SPECworkstation 3.0.2 Storage Benchmark
SPECworstation benchmark is an excellent benchmark to test systems using workstation-type workloads. In this test, we only ran the Storage component, which is fifteen separate tests.
SPECworkstation performance for the CRAS C920 is good enough. Performance in most tests is competitive with other PCIe 4.0 drives, though it never particularly distinguishes itself.
Sustained Write Performance
This is not necessarily a benchmark, so much as trying to catch the post-cache write speed of the drive. While I am filling the drive with data to the 85% mark with 10 simultaneous write threads, I monitor the drive for the write performance to dip to the lowest steady point and grab a screenshot.
Post-cache write speed on the KLEVV CRAS C920 is fine at 525 MB/s. Write performance stabilizes right around that mark, which I prefer to wild swings in write speed. We are going to address that Seagate result in the upcoming review.
We monitored the idle and maximum temperature during testing with HWMonitor to get some idea of the thermal performance and requirements of the drive. Please keep in mind that our test bench is an open frame chassis in a 22C room, but with no direct airflow. As a result, this is not representative of a cramped low airflow case and is instead intended to model temperatures of a drive ‘on its own’.
Thermals are one area I was particularly interested in this drive since it does not include a heatsink. I will admit, I was surprised; 67 C is a fine result for load temperatures.
Today the KLEVV C920 1TB is $165 on Amazon. At $165 this drive undercuts many of the other second-gen PCIe 4.0 drives like the Samsung 980 Pro, WD Black SN850, and Gigabyte AORUS 7000s. Those other drives maintain a moderate performance advantage over the KLEVV drive, so coming in just below their price point is appropriate.
While the price point may be appropriate, it is not necessarily compelling to me. For many users, PCIe 4.0 SSDs represent a performance luxury compared to the already-fast PCIe 3.0 drives. Purchasing a high-performance PCIe 4.0 SSD and then compromising that performance for a small performance discount is a somewhat odd argument to me. Saving a few dollars to get a drive that does not even have an easy-to-find warranty/ RMA process behind it seems like an unappealing trade-off.
With that said, the KLEVV CRAS C920 1TB is a significant performance step above any PCIe 3.0 SSD in our test bench, and it is available at a discount versus its PCIe 4.0 competitors. So if you want PCIe 4.0 speed on a budget, perhaps this is one to consider.