Benchmarking the PD1000
Benchmarking SSDs are not an exact science as there is variability between runs, and different benchmarks may show different results depending on how they run their tests and how up-to-date the benchmarks are. However, by using enough real world and synthetic tests, it may be possible to get a good idea of relative performance across all nine tested drives.
For benchmark results, the drives are generally listed in the following order:
- Team Group PD1000 512GG USB 3.2 Gen 2 portable SSD
- Kingston A1000 480GB NVMe2 SSD
- Team Group MP33 1TB NVMe2 SSD
- T-FORCE Liquid CARDEA 500GB NVMe2 SSD
- T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SATA III SSD
- T-FORCE DELTA MAX 500GB SATA III SSD
- Team Group L5 LITE 3D 480GB SATA III SSD
- Team Group PD400 240GB USB 3.2 Gen 2 portable SSD
- Seagate FireCuda 2TB SSHD (solid state hard drive)
Let’s start with PCMark 10 and see if the external Team Group PD1000 can compete with internal SSDs.
UL (formerly Futuremark) is a developer and publisher of PC benchmark applications for nearly two decades. Although PCMark benches are synthetic tests, they provide a good measure of system performance. PCMark 10 was primarily developed for Windows 10 and it builds upon the PCMark 8 platform for a package of vendor-neutral home and office benchmarks.
Unfortunately, in comparison to PCMark 8, PCMark 10 is missing key elements including detailed storage testing, and it is not possible to test attached drives as with the earlier suite. We installed Windows 10 on the PD1000 and used it as our boot drive over USB 3.2 but did not install nor benchmark PCMark 10 on the portable 240GB Team Group SSD. We use PCMark 10’s Extended settings.
To properly compare the PCMark 10 scores, look at the detailed results that you want to compare. All eight tested drives’ results are presented as screenshots. Open the images in separate tabs for easy detailed test comparisons. First up are the Team Group PD1000 scores.
The CARDEA Liquid 500 GB SSD system scores 8973 which is ranked second by PCMark 10 even though it is the overall fastest SSD that we tested.
The T-FORCE DELTA MAX 500GB SSD scores 8849.
The Team Group L5 LTE 3D 480GB SSD scores 8831.
Let’s check out PCMark 8 which uses better dedicated storage tests.
PCMark 8 has an excellent storage test which actually uses real world timed gaming benchmarks that include loading World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3 as well as timing how long it takes to load popular Adobe and Microsoft apps.
The Team Group PD1000 512MB SSD scores 4998 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 313.80 MB/s. And of particular interest for gamers, it took 58.2 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 133.4 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
The Kingston A1000 480 GB SSD scores 5032 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 401.30 MB/s. Of interest to gamers, it took 58.0 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 132.6 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
The T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SSD scores 4985 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 295.60 MB/s. And most importantly for a gamer, it took 58.2 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 133.2 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
The T-FORCE DELTA MAX 500GB SSD scores 4962 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 252.94 MB/s. It took 58.4 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 133.7 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
The Team Group L5 3D 480GB SSD scores 4959 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 253.36 MB/s. It took 58.6 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 133.8 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
The Team Group PD400 240GB portable SSD scores 4822 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 151.62 MB/s. It took 59.6 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 136.4 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
Here are the 2TB SSHD storage test results scoring 3267 and 21.73 MB/s bandwidth. It took a rather long 97.1 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 250.3 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
Below are the comparative overall PCMark 8 scores that include gaming loading times and storage bandwidth results. The game loading time results are charted first, and since we are measuring time in seconds, lower is better.Surprisingly, the PD1000 portable USB 3.2 SSD actually loads games slightly faster than any SATA III SSD, and it competes very well with the NVMe2 SSD game loading speeds. In contrast to using any SSD, using the SSHD takes nearly twice as long to load the same games. SSHDs only speed up after repeated loading of levels or games, and after 2 or 3 loads it will set up more quickly approaching SSD speeds.
The PD1000 scores well with PCMark 8 in the storage test in every metric where higher is better. Let’s look at the characteristics of the drive as reported by Sandra 2020
To see exactly where drive performance results differ, there is no better tool than SiSoft’s Sandra 2020. Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a complete information & diagnostic utility in one package. It is able to provide all of the information about your hardware, software, and other devices for diagnosis and for benchmarking. The name, Sandra, is derived from a Greek name that implies “defender” or “helper”.
There are several versions of Sandra 2020, including a free version of Sandra Lite that anyone can download and use. It is highly recommended. The SiSoft’s Sandra 2020 Release 6 is the latest version, and we are using the full engineer suite courtesy of SiSoft. It can benchmark and analyze all of the important PC subsystems and even rank a PC as well as make recommendations.
The NVMe2 Liquid CARDEA is the fastest drive that we tested followed by the NVMe2 MP33 SSD. The overall performance of both the external PD1000 and the Kingston A1000 NVMe SSD are faster than the other three SATA III SSDs. The Team Group USB 3.1 PD400 is the slowest SSD but it is solidly faster than the SSHD which is always in last place.
AIDA64 is the successor to Everest and it is an important industry tool for benchmarkers. AIDA64’s benchmark code is written in Assembly language, and they are well-optimized for AMD, Intel and VIA processors by utilizing the appropriate instruction set extensions. We use the Engineer’s version of AIDA64 courtesy of FinalWire. AIDA64 is free to to try and use for 30 days.
We run the AIDA64 overall Disk Benchmark and the 4 individual Read tests for each drive, and we include the image for the tests and then summarize all of our drive results in a chart. These tests are very detailed, and since there are a lot of customization options available we run the default tests. We did not run the Read tests as they will destroy the data on the disks being tested.
- The Linear Read test measure sequential performance by reading or writing all sectors without skipping any. It’s a linear view of the drives overall performance from its beginning to end.
- The Random Read test measures the random performance by reading variable-sized data blocks at random locations on the drive and they are combination of both speed and access times as its position changes before each new operation.
- The Access time tests are designed to measure the data access performance by reading 0.5 KB data blocks at random drive locations.
- The Buffered Read test measures the drive caching.
Below are the PD1000’s detailed individualized Read tests.
Here is the summary chart comparing our nine tested drives where higher is better except for the Average Read Access where lower is better.
The results are impressive for a portable SSD drive. Although the CARDEA Liquid and the MP33 NVMe2 SSDs lead the pack, both the PD1000 and the Kingston A1000 NVMe SSD are ahead of the SATA III based SSDs which are in turn faster than the external PD400 which is again much faster than the SSHD. Let’s check out a new (for BTR) benchmark, Anvil’s Storage Utilities.
Anvil’s Storage Utilities
Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a tool designed to benchmark and evaluate the Read and Write performance of SSDs and HDDs. It gives overall bandwidth as well separate Read and Write scores, the response times, and IOPS capabilities.
Kingston’s A1000 NVMe2 SSD scores higher.
Team Group MP33 NVMe2 SSD is the second fastest drive.
Team Group PD400 portable SSD is the slowest SSD.
We didn’t benchmark the Seagate FireCuda 2TB SSHD. Here is the Anvil’s Storage Utilities summary. Higher scores denote faster drives.
Let’s check out what is probably the most popular benchmark for benching SSDs and HDDs, CrystalDiskMark.
CrystalDiskMark is a HDD benchmark utility for your drives that measure sequential and random read/write speeds. Here are some key features of “CrystalDiskMark”:
- Measure sequential reads/writes speed
- Measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed
Here is the summary chart highlighting the most often quoted Read/Write performance data. Higher is better.
The NVMe2 drives are the highest performing drives; the Liquid CARDEA is the fastest drive followed by the MP33 and the Kingston A1000. The PD1000 is still faster than the SATA III drives represented by the T-FORCE Vulcan, Delta Max, and Team Group L5 LTE SSDs. The Team Group external PD400 is the slowest SSD but it is much faster than the FireCuda 2TB SSHD.
Let’s look at our next synthetic test, HD Tune. This free standalone synthetic test is old and it doesn’t represent real world performance but it does test some important drive metrics. There is also a pay-for HD Tune Pro which is up-to-date and offers more functionality. We tried the Pro trial recently just to make sure the free version is still relevant.
HD Tune has the following functions, and it measures the performance of:
- Transfer Rate
- Access Time
- CPU Usage
- Burst Rate
- Random Access test
- Write benchmark
Hard Disk information includes partition information, supported features, firmware version, serial number, disk capacity, buffer size, transfer mode.
- Hard Disk Health
- S.M.A.R.T. Information (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)
- Power On Time
- Error scan
- Temperature display
There are no surprises. The PD1000 is slower than the internal PCIe NVMe2 drives, but it is faster than the SATA III drives. The PD400 is competitive with the other internal SATA III SSDs.
Next we benchmark using AS SSD.
AS SSD is designed for Solid State Drives (SSD). This tool contains synthetic and practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD without using operating system caches. In Seq-test the program measures how long it takes to read and write a 1GB file.
In the 4K test, read and write performance for random 4K blocks are determined. The 4K-64-thrd test are similar to the 4K procedure except that the read and write operations on 64 threads are distributed as in the usual start of a program. For the copy test, two large ISO file folders are created, programs with many small files, and a games folder with small and large files. These three folders are copied by the OS copy command with the cache turned on. AS SSD gives an overall score after it runs the benchmarks.
Here is the summary.
The SSHD or HDD tests appear to take forever with AS SSD and they score very low compared with any SSD. Again, the USB 3.2 PD1000 competes very well with the SATA III drives. Next up, ATTO.
ATTO is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices including for SSDs and HDDs. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and low level Windows interfaces to determine the physical performance of the device.
Here is the ATTO PD1000 SSD results.
Again we see very solid results from the PD1000 putting it into contention with the internal SATA III SSDs.
HD Tach is up next.
HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and low level Windows interfaces to determine the physical performance of the device. It is no longer supported and needs to be run in compatibility mode for Windows 10.
Here are the HD Tach Disk benches summarized in a chart comparing our nine drives. For read speeds, higher is better but for access times, lower is better.
As usual, the PD1000 and the NVMe SSDs are ahead of the other SATA III SSDs while the SSHD sits in last place.
We can sum up all of our synthetic benchmarks by stating that the Liquid CARDEA is the fastest PCIe NVMe2 drive followed by the MP33 and then by the A1000 SSD. The PD1000 is generally faster than SATA III drives represented in descending order of performance by the T-FORCE Vulcan, DELTA MAX, and Team Group L5 LTE 3D SSDs. The entry-level Team Group USB 3.2 PD400 is the slowest SSD but it is still much faster than the FireCuda 2TB SSHD which is always in distant last place.
File copy speeds are important to most gamers especially when they want to quickly transfer their game files from one location to another.
The Team Group MP33 M.2 PCIe 1TB SSD is more inconsistent in its speeds for large files. It took about 165 seconds to copy the same 22.6GB Steam folder from program files to the desktop, but almost 10GB of the total was copied in less than 20 seconds after a slow start.
If you do a lot of file copying, then you might want to consider a PD1000 portable SSD.
Let’s look at game and game level loading times again.
The Game/Level Loading Time Results
Game and game level loading time results are very difficult to measure precisely but it is easy to see that generally SSDs perform similarly with regard to game loading times and they are miles ahead of any HDD. Even SSHDs require loading the same level or program over-and-over to get quicker.
All of the SSDs load games quickly and there is very little difference between them. The PD1000 loads the two test games within two seconds of the fastest NVMe2 SSD, in sharp contrast to loading from a SSHD or HDD.
As far as playing games from the external USB 3.2 Gen 2 PD1000, we could not tell any difference whatsoever in either performance or in game/level loading times. Until developers start to target SSDs for game storage, or perhaps after the next generation of consoles move away from hard disk drives, we may see SSDs achieve the game loading performance they are capable of. For now, there is no disadvantage to using a PD1000 external USB 3.2 Gen 2 SSD over an internal SSD as an operating system primary drive or to launch and play games from.
Here are all of the Summary Charts again for easy reference.
Non-Gaming Summary Charts
Those who want to have the very fastest PCs, will prefer an internal PCIe NVMe SSD. But for gaming and for regular tasks, any SSD will provide similar performance. We would recommend upgrading from a HDD or from a SSHD to any SSD including using a USB 3.2-based SSD which will make loading and reloading games and levels a lot quicker than loading from a SSHD or HDD. The Team Group PD1000 SSD is a great choice for gamers.
Let’s head for our conclusion.