Benchmarking SSDs is not an exact science as there is usually some variability between runs. However, by using multiple real world and synthetic tests, it may be possible to get a good idea of relative performance across all six of our tested drives.
First, we will will look at synthetic benchmark suites to highlight the differences between our drives and we shall start with PCMark 10.
UL (formerly Futuremark) is well-respected as 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 is UL’s seventh major update to the PCMark series. PCMark 10 was primarily developed for Windows 10 and it builds upon the PCMark 8 platform for a complete package of vendor-neutral and easy-to-use benchmarks for home or office environments.
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 use the Extended settings.
The system with the T-FORCE Delta Max 500GB SSD scores 8849
Here are the online scores for the T-FORCE Delta Max 500GB SSD
The system with the T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SSD scores 8880.
Here are the Vulcan 500GB SSD online results:
The same system with the Team Group 480 GB SSD scores 8831.
Here is the same test with the Team Group 480GB SSD validated online.
The same PC with the Kingston A1000 480 GB SSD scores 8863 which is ahead of the 480GB Team Group PC score, but it is a bit behind the T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SSD results.
Here are the online results using the Kingston A1000:
The FireCuda 2TB SSHD scores 7883.
Here is the SSHD’s online score.Here is the summary.
The T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SSD PC gets the highest score followed by the Kingston A-1000 and then the DELTA MAX with the Team Group L5 LTE SSD as the slowest tested SSD. There isn’t a lot of difference in SSD scores nor is it easy to see exactly where one scores higher by looking at the individual tests. PCMark 8 is a better storage test next.
PCMark 8 has an excellent storage test which actually uses real world timed 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 T-FORCE Delta Max 500GB SSD scores 4962 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 252.94 MB/s. And for gamers, it took 58.4 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 133.7 seconds for Battlefield 3to load.
Here are the online Delta MAX results:
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 3to load.
Here are the online Vulcan 500GB SSD results:
The Team Group L5 480 GB SSD scores 4959 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 253.36 MB/s. Most importantly for a gamer, it took 58.6 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 133.8 seconds for Battlefield 3to load.
Here is the same test with the Team Group L5 LTE 480GB SSD validated online.
The Kingston A1000 480 GB SSD scores 5032 with a total Storage 2.0 Bandwidth of 401.30 MB/s. Of primary interest to gamers, it took 58.0 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 132.6 seconds for Battlefield 3to load.
Here are the online results:
Here are the 2 TB SSHD storage test results scoring 3267 and 21.73 MB/s bandwidth and most importantly for a gamer, it took 97.1 seconds to load World of Warcraft and 250.3 seconds for Battlefield 3 to load.
Here are the SSHD’s online results.Here is the PCMark 8 comparative loading times chart for World of Warcraft and for Battlefield 3 which is also included in the Summary.
Here are the comparative overall PCMark 8 scores including storage bandwidth results.
The Kingston PCIe A1000 M.2 480GB SSD is the fastest drive overall, however, there isn’t a lot of practical difference between its results and any SATA – or even external USB 3.1 Gen 1 SSD game loading speeds. In contrast to using any SSD, the SSHD takes nearly twice as long to load the tested two games. A SSHD only takes advantage of repeated loading of levels or games, and after 2 or 3 loads, then it will set up more quickly, approaching SSD speeds.
Before we get to gaming, we want to see exactly where drive performance results differ, and there is no better tool than SiSoft’s Sandra 2020. SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an complete information & diagnostic utility in one complete package. It is able to provide all the information about your hardware, software and other devices for diagnosis and for benchmarking. In addition, Sandra is derived from a Greek name that implies “defender” or “helper” – PC’s Wonder Woman of benchmarking.
There are several versions of Sandra 2020, including a free version of Sandra Lite that anyone can download and use. It is highly recommended! SiSoft’s Sandra 2020 SP1 is the very latest version (although we are still using the August version), and we are using the full engineer suite courtesy of SiSoft. It will benchmark and analyze all of the important PC subsystems and even rank your PC as well as make recommendations for improvements.
Here are the Sandra disk benchmarking tests in a single chart summarizing the performance results of our four drives
The Kingston A1000 480 GB NVMe SSD overall performance is faster than the other three SATA III SSDs although the DELTA MAX SSD comes in ahead of the Team Group L5 LTE SSD but just behind the Vulkan SSD. The SSHD sits way behind SSDs in every metric tested.
AIDA64 is the successor to Everest and it is an important industry tool for benchmarkers. AIDA64’s benchmark code methods are written in Assembly language, and they are extremely optimized for every popular AMD, Intel and VIA processor core variants 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 Disk Benchmark and the 4 individual READ tests for each drive, and we include the image for each test and then summarize them in a chart. These tests are incredibly detailed and there are a lot of customization options available so we run the default tests. We did not run the Read tests as they destroy all of the data on the disks being tested.
The Linear Read test measure the 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 surface of 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 will measure the drive caching.
The overall disk benchmark is relatively quick, but the individual benchmarks take much longer to chart the drive’s performance.
Above are the T-FORCE Delta Max SSD’s overall quick disk benchmark results followed by four images of detailed individualized Read tests.
Here is the summary chart comparing our six tested drives:
Again the Kingston A1000 480GB NVMe SSD is ahead of the other SATA-based SSDs where the DELTA MAX sits in the middle. The SATA SSDs are in turn faster than the USB 3.0 external PD400 which in turn is much faster than the SSHD.
CrystalDiskMark is a HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to 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 are the T-FORCE Delta Max SSD‘s results:
As expected, the PCIe M.2 Kingston A1000 SSD scores highest followed by the three SATA SSDs with very similar performance results, then the Team Group USB 3.1 PD400, and in distant last place, the FireCuda 2TB SSHD.
Let’s look at our next synthetic test, HD Tune. This free standalone synthetic test we use is old and it doesn’t represent real world performance but it does test some important drive metrics and it is still used today. There is also a pay-for HD Tune Pro which is up-to-date and offers more functionality.
AS SSD is especially 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 use of the operating system caches. In Seq-test the program measures how long it takes to read and write a 1 GB 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. In the copying 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 T-FORCE Delta Max 500GB SSD AS SSD benchmark results.
Here is the summary.
The SSHD or HDD tests appear to take forever with AS SSD and they score very low compared to any SATA SSD and the PCIe SSD score as much faster. The Vulkan is faster than the DELTA MAX which is in turn faster than the L5 LTE SSD. The USB 3.1 PD400 is the slowest of our five tested SSDs but it is still much faster than any SSHD.
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 T-FORCE Delta Max 500GB SSD ATTO benchmark.
Here is the T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SSD ATTO disk benchmark results.
Here are the Team Group 480GB L5 SSD‘s ATTO disk benchmark results.
The Kingston A1000 480 GB SSD ATTO Disk benchmark results are next.
Here is the ATTO Team Group PD400 240GB SSD results:
The FireCuda 2 TB SSHD’s ATTO benchmark results are up last.
HD Tach again shows the Kingston A1000 NVMe SSD ahead of the other SATA III SSDs with the T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SSD in second place followed by the DELTA MAX and then the LTE SSD followed more distantly by the external PD400 and then the SSHD which trails in every test.
HD Tach 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. It is no longer supported and needs to be run in compatibility mode for Windows 7.
Here is the T-FORCE Delta Max 500GB SSD HDTach benchmark results with an average read of 481.3 MB/sec.
Here are the HD Tach Disk benches summarized in a chart comparing our six tested drives.
As usual, the Kingston A1000 NVMe SSD is ahead of the other SATA III SSDs; the T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SSD is slightly faster than the DELTA MAX which is faster than the Team Group L5 LTE 480GB SSD which in turn is quicker than the PD400. The SSHD sits in last place.
Let’s look at game and game level loading times next.
The Game/Level Loading Time Results
Game and game level loading time results are very difficult to measure precisely which is why we give the results again from PCMark 8. 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.
The NVMe Kingston A1000 PCIe SSD is faster than the other three SATA-based drives which offer similar performance, but all SSDs are faster than launching the game from a SSHD for the first time. It is somewhat surprising that the external PD400 USB 3.1 Gen 1 drive roughly matches the loading times for the NVMe and SATA III SSDs.
Until developers start to target SSDs for game storage, or perhaps after consoles move completely away from hard disk drives, we will finally no longer see SSDs held back from achieving the game loading performance they are capable of. NVMe PCIe M.2 SSDs are a bit faster than SATA-based SSDs just as external USB 3.1 SSDs are generally a bit slower.
Here are all our other Summary Charts in one place for easy reference.
Non-Gaming Summary Charts
In all cases, the Team Group PD400 external USB 3.1 drive is faster than the SSHD although it is the slowest of our five tested SSDs. All of the SATA drives perform very close to each other with the Vulkan being the fastest followed by the DELTA MAX and then the Team Group LTE SSD.
The Kingston A1000 480GB PCIe M.2 SSD is the most expensive as well as the fastest SSD that we tested. Those who desire having the fastest PCs, will want a PCIe NVMe SSD for gaming while those who want RGB will probably pick a SATA SSD (or both). At the very least, we would recommend moving from a HDD or a SSHD to any SSD including to an inexpensive USB 3.1-based SSD. In this case, the T-FORCE DELTA MAX is a reasonably fast SATA SSD with its price premium coming from being a completely unique RGB showpiece.