New test method
Our previous test procedure of SSDs dates back to 2014 and therefore needed to be updated. Compared to our previous test suite, our new test method contains many more practical tests, allowing us to give you a better idea of how fast an SSD is in use. In addition, we are also using a completely new way of benchmarking consistency and the test system is running on the latest version of Windows 10.
Four identical systems
We test SSDs on four identical test systems, consisting of an Intel Core i5 7400 (Kaby Lake) processor, an MSI H270 Gaming M3 motherboard and 8GB DDR4-2400 memory. The systems are equipped with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) and use the Intel Rapid Storage Technologies (RST) driver version 188.8.131.520.
Benchmarks, traces and consistency
First of all, we perform a number of synthetic benchmarks (AS SSD and Atto Disk Benchmark) to determine the specific performance characteristics of the SSDs. More important are the real world benchmarks, based on the disk use of real applications. For this we use the various storage benchmarks such as part of PCMark8, as well as three of our own workloads. Using the PCMark8 test, we also determine the performance of disks after extended load. Based on the various real world benchmarks, we determine the Hardware.Info SSD Performance Score 2018 and the Hardware.Info SSD Entry Performance Score 2018, where we capture the average performance level in a single number.
In addition to performance, we also measure power consumption, both idle and in use. A new feature is that we can now also measure the consumption of m.2 SSDs under load.
In the graphs we have given all PCIe based SSDs a black colour bar, while all SATA-based models have red bars. For comparison, you will also find a WD Blue 3TB hard disk (usually at the bottom) in the graphs, with a grey bar.