Synthetic Benchmarks

Various synthetic benchmarks are available to quickly evaluate the performance of direct-attached storage devices. Real-world performance testing often has to be a customized test. We present both varieties in this review, starting with the synthetic benchmarks in this section. Prior to covering those, we have a quick look at our testbed setup and testing methodology.

Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology

Evaluation of DAS units on Windows is done with the testbed outlined in the table below. For devices with a Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C interface) connections (such as the Samsung Portable SSD X5 1TB that we are considering today), we utilize the Thunderbolt 3 / USB 3.1 Type-C port enabled by the Intel Alpine Ridge controller. It connects to the Z170 PCH via a PCIe 3.0 x4 link..

AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH ATX
CPU Intel Core i5-6600K
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 4 F4-2133C15-8GRR
32 GB ( 4x 8GB)
DDR4-2133 @ 15-15-15-35
OS Drive Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 NVMe 256 GB
SATA Devices Corsair Neutron XT SSD 480 GB
Intel SSD 730 Series 480 GB
Add-on Card None
Chassis Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
PSU Cooler Master V750 750 W
OS Windows 10 Pro x64
Thanks to Cooler Master, GIGABYTE, G.Skill and Intel for the build components

The full details of the reasoning behind choosing the above build components can be found here. The list of DAS units used for comparison purposes is provided below.

  • Samsung Portable SSD X5 1TB (NTFS)
  • DIY TEKQ Rapide - SanDisk Extreme Pro TB3 SSD 1TB
  • LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 500GB
  • Patriot Evlvr TB3 SSD 1TB
  • Samsung Portable SSD X5 1TB (exFAT)
  • TEKQ Rapide TB3 SSD 240GB (NTFS)
  • TEKQ Rapide TB3 SSD 240GB (exFAT)
  • d2 TB2 - SSD

ATTO and Crystal DiskMark

Samsung claims read and write speeds of 2800 MBps and 2300 MBps respectively, and these are backed up by the ATTO benchmarks provided below. Unfortunately, these access traces are not very common in real-life scenarios.

Drive Performance Benchmarks - ATTO

CrystalDiskMark, despite being a canned benchmark, provides a better estimate of the performance range with a selected set of numbers. As evident from the screenshot below, the performance can dip to as low as 46 MBps for 4K random reads at low queue depths.

Drive Performance Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark
Introduction and Product Impressions AnandTech DAS Suite and Performance Consistency


View All Comments

  • ganeshts - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    The DIY configuration took around 650 seconds to write 900GB of data, while, for the same queue depth and write block size, the X5 took almost 7000 seconds. Reply
  • MarkieGcolor - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    Hard to believe Samsung messed up the thermals so bad. Thank you for pointing this out!

    It's great how the marketing then spins the throttling into a feature 😂
  • shelbystripes - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    Thermal throttling IS a feature. It just shouldn’t come on under normal circumstances (and sustained use in a temperature controlled office is a “normal circumstance”. Reply
  • Simpliciter - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    Could you review the Sonnet Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive? It claims not to have any thermal throttling and therefore to be able to maintain maximum throughput ... the Achilles' heel of this unit, it seems.

    That would be very interesting and helpful comparison,

  • BPB - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    "our DIY Thunderbolt 3 SSD is a better choice"

    Did I miss the article or note on this?
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link Reply
  • BPB - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Thank you sir! Reply
  • 4everalone - Thursday, August 30, 2018 - link

    Thank you, not sure how I missed that gem. Reply
  • hubick - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    WTF Samsung, Alpine Ridge? :-(

    The new Titan Ridge chips have been shipping for some time now (2018 MacBook Pro, HP Thunderbolt Dock G2), and would allow for use via regular USB-C as well.

    I've been waiting for a TB3 upgrade to my 1TB Samsung T1 drive, which, among other things, I use to backup photo/video from my action cam and phone while travelling. It would sure be nice to use the TB3 on my PC to retrieve all that when back home, but without USB-C compat, it's basically impossible to get anything onto the drive out in the field, making this offering useless.

    I don't understand offering an expensive premium device like this which such limited technology when the right solution is already out there!? :-(
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    Wow, awesome job getting a full review of this up on release day, ganeshts! This pretty much answered all of my questions that the other sites regurgitating press releases left unanswered. Reply

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