Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Benchmarks show some iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units have slower storage

Flash storage for mobile devices is typically described by just its capacity, but if you’ve looked at a computer SSD you may have noticed initialisms like MLC and TLC. TLC is cheaper per gigabyte since it stores three bits per cell compared to the two of MLC, so Apple used TLC storage for some 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units.

And it’s been nothing but headaches. First the controller in the TLC storage went haywire causing crashes, boot loops and slow speeds, now benchmarks have surfaced showing that MLC easily outperforms TLC.
The test were ran by South Korean benchmark makers from Kbench. The software wrote variously-sized files to determine write speeds – first writing just zeros (which securely deletes data), then writing random data.
In the random data test, which simulates a worst case scenario for writing files, the TLC chips peaked at 3.2MB/s, while MLC chips from two makers (Hynix and Toshiba) starts off at 2.9MB/s and peaks at close to 16MB/s.
The SanDisk-made TLC chips did great in the zero test, but that’s a very rare use case.

Apple will allegedly drop the troublesome TLC storage in favor of the more reliable MLC. Anyway, I would have liked to see some read speed tests too.