB sequential writes at queue depth 32, recording the write speed for each 1GB segment. This test is not representative of any ordinary client/consumer usage pattern, but it does allow us to observe transitions in the drive's behavior as it fills up. This can allow us to estimate the size of any SLC write cache, and get a sense for how much performance remains on the rare occasions where real-world usage keeps writing data after filling the cache.
Like the Corsair MP510, the Silicon Power P34A80 only maintains SLC write speeds for only a short while before performance drops, and the baseline speed for both is around 1GB/s. The new firmware on the P34A80 differs markedly by showing much greater regularity in the garbage collection cycles and the associated spikes back up to SLC write speed.
|Average Throughput for last 16 GB||Overall Average Throughput|
The P34A80 shows a much higher throughput at the end of the fill process than the Corsair MP510, because the new firmware happens to be in the midst of one of its short bursts of high-speed writes. The overall average throughput for the whole drive fill process is only slightly faster for the P34A80 than the Corsair MP510 with earlier firmware. Both Phison E12 products are still substantially slower on this test than the top TLC drives from WD and Samsung.
BAPCo SYSmark 2018
BAPCo's SYSmark 2018 is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users, with subscores for productivity, creativity and responsiveness. Scores represnt overall system performance and 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.
|AnandTech SYSmark SSD Testbed|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7400|
|Motherboard||ASUS PRIME Z270-A|
|Memory||2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-2400 CL17|
|Case||In Win C583|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master G550M|
|OS||Windows 10 64-bit, version 1803|
Our SSD testing with SYSmark uses a different test system than the rest of our SSD tests. This machine is set up to measure total system power consumption rather than just the drive's power.
The Silicon Power P34A80 picks up several points on the Responsiveness test compared to the older Phison E12 firmware, but the difference is still extremely small and neither firmware version stands out from the rest of the NVMe competition.
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.
The P34A80 shaves about 2% off the energy used by the Corsair MP510 with earlier firmware. This is a small improvement, but enough to move the Phison E12 from the middle of the pack to being in the lead among NVMe drives for power efficiency on SYSmark 2018.