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  • Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

    Buyer Beware: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

    Check out NAND Flash Faces Off - Synchronous vs. Asynchronous | [H]ard|OCP for a fascinating article that deals with real world performance differences with newer solid state drives when the drives are filled with 25 - 75% of data.

    Bottom line, there is a modest price premium for the better performing synchronous drives, where the slightly less expensive asynchronous drives will often have only 50% - 66% of the performance of the synchronous NAND drives.

    A web search using Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash provides additional information.

    The OCZ Technology Agility 3 240GB SSD Review :: TweakTown USA Edition review compares the OCZ Agility3 asynchronous ssd with the OCZ Vertex3 synchronous ssd and reports on the significant real world performance differences. Their conclusion on the last page of the review says it all. The TweakTown article was published one month before the HardOCP article.

    The bottom line:
    asynchronous drives = inferior performance.
    synchronous drives = superior performance.

    2012-03-24 update:

    The following link was posted by Wazza300 in another thread on 2012-03-11:
    cool site listing all the ssd synchronous and asynchronous types plus reviews ect,
    esential read for anyone thinking of buying an ssd

    SSD Reviews Thread @ StorageReviews.com
    The 6 page thread has detailed SSD controller and NAND information for a large number of current models.


    2012-04-01 update:

    from NAND SSD Data Base thread at XtremeSystems, post #1:
    I thought it might be useful to build a data base of NAND types as it affects speed, endurance and data integrity. It’s hard to come across manufactures product specs sheets, but if you find one and want to add details to the data base it can be found here:
    SSD NAND Google Docs Spreadsheet
    Thanks to Acebmxer for providing these links in post #4
    Last edited by profJim; 04-01-2012, 11:46 PM. Reason: added SSD NAND Database link information
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  • #2
    Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

    Link added in post #1 to the TweakTown review of the asynchronous OCZ Agility3 ssd and its noticeably worse performance compared with the synchronous OCZ Vertex3 ssd. These real world performance differences apply to many/most other ssd brands that use the less expensive asynchronous NAND.
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    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
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    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
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    • #3
      Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

      Link added in post #1 to a 6 page thread at StorageReview.com that has detailed SSD controller and NAND information for a large number of current SSD models.
      Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
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      • #4
        Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

        Hey Profjim found this over at XS thought you might want to have a look at it or update first post with link.

        NAND Data Base

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...lLTdNQVE#gid=0
        Last edited by Acebmxer; 04-01-2012, 04:34 AM.
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        • #5
          Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

          Check out Corsair Force Series 3 180GB Solid State Drive Review :: TweakTown USA Edition where an asynchronous SSD with the newest Sandforce controller still has inferior performance when the drive is 25%, 50% and 75% full.

          From the review's conclusion, the Corsair Force Series GT synchronous ssd is only $20 more expensive than the Corsair Force Series 3 asynchronous ssd.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	corsair_force_series_3_180gb_solid_state_drive_review [TT Fill Test Results].png
Views:	1
Size:	69.7 KB
ID:	752086
          from Corsair Force Series 3 180GB Solid State Drive Review - PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing (page 9)

          note: the 4 drives with scores less than 40,000 for the 25%, 50% and 75% fill tests are all asynchronous SSD's.
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          • #6
            Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

            SSD's with toggle NAND

            Toggle NAND has been available in consumer ssd's for a while now.
            All the ssd reviews that I've seen have shown that toggle NAND performance is excellent.
            My next ssd purchase will probably have toggle NAND.
            Right now, the Samsung 830 is at the top of my short list.
            Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
            P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
            4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
            MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
            Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
            WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
            Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
            SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
            Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
            Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
            Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
            MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
            Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
            win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
            HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
            CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
            E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
            Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
            Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
            HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
            win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
            .

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            • #7
              Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

              samsung 830 and sandisk extreme use toggle nand,performance increases by the amount of memory chips they use on each ssd,the bigger the capacity usually they use more chips which increases performance in toggle nand
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              • #8
                Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                Toggle-NAND, at least that which is made by Samsung (and used in the 830 series), is by far the best that I've used. Honestly, regardless of what I have done to my 830 256GB (has had 23TB written to it in 4mo to "stress test" it), I have yet to see ONE SINGLE benchmark in which it DID NOT BEAT the manufacturer's advertised speeds! With 90% full, it will still read at ~495MB/s and write at ~405MB/s sequentially!

                I have owned the Force GT, M3 Pro, M4, M5 Pro, and a number of OCZ (fail) drives, and I haven't kept any of them longer than a month. The Samsung I've had since May, and I will continue to buy the 830 256GB drives until I have to fight someone to the death for the last available one! Haha, maybe not literally, but they are just THAT GOOD!
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                • #9
                  Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                  So you wouldn't think that any of the latest models of SSDs would use asynchronous NAND anymore, right? Well think again.

                  The OCZ Agility 4 SSD uses asynchronous NAND, this model first introduced in the early Fall, 2012. To their credit, they include that fact in the product specs.

                  A new... player in the SSD market, Monster Cable... or I should say, Monster Digital, has a line of SSDs available (SSDs have truly become a commodity item.) The marketing genius's at Monster Digital have set their product apart from the others with a new feature unheard of before in SSD history, NCQASYNC!

                  Hmm, somehow that looks familiar, let's see... how about NCQ and ASYNC. NCQ, or Native Command Queuing, is a major feature of the AHCI standard, and is supported on virtually ALL SSDs since their introduction. A SSD without it would not be worth consideration. Then we have ASYNC, meaning asynchronous NAND. Unless of course these SSDs are not SATA, but instead use the USB interface, which is asynchronous. No, they are SATA III.

                  Newegg.com - Monster Digital Daytona SSDDB-0240-A 2.5" 240GB SATA III with NCQASYNC MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

                  I wonder how many poor chumps will be taken in by NCQASYNC, as some remarkable feature, when it is only pure marketing BS.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                    It will be interesting to see how well it performs in real world "steady state" or data fill tests.
                    Will its performance be similar to current asynchronous NAND ssd's where the specs look great but the performance suffers when the ssd is filled with 25% - 75% of it's capacity.

                    Check out prices at Newegg Sata III SSDs: 240GB, 250GB and 256GB

                    MonsterDigital SSD website: Monster Digital 240 GB Daytona Series 2.5-Inch SATA 6 GB/s Solid State Drive 858019003433
                    Check out the specs between the mainstream Daytona model and the enterprise class Le Mans model.
                    Both models use LSI SandForce controller chips.

                    After reading the marketing hype on their website, I'm going to give the Daytona model a nickname: Hyped Device Dud, aka HDD.
                    Last edited by profJim; 12-12-2012, 06:51 AM.
                    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
                    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
                    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
                    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
                    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
                    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
                    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
                    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
                    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
                    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
                    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
                    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
                    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
                    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
                    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
                    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
                    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
                    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
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                    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
                    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
                    .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                      I can't believe Monster is using anything but pure vanilla SF firmware, so nothing amazing in the performance department.

                      HA! Indeed, I imagine they well be H D Ds!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                        I have the Daytona and its been here since before the launch. They haven't sent me firmware 5.0.3 or higher yet for TRIM to work so it's just sitting in a box. I've emailed their people and they aren't in too big of a hurry to send the firmware. The drive is kind of cool, I think it uses flash from Toshiba. I haven't looked at it in several months but the flash isn't your run of the mill IMFT or Toshiba Toggle. They sent the drive but don't want to aid me in getting the review out so it sits.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                          From the Monster website (and Newegg), the Daytona uses asynchronous NAND.
                          The Le Mans model has the "good stuff".

                          From the Monster website link in post #10:
                          Flash Memory
                          • Daytona = SATA III with NCQASYNC
                          • Le Mans = Toshiba Toggle 2
                          Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
                          P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
                          4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
                          MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
                          Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
                          WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
                          Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
                          SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
                          Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
                          Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
                          Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
                          MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
                          Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
                          win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
                          HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
                          CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
                          E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
                          Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
                          Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
                          HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
                          win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
                          .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                            I wonder how it is that Asynchronous NAND based SSD's can even be competitive anymore, as the prices for Synchronous/Toggle-NAND have dropped so much that it's not unusual to see 256GB Synch/Toggle SSD's for ~$150-175 on sale (in fact, there is almost ALWAYS at least one at that price), while the Asynchronous NAND drives don't really drop much lower than that (if at all)....?

                            I mean, here are some recent numbers for some popular drives over the past month...
                            *Newegg + Amazon used for prices/etc

                            SAMSUNG 830 256GB
                            NAND: Toggle
                            Low Price: $157.98
                            High Price: $214.95

                            VERTEX 4 256GB
                            NAND: Synch
                            Low Price: $161.25
                            High Price: $229.98

                            VERTEX 3 MaxIOPS 240GB
                            NAND: Toggle
                            Low Price: $159.98
                            High Price: $259.90

                            CORSAIR FORCE GS 240GB
                            NAND: Synch
                            Low Price: $179.45
                            High Price: $240.95

                            AGILITY 4 256GB
                            NAND: Asynch
                            Low Price: $137.29
                            High Price: $213.48

                            INTEL 330 180GB
                            NAND: Asynch(?)
                            Low Price: $89.95
                            High Price: $149.50

                            INTEL 520 240GB
                            NAND: Synch
                            Low Price: $184.18
                            High Price: $259.98

                            and I could go on...
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                            - 2x Nemesis GTX 560 & 2x GTX 480 (Push-Pull) - 2x Monsta 560/1x UT60 420 (Koolance 2600rpm Push-Pull) - Apogee HD White - HK GPU Blocks - HK Backplates - MIPS R4E MB Block - MCP35X2 - 2x BP Z-Multi 400mL Clear/White Res's -
                            - BP DIMM-Freezer x2 4-DIMM Blocks - Phantek SP140 Case Fans - BP/Monsoon Comp/Rotary/Misc Fittings - Rigid Tubing -
                            - LG 34UM97 3440x1440 - LG 60" OLED 4K - Creative X-Fi Ti HD - Pioneer Elite SC-89 - Grado PS1000/GS1000/RS1+2's/12+ AKG's/etc - Benchmark DAC2 - Sonus Faber towers (FR/C/FL/SL/SR) - McIntosh 5x250W Amp -

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                            • #15
                              Re: Asynchronous vs. Synchronous NAND Flash SSD Performance

                              I wonder how it is that Asynchronous NAND based SSD's can even be competitive anymore, as the prices for Synchronous/Toggle-NAND have dropped so much that it's not unusual to see 256GB Synch/Toggle SSD's for ~$150-175 on sale ....
                              the state or fact of being ignorant:
                              lack of knowledge, learning, information, education, or awareness

                              Why buy an asynchronous ssd?
                              1. ignorance
                              2. price
                              3. ignorance
                              4. better value?
                              5. ignorance
                              6. manufacturers with similar model names that didn't explicitly state which models used asynchronous or synchronous NAND flash

                              Before the recent ssd price drops, buyers could save about $20 on some models when they bought an asynchronous ssd. Claimed ATTO sequential read and write scores were virtually as good as the slightly more expensive synchronous drives. They didn't know how important 4KB (small file) performance is in real world use. Until July 2011, none of the ssd reviews pointed out the importance of real world "steady state" (aka data fill) testing. Chris Ramsayer (TweakTown ssd reviewer) was the first one to discuss the importance of data fill testing; HardOCP picked up on this about one month after Chris first published his findings in an ssd web review.

                              There have been a fair number of forum threads with current generation systems where the OP wanted help with their under performing sata3 ssd's. In most cases, the problem was that they had an asynchronous ssd for their operating system. They couldn't understand why there were performance issues with their new asynchronous drives when they had seen ATTO benchmark scores like this one from the Corsair Force Series 3 180GB Solid State Drive Review - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance :: TweakTown USA Edition, page 4:



                              I upgraded each of my older sata2 systems with 60GB OCZ Agility2 ssd's about 3 years ago. They have both been trouble-free, but recently when my P35 system's ssd had only 10GB of free space remaining, the system would occasionally lag for several seconds. I decided to upgrade each system's ssd with Samsung 830 128GB ssd's on October 10th 2012, when I could buy them for $80 each. This was two weeks before the Samsung 840 release date. I set up each ssd with a 100GB o/s partition and left 20GB unformatted for the over-provisioned area (approximately 16.7%). I recently copied 25GB of folders to my boot drive so that the total free space in the o/s partition was only 20GB. I repeated my original benchmark tests and used my system for one week. There was no difference in everyday use and with benchmark scores.

                              I'm currently lusting after the Samsung 840 Pro 256GB ssd, but it will have to wait until I upgrade to an overclocked Haswell system in the summer or early fall in 2013. If the world really does come to an end on December 21st 2012, I won't be upgrading my systems.
                              Last edited by profJim; 12-19-2012, 05:39 PM. Reason: added item #6
                              Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
                              P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
                              4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
                              MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
                              Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
                              WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
                              Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
                              SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
                              Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
                              Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
                              Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
                              MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
                              Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
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                              Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
                              Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
                              HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
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