Corsair Force MP500 NVMe SSD review

Posted 03 February 2017 20:31 CET by Antonis Sapanidis

 

I/O Performance

There is little point of having an SSD drive that has blazing sustained reading and writing speeds, if the drive can't handle reading and writing of small random files. If you intend to use your new SSD drive to store and run your operating system, then the drive must be able to cope with the many small random files that Windows will write to the drive continually. So I feel it is very important to test how many of these random files that a drive can handle in one second. I believe that anything over 1,000 I/O’s per second would be enough for most users running a consumer grade mainstream PC, and should provide a smooth running system. But obviously, the more I/O's that a drive can handle, the faster the drive will feel and leave more headroom for those huge multitasking sessions that users sometimes engage in.

The things that I will look at are the total I/O per second and total MB/s.

Partition alignment and sector boundaries

Windows 7 and Vista will automatically align a partition to 4k boundaries during partition creation, Windows XP won’t. It is imperative that an SSDs partition is aligned. Windows XP is also restricted to sector boundaries, while Windows 7 will use 4k boundaries if it can. The Corsair Force MP500 NVMe SSD is 4k boundary aware, and will use these boundaries if possible. Of course it will also remap LBAs for compatibility with the sector boundaries so that the drive can be used with Windows XP.

IOMeter allows us to set the sector boundaries for conducting the tests, and I have therefore set the sector boundaries at 4K, which means the IOMeter tests are valid for Windows 7 and Windows Vista users. XP users will not be able to obtain such results.

I will provide a screenshot of the tests on the review drive for those of you who like to see the actual test result. All the comparison drive results are represented in the form of graphs.

If any of you would like to see a screenshot from any IOMeter test on a particular drive, please feel free to request one, and I’ll post the screenshot in the forum thread.

All the IOMeter tests create a 10GB data set on the target drive, and each test is run for a duration of 3 minutes.


IOMeter 4K random write test with repeating data.

The first test involves creating continual 4KB random files on the target drive with IOMeter. I use a 4KB file size, as it is believed that Windows will create and modify many of this size of file constantly in the background during a typical Windows session. It is said that most 4K random writes take place at a queue depth of only one.

Queue depth 1

w 01 1

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD (Queue depth 1)

4k 1 write

The result is excellent.

Queue depth 4

w 04 1

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD (Queue depth 4)

4k 4 write

Again the result is excellent.

Queue depth 32

w 32 1

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD (Queue depth 32)

4k 32 write

With the highest queue depth the Corsair Force MP500 is a little behind but manages to reach second place in the chart.

Four workers with queue depth 32

w four workers 32 1

Setting up IOMeter to have four workers, and a queue depth of 32, the Corsair Force MP500 reached almost 270K IOPS.

 

4K random write queue depth profile

For this test I used various queue depths from 1 – 32 to give you an idea how this SSD performs at different queue depths. For a normal desktop user, with lightweight multitasking, the queue depth will rarely rise above 2. For heavy multitasking, the queue depth is unlikely to rise above a value of 8.

4k 1-32write

The performance of the Corsair Force MP500 480GB NVMe SSD, as we can see from the graph, is excellent.


IOMeter 4K random read test.

If there are many 4k files created, then that must also mean that many 4k files need to be read. This test measures 4k reading performance.

Queue depth 1

r 1 1

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD (Queue depth 1)

4k 1 read

The Corsair Force MP500 was a little behind compared to the fastest drive that I had tested.

Queue depth 4

r 4 1

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD (Queue depth 4)

4k 4 read

But at a queue depth of 4 once again it pulls ahead of the competition.

Queue depth 32

r 32 1

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD (Queue depth 32)

4k 32 read

Again an outstanding result.

Four workers with queue depth 32

r four workers 32 1

Setting up IOMeter to have four workers, and a queue depth of 32, we can see that the drive reaches almost 230K IOPS.

 

4K random read queue depth profile.     

This test shows how the review drive scales with increasing queue depths.

4k 1-32read

Only at a very low queue depth is the Corsair Force MP500 behind, but after QD3 the drive gives an impressive performance.


IOMeter 512KB write test with repeating data.

Sequential writing performance is also very important, and in this test I will be measuring the sequential writing performance of the drive.

512k write 2

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD - 512K Sequential write with repeating data

512K write

The sequential write performance is outstanding.


IOMeter 512KB read test.

This test measures 512k sequential reading performance.

512K read 2

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD – 512K sequential reading test

512k read

No surprises here, the Corsair Force MP500 delivers an impressive result.


IOMeter Workstation simulation (outstanding I/Os = 64).

When running applications you will find that there is a mixture of small random files and larger sequential files, being created and read. Not only that, it isn’t just one file at a time. In this test I measure a simulated workstation pattern, with a queue depth of 64 (threaded).

workstation 2

Corsair Force MP500 480GB SSD – Workstation simulation

workstation

The result is excellent.

Summary

Corsairs Force MP500 is a top performing drive and you can see this in all of the previous results.

Now let’s head to the next page where we will look at how the Corsair Force MP500 SSD performs using Anvil's Storage utilities....

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