Recently we had the opportunity to benchmark a new Toshiba PX03SMF080 800GB SSD. The Toshiba PX03SMF080 is a read optimized 12gbps SAS3 SSD so it is not limited by 6gbps speeds like many SAS2 and SATA III SSDs. Being a read optimized SSD, it has a 1 DPWD of write endurance which is about on par with other read optimized offerings. We have reviewed Toshiba PX03SNB and PX02SNF drives in the past and they have been characterized by great read speeds but lower write speeds. We also recently saw this PX03SMF080 800GB drive (HP OEM version) on sale on ebay for a very attractive price so it is worth seeing how these drives fare in comparison to some of the other drives we have tested.
Since we are going to assume the use of already released hardware, we are using a legacy system for testing across the test suite:
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-7PESH3
- Processors: Dual Intel Xeon E5-2690 (V2)
- SAS Controller: LSI SAS 3008
- RAM: 64GB DDR3L-1600MHz ECC RDIMMs
- OS SSD: Kingston V300 240GB
We are using a SAS controller so one cannot compare our SATA results directly to consumer-driven setups where a SATA SSD is connected to an Intel PCH port. There is a latency penalty for going over the PCIe bus to a controller to SAS. It also is a reason NVMe is going to be a game changer in the enterprise storage space. This impact is very tangible and we will have a piece comparing the SAS 3008 with a few other SATA controllers soon.
Toshiba PX03SMF080 800GB SSD Quick Benchmarks
For our quick tests during this part of the series we will just provide the quick benchmarks with only a bit of commentary. The results should be fairly straightforward and we have added a few results for comparison purposes.
AS SSD Benchmark
AS SSD is a solid benchmark that does not write compressible data to drives. The result is perhaps one of the best workstation SSD benchmarks available today.
Sequential write speeds of all three Toshiba drives are below even what we see from many SATA III SSDs at this point. The Hitachi HUSMM8040ASS204 400GB SSD performs well across the spectrum. Even with AS SSD’s tough write patterns we can see the Toshiba PX033SMF080 800GB SSD deliver excellent read performance.
CrystalDiskMark is another benchmark which gives non-compressible read/write numbers. This is in contrast to the ATTO Benchmark used by LSI/ Sandforce and its partners when they market a given solid state drive.
Moving to the CrystalDiskMark results we can see a similar pattern. Note that while the sequential write results show the PX03SMF080 behind the Hitachi offering and even the SAS2 SanDisk Optimus Ascend 800GB drive, we see that the high queue depth 4K results have the Toshiba SSD as being extremely competitive.
The value of the ATTO benchmark is really to show the best-case scenario. ATTO is known to write highly compressible data to drives, which inflates speeds of controllers that compress data like LSI/ SandForce does prior to writing on a given solid state drive.
ATTO is a relatively simple example but it does provide a good way to see some of the drive’s performance tuning optimizations. Here we can see that the lower queue-depth combined with the lower transfer sizes present a challenge for the drive between 4K and about 32K. By 128K we see the PX03SMF080 800GB drive pull ahead to class leading performance.
On the write speed side, the Hitachi HUSMM8040ASS204 400GB drive shows off some fabulous performance. We can also see a clear pattern with the Toshiba drives capping at around 400MB/s. Even the SanDisk Optimus Ascend 800GB can easily outperform the Toshiba 12gbps SAS SSDs we have tested in sequential writes.
Overall these are solid drives for read intensive applications. Even if one is writing high queue depth small file sizes the Toshiba PX03SMF080 800GB SSD performs extremely well. This is typical of higher-end SAS3 SSDs where high queue depths are required to push maximum throughput through drives. With the 1 DWPD endurance that still equates to around 800GB / day for 5 years is still almost 1.5PBW which is (more than) ample for numerous applications.