Game Load Time and Workstation Performance

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Benchmark

The Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Benchmark is a unique game benchmark that allows us to objectively calculate the load times of different game scenes loading on the SSD. This benchmark runs multiple scenes that it benchmarks, it also keeps track of the scene load times for each scene and reports a duration, in addition, it provides an overall average duration of all the scenes together. This provides consistency in testing. We report the overall average scene load time of all the scenes in seconds, lower is better.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 500GB Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker Benchmark

Game load time is one area where we do see improved performance on the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB versus Samsung 970 EVO 1TB. We go from 10.5 seconds on the 970 EVO to 9.6 seconds on the 970 EVO Plus, an improvement of 9% better load time performance. It’s also faster than all the other SSDs here.

SPECworkstation 3.1

We are using SPECworkstation 3.1 and specifically the WPCstorage test. “The storage workload is based on storage transaction traces from a wide variety of professional applications engaged in real work.” It includes media and entertainment, product development, life sciences, energy, and general operations. Each program receives a score, and they are averaged together for an overall score, higher is better.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 500GB SPECworkstation 3.1 storage benchmark

In this professional workstation storage benchmark higher numbers are better. In that regard, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB is the fastest drive here for workstation applications, scoring 4.63. This is a 5% performance advantage over the Samsung 970 EVO 1TB SSD. For professionals looking for uncompromised application performance, the 970 EVO Plus is clearly the better choice. One thing is for sure, you don’t want the ADATA XPG SX8100 for those applications, it’s half the performance.


Temperature

Stress Test Temperature

In our first temperature test, we run a stress test to maximize the temperature of the SSD as much as possible. Basically, we want to get it running as hot as possible. We run a Secure Erase function with the same disk management software on all the drives to make it apples-to-apples. This heats up the SSDs as much as possible. If the SSD comes with its own heatsink, we use it, if it does not, we use the standard motherboard M.2 heatsink that comes with our motherboard.

For the Samsung 970 EVO Plus and Samsung 970 EVO, we are using the motherboards heatsink for the M.2 slot on these SSDs. The Teamgroup MP34 is also using the same motherboard heatsink for the M.2 slot, so all three are using the exact same heatsink.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 500GB stress test temperature

With the motherboard’s M.2 heatsink installed, the older Samsung 970 EVO 1TB ran the hottest during stress testing, up to 63c, and that’s with the heatsink. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB ran cooler, only 50c on the stress test, remember it is single-sided and also has fewer NAND modules than the 1TB 970 EVO. The point here is that it will not throttle with a motherboard M.2 heatsink, it does very well at the most intensive loads.

Typical Usage Temperature

Our typical usage temperature test notes the temperature of the SSD in typical usage scenarios. This is what you will experience in normal workloads.

All SSDs are using the motherboard’s M.2 heatsink.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 500GB typical usage temperature

In typical usage, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus does still run cooler than the Samsung 970 EVO 1TB SSD, about 47c versus 53c. This means you will not get any throttling at all.

Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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3 Comments

  1. Not a bad little drive, and they have come down significantly in price.

    Right now I am struggling when it comes to what drive to use for an SSD cache drive on a server, where constant heavy writes are a factor.

    WAY back I would have had to pay big bucks for a tiny SLC drive for something like this. Can’t find those anymore.

    More recently Samsung’s Pro drives were MLC and had some pretty serious write endurance.

    The latest gen Pro drives (980 Pro) now appear to be TLC, and it has me a little concerned.

    That said, these things are so cheap now, so maybe I’ll just get a couple of 500GB or 1TB Inland Premium drives for $59.99 or $119.99 respectively, and just beat the crap out of them until they are worn out and replace them.

  2. The 860 Pro drives are MLC, and MLC is def the way to go for write endurance, they may be SATA, but if you are after that endurance prices are cheaper now on them. You are right, Samsung has gone a little backwards with the 980 Pro, being TLC, Pro to me always meant MLC on Samsung, not happy with that trend.
  3. The 860 Pro drives are MLC, and MLC is def the way to go for write endurance, they may be SATA, but if you are after that endurance prices are cheaper now on them. You are right, Samsung has gone a little backwards with the 980 Pro, being TLC, Pro to me always meant MLC on Samsung, not happy with that trend.

    Yeah, I am torn.

    The truth is, that with each generation of controller, NAND quality and whatever magic makes the controllers work (write amplification, wear balancing, DRAM cache’s etc.) improves. There is a reason you essentially can’t buy an SLC drive anymore. They just aren’t necessary. MLC got better to the point where it could fill that role.

    The question is, have we gotten to the point where TLC is really ready to supplant MLC in high write applications?

    My old 512GB Samsun 850 Pro SATA drives I have been using as write cache for years are MLC and are rated at 150TBW each. At 69,000 power on hours, and 317110382829 LBA’s (~147.6 TB) written they are both listed at a wear leveling count of 30%, so they are starting to get close. (well, I mean, if 70% wear came in 69000 hours, that means I have ~30,000 hours or 3.5 years left, but I don’t want to push it TOO far)

    The aforementioned Inland Premium drives are Phison E12 TLC drives. The 512GB model (to keep it as close to an "apples to apples" comparison as possible) is rated at over 5x the write endurance, at 780TBW.

    If these numbers are accurate, and measured the same way Samsung did on my old 850 Pro’s, maybe MLC really is no longer needed? I mean those old MLC 850 Pro’s are going to give me a projected final lifespan of 11.25 years in my high write environment. If the Inland Premiums truly get 5.2x longer life, that should give me 58.5 years. I don’t know if I’ll be around in 2080 (probably not unless we see some amazing medical progress!), but I suspect my current server build will be long obsolete…

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