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Old 5th Aug 2014, 20:21   #1
Aurhinius
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Assistance - Calling all Samsung EVO owners

Hi all,

I am looking to collate some information off Samsung EVO owners please.

I seem to have detected some pretty bad read performance degradation on 2 Samsung EVO 256GB drives that only manifests itself if you delve a bit deeper in to your drives performance.

I have tested on 2 different drives on 2 completely different spec pc's bought at completely different times. Both drives are used as an OS disk and have had rapid mode enabled for some time.

I am seeing read transfer speeds on areas of the disk that have been written too as low as 50MB/s!! When tested with HDTune read benchmark. Once the benchmark moves in to empty space the drive returns to your standard 450MB/s.

So if you have 2 mins to spare download hdtune free edition and run a read benchmark on your EVO. Please only run it on a in use drive with some data on as running on a secured erase drive will only show perfect performance of course.

Please download and use the Trial version of HD tune 5.50 - The free version has proven to give odd results - This doesn't appear to have effected the original drives issues so this is still a problem

If you can post a screenshot all the better.

I have seen one other user post on tomshardware with this issue and wonder if something perhaps in the latest firmware is to blame.

We shall see!
Last edited by Aurhinius; 30th Aug 2014 at 16:58. Reason: spelling
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 20:22   #2
Aurhinius
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For reference I do not see this behaviour on a heavily used Sandisk SSD on the same PC.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 20:24   #3
Rroff
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IIRC the old version of HD Tune (2.55) has some issues with Windows 7 onwards which give weird performance results. Try the trial version of the latest commercial version and it "should" work properly.

Samsung 700G7C, i7 3610QM, 16GB DDR3, GTX 675M.
i7 4820K, GB X79-UD3, KHX Beast 16GB DDR3, Gigabyte GTX780 GHZ, Antec Kúhler 1250, 840 EVO 250GB, KHX 3K 240GB, Seasonic 860w Platinum.
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Old 5th Aug 2014, 21:13   #4
wazza300
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use atto benchmark,it will be more accurate imo

and or the Samsung magician performance test

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Old 6th Aug 2014, 00:26   #5
John24
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My 120GB Evo has had this behaviour since I got it in march. I had not bothered looking into though because perf is still good, startup/shutdown and app launching don't seem affected. It must be haveing some effect though just not enough to be a problem.

It doesn't seem to be related to used space, or at least it doesn't effect the whole area of used space, I've used 34GB and it happens on the first 20GB. Burst speed is rubbish aswell and if you short sroke it you can see the access time takes a hit on the slow bits.



Never enabled rapid mode and it behaves the same on both an AMD and Intel setup so that rules out hardware and drivers.

Windows is reporting TRIM is enabled and I tried running the optimise function in the Samsung magician software but it didn't help at all.

ATTO doesn't show the issue because it creates a file in the free space and tests that. You need something that will test from the begining of the drive.

I wonder if OcUK have had any returns because of this and if they have had any contact with samsung about it. Seems it's either a firmware issue or just an unfortunate quirk of the drive. I have a few Samsung 830 models that don't behave like this.

Must admit I'm supprised to see this given samsungs good track record in SSDs.




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Old 6th Aug 2014, 01:01   #6
wazza300
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mines the same,starts off at 50mb read,then shoots up to 400+ when it reaches 70gb's in

could be software bug with hdtune,it doesn't feel any slower when using it

(250gb Samsung evo)

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Old 6th Aug 2014, 01:11   #7
Rroff
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Seen the same issue with some other drives including HDDs with HD Tune so not really sure what to make of it. (I've one test system where Windows XP + HD Tune works fine but the same discs (30GB SSD and 80GB HDD) when rebooted into Windows 7 exhibit behaviour like that).

My Evo got to about 50% through the drive with similar to above and then spat out a read error and the whole PC went uber slow until rebooted :| not seen any problems so far in normal use though - I can copy files I know are early on the drive and/or open in a sample program I created and read the contents at expected speeds.

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i7 4820K, GB X79-UD3, KHX Beast 16GB DDR3, Gigabyte GTX780 GHZ, Antec Kúhler 1250, 840 EVO 250GB, KHX 3K 240GB, Seasonic 860w Platinum.
Last edited by Rroff; 6th Aug 2014 at 01:17.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 08:26   #8
Aurhinius
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Thanks for this guys the more people that can test and report back we can build up a case here.

It does seem like this is a drive specific issue because as said my sandisk does not exhibit this behaviour with the same version of HDtune so it can't be the HDtune benchmark.

This investigation by me was prompted by a strangely slow Acronis backup.

I have used Acronis to image my C drive(Samsung EVO) to D drive (Sandisk).

When I do this the copy size is approx 50GB and estimated completion time was 40 mins. When I did the calculation of how many MB/s this was I was seeing approx 50MB/s copy speed.

For an SSD that is VERY bad. When I fired up perfmon and resource mon I could see that the drives were manage exactly that an average of 50MB/s copy speed and queue depth's looked fine.

Digging further I tested in acronis a copy of D drive (sandisk) to C Drive (EVO) this produced a backup time of 10 mins for 70GB. Checking perfmon and resource mon I was seeing copy speeds at approx 250-300MB/s which is what I would expect for an SSD to SSD copy.

Testing further if you do a straight windows file copy again you see the same read performance from the EVO capped around the 50MB/s and an order of magnitude slower than the Sandisk to EVO copy.

So it seems the issue is the reading of data from the EVO drive in sections of the drive that has data on it. Any benchmark I tried i.e AS-SSD bench and copy test, samsung bench etc use spare drive section so report normal performance. With rapid enabled you get artificially inflated scores.

It's only HDTune that shows this well - haven't tried ATTO or HDtach.

It's not a benchmark only issue though because as I have said it shows up in Acronis drive backups - Both 11, 2011 and 2014 versions. I tried them all and standard windows copy.

I have tried with and without samsung magician installed as well and same behaviour.

So what is going on with this drive... firmware bug?

Definitely something wrong here.


Update -

For my drive it does seem to be the first 75GB of data on the drive. For my second drive which is a bit newer but the same size the problem is limited to the first 30-40GB but spreads out across the drive a bit more with slightly better peaks and troughs.

Not sure if it is an age related issue which gets progressively worse over time as more data gets written to the same section of the drive but you would expect wear level algoritims to prevent this kind of slow down. It's abnormally slow for an SSD drive read worse than a spinning HDD pretty much.

TRIM is and always has been enabled.

Have also checked with rapid enabled/disabled and write cache flushing and no difference.
Last edited by Aurhinius; 6th Aug 2014 at 08:55.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 10:21   #9
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We have a return rate off 0.76% for the samsung EV0 840 120GB drive. That is pretty low and these are usually rock Solid. This is the first mention of this issue I have seen. Once you have more info and results let me know and I will pass the details across for them to look into.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 10:37   #10
rotor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurhinius View Post
Not sure if it is an age related issue which gets progressively worse over time as more data gets written to the same section of the drive but you would expect wear level algoritims to prevent this kind of slow down. It's abnormally slow for an SSD drive read worse than a spinning HDD pretty much.
This is not how SSDs work. The disk layout that Windows sees and where data is stored on the physical chips on the SSD are two completely separate things. In a nutshell, every time you write to an SSD, regardless of whether you are overwriting existing data or writing new data (from the operating system's point of view), the SSD actually stores it in a new area and lazily cleans up the old area. This is because data on an SSD can only be written to empty pages, so if the SSD wanted to overwrite an existing page, it would first have to read the contents into a buffer, then erase it, and finally re-rewrite the updated contents of the page. Clearly this has a huge performance impact, which is why it is never done that way. Pages marked as not needed are erased by a background process, and all writes are made to erased pages. If you wrote a script that modified a single 1kB file over and over, you would eventually have written to every part of the SSD. From the operating system's point of view you just re-wrote the same block millions of times, but under the hood the SSD spread those writes over its entire storage space.

I suspect there is a bug somewhere between benchmark tool/specific drive model/firmware version/SATA controller/etc/etc/etc.

I have a Dell Precision workstation that bluescreens after resuming from sleep if I use a Crucial C300 SSD (an ancient SSD with theoretically very mature firmware). It took me a couple of weeks of tearing my hair out and trying dozens of different things, before it occurred to me to try a different SSD (a Samsung Evo, specifically), and problem solved! So there are small mysterious incompatibilities that will never fully go away (especially as the market is evolving so rapidly with new standards).
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 10:47   #11
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Further: wear-levelling (spreading writes evenly across every single cell) is CRITICAL to the life-span of an SSD, because each cell can take a very limited number of writes before it wears out and is marked unusable -- the drive has a stockpile of spare cells for this reason. If these drives had a wear-levelling bug, they would be failing in droves, and we would have heard about it.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 11:42   #12
Aurhinius
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Thanks for the info Rotor I was merely corallating HDtune results with what I am seeing on the drive.

It seems mysterious that we are all seeing really low read performance from these drives when in the first section of the disk first half I would say. How that physically manifests itself in reality I don't know. It would make no sense as per your data distribution for the first part of the disk to provide such bad read performance but for this to correct deeper in to the drive.

If data is randomly written to individual chips and cells as I agree it actually is you would expect consistant read performance across the drive in the most part?

It's certainly not the case though.

Interestingly the write performance of the drive seems solid this is definitely a read performance issue and I encourage everyone to please test and post your results it takes 2 mins to run the test and you can stop it part the way through.

All we need to see is the initial sections of the drive.

Have you got any you can test Abarrass at OCuk see if you can replicate the issue?

I'd like to see this escalated to Samsung to see if we can get an answer. It might be by design and there's something not showing up in the reviews of all these drives but 50MB/s read from a drive that should produce 400-500MB/s isn't good and it's slower than a spinning HDD unit. That's a big problem for me and isn't just limited to benchmarks. I'm seeing this effect backup speeds and file copy speeds.

Frustratingly I can't test with the old firmware before they added the drive encryption to it.

So get testing folks and please post your results.
Last edited by Aurhinius; 6th Aug 2014 at 17:40.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 17:47   #13
Aurhinius
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More tests done by me -

HD Tune Pro: Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250G Extra Tests

Test capacity: 40 gB

Sequential outer 1354 IOPS 0.739 ms 84.615 MB/s
Sequential middle 497 IOPS 2.011 ms 31.080 MB/s
Sequential inner 605 IOPS 1.652 ms 37.840 MB/s


Cache test -

Cache
0.5 MB 307.540 MB/s
1.0 MB 374.739 MB/s
1.5 MB 140.910 MB/s
2.0 MB 133.268 MB/s
2.5 MB 105.347 MB/s
3.0 MB 94.682 MB/s
3.5 MB 94.810 MB/s
4.0 MB 83.930 MB/s
4.5 MB 84.106 MB/s
5.0 MB 76.919 MB/s
5.5 MB 78.549 MB/s
6.0 MB 77.862 MB/s
6.5 MB 76.549 MB/s
7.0 MB 74.698 MB/s
7.5 MB 76.576 MB/s
8.0 MB 79.839 MB/s
8.5 MB 78.502 MB/s
9.0 MB 77.004 MB/s
9.5 MB 77.374 MB/s
10.0 MB 76.680 MB/s
10.5 MB 76.512 MB/s
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

HD Tune Pro: SanDisk SDSSDHP256G Extra Tests

Test capacity: 40 gB

Sequential outer 7432 IOPS 0.135 ms 464.516 MB/s
Sequential middle 7415 IOPS 0.135 ms 463.436 MB/s
Sequential inner 7443 IOPS 0.134 ms 465.206 MB/s

Cache test -

0.5 MB 345.252 MB/s
1.0 MB 370.073 MB/s
1.5 MB 401.771 MB/s
2.0 MB 345.148 MB/s
2.5 MB 406.401 MB/s
3.0 MB 383.858 MB/s
3.5 MB 424.054 MB/s
4.0 MB 415.929 MB/s
4.5 MB 435.463 MB/s
5.0 MB 429.364 MB/s
5.5 MB 436.983 MB/s
6.0 MB 437.196 MB/s
6.5 MB 440.953 MB/s
7.0 MB 442.590 MB/s
7.5 MB 443.842 MB/s
8.0 MB 446.483 MB/s
8.5 MB 447.313 MB/s
9.0 MB 447.493 MB/s
9.5 MB 450.973 MB/s
10.0 MB 450.525 MB/s
10.5 MB 451.576 MB/s

This is me doing the HDTune short stroking the drives to the 40GB limit.

Both drive with a 250GB capacity

Startling really isn't it looking at the response time and speed of the Samsung compared to the sandisk. Both drives are about 50% full. Page file is on the sandisk interestingly enough.
Last edited by Aurhinius; 6th Aug 2014 at 17:56.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 18:36   #14
Aurhinius
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A couple of more tests at 2GB drive size

HD Tune Pro: Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250G Benchmark

Test capacity: 2 gB

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 23.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 480.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 62.6 MB/s
Access Time : 0.217 ms
Burst Rate : 75.2 MB/s
CPU Usage : 0.3%

------------------------------------------------------

HD Tune Pro: SanDisk SDSSDHP256G Benchmark

Test capacity: 2 gB

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 321.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 474.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 433.5 MB/s
Access Time : 0.080 ms
Burst Rate : 142.8 MB/s
CPU Usage : 1.2%
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 23:27   #15
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abarrass, thanks, there should be enough here to pass on now?

rotor, your spot on. The only way to a resolution is for samsung to be able to reproduce it I think.

One more bench, the dips are in exactly the same place as with the two other bench programs.


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Old 7th Aug 2014, 07:25   #16
Aurhinius
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Another good test John.

I think there is enough here to ask for samsung to check to see if they can replicate.

I'm seeing it on two used EVo 250GB, John has a EVO 120GB as does a few other people posting.

You won't see this on a clean secure erased drive obviously and I am sure secure erasing the drive will restore it's performance but that's not the point is it.

My EVO is about 50% full with the OS installed and programs/games on both drives I have and two different pc's.

Keep posting though owners if you can take the 2 mins to do it the more people we can show with the issue the more chance we have of narrowing down what causes this.
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Old 7th Aug 2014, 17:05   #17
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Got pretty similar results as per you John using HD speed but that's what we would have expected.

e-mailed Samsung support. Suspect to get back scripted rubbish from tier 1 support fingers crossed though!
Last edited by Aurhinius; 7th Aug 2014 at 17:24.
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Old 7th Aug 2014, 21:12   #18
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Well my Samsung Magician says, Sequential Read is 397mb, Sequential Write 407mb, Random Read IOPS, 66853 and Random Write IOPS 10550. Don't really care because it boots lovely.

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Old 7th Aug 2014, 23:20   #19
John24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rroff View Post
My Evo got to about 50% through the drive with similar to above and then spat out a read error and the whole PC went uber slow until rebooted
That's worrying, I had an SSD (not a samsung) do the same and it went downhill after that, RMAed it and the replacement is still going strong years later. I'd make sure your backed up.

Aurhinius, keep us updated.

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Old 7th Aug 2014, 23:23   #20
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That's worrying, I had an SSD (not a samsung) do the same and it went downhill after that, RMAed it and the replacement is still going strong years later. I'd make sure your backed up.

Aurhinius, keep us updated.
Doesn't do it with anything else so not sure what to make of it.

Its "just" a gaming PC so nothing really to backup. Got a fairly decent backup system with a QNAP NAS and external replication for anything critical.

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Old 7th Aug 2014, 23:31   #21
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ill sit on the fence atm

I don't notice any performance loss or slowdown,looking at this benchmark was first I saw of it

id still put it down to a bug somewhere

(ill test my Samsung pro when I get chance)

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Old 7th Aug 2014, 23:33   #22
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Its possible there is a bug or some issue with accessing the filesystem more directly via a location rather than opening a handle to an individual file - as I see no slowdown in normal file operations as a program would work. If you write a file of random data to free space or open an existing file specifically and read it back to benchmark it works at expected speeds.

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Old 8th Aug 2014, 09:48   #23
Aurhinius
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I don't deny that performance seems fine on the drive.

Mine boots fine, loads things fine and plays fine but I'm using rapid which would mask the issue anyway to some degree.

It's not just a benchmark issue though as I have said I see the performance issue when attempting an acronis backup of the drive.

So there is an issue there just not entirely sure what.

It may well be that the drive hand off between dram cache and drive is bad with small files.

It stands to reason that the first section of my drive will have the OS installed on it which will be packed full of tiny files.

Which may well be the issue that the drive read speed for lots of small files is really bad (by design or bug) and that larger files don't exhibit this issue.

Throwing idea's out there.

Please test your drive regardless of whether you think it is fine though. It's not a witch hunt it's trying to understand an issue we have identified and judging how wide an issue it is.

Takes 2 mins to download and run the HDTune benchmark and it's free.

Ultimately a drive's read performance should not be effected by age nor file location on the drive. The drive should be able to read a data block on any nand cell at the same speed regardless of age but as this proves it just isn't happening. i.e reading cell 200 on chip 1 should be equally as fast as cell 1 on chip 4.

Locating the nand cell and then reading the data out should be the same.

As john and I have show we've tested sequential read's here so we are asking it to read cell1,2,3,4 in order which should be faster than asking for random cells but again it's not. It may well be how the data is distributed over cell boundaries or chip boundaries I don't know.

So although the file is sequential on the drive virtually it's not physically sequential and data could be distributed across chips I believe this is how the internal firmware file map would work. You would expect it to write a file across multiple chips to improve read access time as the controller has multiple channels. So faster to read all channels in one cycle rather than having to cycle the same chip to read out of it multiple times.

That may well explain the issue it may well be that samsung's attempt to limit drive wear is forcing small amounts of data to be less well distributed across the chips.

The more I type the more I think this makes sense with my limited understanding of nand and SSD technology.
Last edited by Aurhinius; 8th Aug 2014 at 09:58.
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Old 10th Aug 2014, 08:39   #24
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Had a response from Samsung to fill in a form etc so lets see what they come back with.
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 16:12   #25
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Here's some from my 250GB Evo:



I'm running a very old Q6600-based machine so it maxes out at SATA2 speeds. My poor read performance is spread more 'widely' across the drive - not just the 'start' (if these terms mean anything on an SSD... )
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 16:18   #26
BoatyMcBoatface
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I'll test mine tonight, 120GB Evo 840

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Old 11th Aug 2014, 17:11   #27
Aurhinius
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Yeah Selekt0r you certainly are seeing the nasty sub 100MB for a good part of your drive.

The 2.7MB trough looks a bit dramatic as well.

Definitely a pattern here and I think it's perhaps a dirty reality of TLC nand but only shows up in certain benchmarks.

No word from Samsung so far.
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 18:09   #28
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Here's mine i cant use HD Tune, because its expired. But i had a feeling the trim or something wasnt working, because on a big database lookup i was doing, performance monitor in windows was showing reads of approx 25-28MB/sec

Checking with HD speed i see the same. With the drive starting off around 400MB/sec and after 1-2% it drops to around 25MB.



EVO 840 120GB
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 19:47   #29
John24
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Blimey, their the most extreme examples yet.

Selekt0r, Toytown, how long have your drives been in use, is TRIM enabled? Does running the optimise performance option in the samsung software help?

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Old 11th Aug 2014, 19:59   #30
Selekt0r
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Mine was purchased in August 2013 and according to the SMART info has been powered on for approx. 7700 hours and approx. 8.5TB written. TRIM is enabled, and running the 'Optimise Performance' in Samsung Magician has made no difference.
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