App to use to measure and track system performance and bottlenecks?

juan99999

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Mar 3, 2015
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So I just installed a Samsung 970 evo on my Mac Pro 6,1, and according to disk tests, it's roughly 3 times as fast as the stock SSD (woot!!!!).

I was expecting my new machine to be noticeably "snappier", but haven't really noticed it. Say when I "click on an app", I remember when I went to from my slow HDD drives to my first SSD and the "number of dock bounces" that apps had dramatically decreased, but I'm not "visually" seeing a difference either when doing that or using photoshop and was wondering why.

Is there an app - similar to activity monitor that captures and visually displays data in an easier way (vs live) - say when you use photoshop? I'd like to see on one graph the CPU, Disk IO, and memory usage (and memory speed?) to determine what's the bottleneck?
 
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h9826790

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So I just installed a Samsung 970 evo on my Mac Pro, and according to disk tests, it's roughly 3 times as fast as the stock HDD (woot!!!!).

I was expecting my new machine to be noticeably "snappier", but haven't really noticed it. Say when I "click on an app", I remember when I went to from my slow HDD drives to my first SSD and the "number of dock bounces" that apps had dramatically decreased, but I'm not "visually" seeing a difference either when doing that or using photoshop and was wondering why.

Is there an app - similar to activity monitor that captures and visually displays data in an easier way (vs live) - say when you use photoshop? I'd like to see on one graph the CPU, Disk IO, and memory usage (and memory speed?) to determine what's the bottleneck?
1) I believe you mean 970 Evo is 3 times faster than your SATA SSD in sequential speed, bur not the original Mac Pro HDD. Because it should be at least 10x faster if compare to the original HDD.

2) yes, that difference is the sequential speed, not the 4k random read speed. The 970Evo should be still faster on random reads but not much if compare to a good SATA SSD.

This is why I said quite a few times, as a boot drive, there shouldn’t be noticeable difference between NVMe and SATA SSD. Quite a few guys claim their MVMe make the system way snappier than the SATA SSD. But I can’t see any numbers / video or any subjective prove yet.

I still doubt if that’s because they make a clean installations, or because move to NVMe.

I posted this video quite a few times. It’s my 840 Evo connected to one of the native SATA port.
I really doubt if NVMe can make it noticeable faster. 3x faster? 6x faster? How? Where the extra performance coming from? A normal PCIe SSD’s 4k random read performance is more or less the same as those good SATA SSD. This is the main factor to decide how snappy your system is. However, still up to certain level. My understanding is once moved to SSD, this low IOPS bottleneck is removed. So, further improve storage connection speed won’t help much. Even go for a higher IOPS SSD may help nothing (especially NVMe mainly shine in high QD which a normal user rarely does).

For your info, this is the 970 Evo's benchmark, 4K random read QD1 is about 46.5MB/s.
samsung-970-evo-review---crystal_disk-mark.jpg

Source: https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/review/ssd-hard-drives/samsung-970-evo-review-3677171/

And this is the 860 Evo's benchmark from the same web site, 4K random read QD1 ~46.5MB/s
crystal_diskmark_samsung_860_evo_benchmarks.png

Source: https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/review/ssd-hard-drives/samsung-860-evo-review-3670806/

So, despite the 970Evo has much higher sequential read and high IOPS, it's 4K random read performance is pretty much the same as the 860Evo.

This is what I know, and my explanation to your situation.

There are few users here claim that NVMe make their system astonishing snappier than SATA SSD. I really don't know how can that happen. Hopefully they can tell you the tricks.
 
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handheldgames

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1) I believe you mean 970 Evo is 3 times faster than your SATA SSD in sequential speed, bur not the original Mac Pro HDD. Because it should be at least 10x faster if compare to the original HDD.

2) yes, that difference is the sequential speed, not the 4k random read speed. The 970Evo should be still faster on random reads but not much if compare to a good SATA SSD.

This is why I said quite a few times, as a boot drive, there shouldn’t be noticeable difference between NVMe and SATA SSD. Quite a few guys claim their MVMe make the system way snappier than the SATA SSD. But I can’t see any numbers / video or any subjective prove yet.

I still doubt if that’s because they make a clean installations, or because move to NVMe.

I posted this video quite a few times. It’s my 840 Evo connected to one of the native SATA port.
I really doubt if NVMe can make it noticeable faster. 3x faster? 6x faster? How? Where the extra performance coming from? A normal PCIe SSD’s 4k random read performance is more or less the same as those good SATA SSD. This is the main factor to decide how snappy your system is. However, still up to certain level. My understanding is once moved to SSD, this low IOPS bottleneck is removed. So, further improve storage connection speed won’t help much. Even go for a higher IOPS SSD may help nothing (especially NVMe mainly shine in high QD which a normal user rarely does).

For your info, this is the 970 Evo's benchmark, 4K random read QD1 is about 46.5MB/s.
View attachment 794647
Source: https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/review/ssd-hard-drives/samsung-970-evo-review-3677171/

And this is the 860 Evo's benchmark from the same web site, 4K random read QD1 ~46.5MB/s
View attachment 794648
Source: https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/review/ssd-hard-drives/samsung-860-evo-review-3670806/

So, despite the 970Evo has much higher sequential read and high IOPS, it's 4K random read performance is pretty much the same as the 860Evo.

This is what I know, and my explanation to your situation.

There are few users here claim that NVMe make their system astonishing snappier than SATA SSD. I really don't know how can that happen. Hopefully they can tell you the tricks.

Working with anything larger than a 16k chunk is substantially faster with a nvme ssd than with a traditional sata3 ssd. There is no trick to the technology beyond installing it in the cMP.

If you only use your cMP for surfing the forums, then I doubt you would see much of an improvement. However, If you use your Mac for creative content creation, coding, or any other app that uses large files, the acceleration is substantial.

As the first Mac Pro user on this forum to make the jump to pcie ssd’s with the ahci 128gb Samsung xp941, I’ve written this post to countless naysayers over the years.

How can a NVMe ssd be faster than a sata3 ssd? To quote a Sega Genesis marketing campaign slogan... "Do the math" ;)
 
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h9826790

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Working with anything larger than a 16k chunk is substantially faster with a nvme ssd than with a traditional sata3 ssd. There is no trick to the technology beyond installing it in the cMP.

If you only use your cMP for surfing the forums, then I doubt you would see much of an improvement. However, If you use your Mac for creative content creation, coding, or any other app that uses large files, the acceleration is substantial.

As the first Mac Pro user on this forum to make the jump to pcie ssd’s with the ahci 128gb Samsung xp941, I’ve written this post to countless naysayers over the years.

How can a NVMe ssd be faster than a sata3 ssd? To quote a Sega Genesis marketing campaign slogan... "Do the math" ;)
I absolutely agree NVMe is very useful on projects, multi media work, or apps has large library etc. And can speed up lots of things.

My last post was to explain to OP about my understanding why he can't feel snappier in normal OS environment. May be this is where the confusion coming from.

I usually only reply to post about booting / apps loading, because NVMe won't help much in this area. However, when some other members jam in and claim the difference is day and night, may be they were actually talking about the difference inside their workflow, but not really the general OS responsiveness.
 

h9826790

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Someone was mentioned in another post about Optane SSD. TBH, I really want to know the result. This SSD is particularly focus on 4K random read QD1 performance. In this area, it is really way better than any other normal SSD.
image.png


And this is the 970 Pro's result. 50% better than 970 Evo on the 4K read. So, may be it can really provide noticeable improvement on general system responsiveness.
image.png
 
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crjackson2134

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A testimonial from @crjackson2134 at this point would be welcome.
I could explain the differences I noticed, but we're already getting in to the area of "Jamming in a claim", and "claim that NVMe make their system astonishing snappier than SATA SSD" type of statements that are less than inviting.

Those feel like cherrypicked statements of mine, and I already feel the heat of negativity and disbelief, so I won't open the door for that today. I like and respect the people in this thread, so I'd rather keep it that way.

@handheldgames has a better handle on this than anyone I know, so I doubt anything I could add would satisfy beyond what he has already stated and shown.
 
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h9826790

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I could explain the differences I noticed, but we're already getting in to the area of "Jamming in a claim", and "claim that NVMe make their system astonishing snappier than SATA SSD" type of statements that are less than inviting.

Those feel like cherrypicked statements of mine, and I already feel the heat of negativity and disbelief, so I won't open the door for that today. I like and respect the people in this thread, so I'd rather keep it that way.

@handheldgames has a better handle on this than anyone I know, so I doubt anything I could add would satisfy beyond what he has already stated and shown.
um... I think I have to make it clear.

1) I use the terms "jam in"... simply because I can't think about any other terms, and I don't know this terms has negative meaning.

2) I said "claim that NVMe make their system astonishing snappier than SATA SSD" is exactly because I want to preserve the original wording, rather than make up something by myself. No bad intention as well.

If that makes you feel bad, please ignore me and help OP. I can stop follow / post / read this thread.

And I was looking for the explanation, prove, etc for quite a whole already. But so far, no objective data acquired yet (especially NVMe booting is not the norm on cMP, not many good references). The best I can find is because some real high end NVMe SSD (e.g. 970 Pro) is really have 50% improvement on 4k random read, that's why some users can feel the difference (e.g. Photoshop loading time from ~5s to 3s~). But some other cannot feel the difference (e.g. 970 Evo vs 860 Evo in my above example).

Anyway, for this particular thread. I think I found the explanation already. Because OP updated the original post. Now "Mac Pro" -> "Mac Pro 6,1" and "HDD" -> "SSD". Which means he was comparing PCIe SSD to PCIe SSD. And this can perfectly explain why the improvement in system responsiveness is so little.

I bet his "when I went to from my slow HDD drives to my first SSD" was actually talking another computer.

Last but not least, if I make you feel bad, sorry about that. I have no intention of doing that. All I did was just trying to move those exact wording from another post to this post. Or state what my understand. So that, can give the most accurate info to OP.
 

pl1984

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If you only use your cMP for surfing the forums, then I doubt you would see much of an improvement. However, If you use your Mac for creative content creation, coding, or any other app that uses large files, the acceleration is substantial.
This is not in question because large files (depending on what qualifies as a large file) start to cross over from random to sequential access. There is no questioning the benefit of NVMe (or AHCI) SSD drives over their SATA counterparts when it comes to sequential performance. But, as the OP has demonstrated, that sequential performance is lost on your average user who is not using large files.
[doublepost=1539467917][/doublepost]
Last but not least, if I make you feel bad, sorry about that. I have no intention of doing that. All I did was just trying to move those exact wording from another post to this post. Or state what my understand. So that, can give the most accurate info to OP.
The PCIe NVMe advocates remind me of those golden eared audiophiles who could "hear" the difference between audio cables connecting their speakers.
 

h9826790

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This is not in question because large files (depending on what qualifies as a large file) start to cross over from random to sequential access. There is no questioning the benefit of NVMe (or AHCI) SSD drives over their SATA counterparts when it comes to sequential performance. But, as the OP has demonstrated, that sequential performance is lost on your average user who is not using large files.
[doublepost=1539467917][/doublepost]
The PCIe NVMe advocates remind me of those golden eared audiophiles who could "hear" the difference between audio cables connecting their speakers.
TBH, I really don't know if the others can feel the difference.

Just like I used to believe I can't see any difference once about 60Hz on my monitor. And when I moved from 60Hz ACD to my 144Hz CHG90. I still believe that because I can't tell the difference.

However, until the day before, when I did some tests. I drop the refresh rate back to 60Hz, and I suddenly realise that I can see the difference during window scrolling (but really, only window scrolling, not via mouse pointer movement, of dock animation, etc)

But I must emphasis even I can tell the difference, but definitely not to a level that can make any significant difference on daily use. Also, most likely my eyes will get use to 60Hz again if I keep using it for a while.

Anyway, back to this NVMe thing. I just re-read some of those posts about NVMe make their system snappier (should be talking about OS responsiveness), they are really mainly talking about 970 Pro, but not "any" NVMe. Even though I don't know how much difference can be, but it seems at least this particular real high end SSD can make some noticeable difference if compare to those "normal" SSD (even some mid - low end NVMe).
 
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juan99999

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Thanks everyone for their input. I'm happy I did the upgrade went from a 250GB NVMe to a 1TB so the capacity increase is worth it.

A bit disappointed that in the 5 years since my original NVMe (model A) was made, that things haven't really improved.

In real day usage how much faster are the 970 pro in terms of random reads? (I know the 4k random tests are 68 vs 47), but can you actually tell (i.e. is boot time reduced by 44%?)
 

handheldgames

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They can't. 46MB/sec is 46MB/sec whether it comes from a SATA SSD or a NVMe SSD.
Comparing apples to oranges... The benchmarks shown for SATA 3 are from an intel controller that's not available as an option in the cMP. Marvel and Asmedia drivers / controller delivers far inferior performance in comparison to an Intel Solution. You are comparing a level of performance for SATA 3 that's clearly not attainable on the 2009-2012 Mac Pro.

Honestly, if you're concerned about low-level 4k performance, you should ditch your SATA III controller and use the onboard SATA II controller instead. The low-level performance of Intel's controller is far superior and you would probably see a boost in performance by going to a slower interface. On it's best day we're only talking about a couple hundred mb/s differences between SATA II and SATA III, which is a negligible amount.

In my case, with my workflow, running with a 1tb PCIe 3.0 Samsung 970 pro installed in the highpoint ssd7101-a, the thought that any sata III hard disk running on the cmp is faster.. is just silly.

For max performance I run a lot of operations from a 20GB+ Raid 0 ramdisk. Ram is cheap and it's faster than any other solution.
[doublepost=1539476346][/doublepost]
Thanks everyone for their input. I'm happy I did the upgrade went from a 250GB NVMe to a 1TB so the capacity increase is worth it.

A bit disappointed that in the 5 years since my original NVMe (model A) was made, that things haven't really improved.

In real day usage how much faster are the 970 pro in terms of random reads? (I know the 4k random tests are 68 vs 47), but can you actually tell (i.e. is boot time reduced by 44%?)
See page 11 of this document for boot time info.

The technology has transformed with each generation. The 970 ro represents the 4th gen technology from samsung and if the last couple years of product launches repeats, the 5th generation is about to be introduced within the next couple of weeks. While there are rumors of performance increases to small and large file data transfer, we won't know until physical product hits the channel.
 
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pl1984

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Thanks everyone for their input. I'm happy I did the upgrade went from a 250GB NVMe to a 1TB so the capacity increase is worth it.

A bit disappointed that in the 5 years since my original NVMe (model A) was made, that things haven't really improved.

In real day usage how much faster are the 970 pro in terms of random reads? (I know the 4k random tests are 68 vs 47), but can you actually tell (i.e. is boot time reduced by 44%?)
Things have improved. Like many users your workload isn't the kind that benefits from the improvements.

You were drawn in with the awe of a top speed of 200 MPH but your city driving habits do not permit you to exceed 45 MPH.
 
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juan99999

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Things have improved. Like many users your workload isn't the kind that benefits from the improvements.

You were drawn in with the awe of a top speed of 200 MPH but your city driving habits do not permit you to exceed 45 MPH.
They are cheaper and more reliable for sure!

I drive a 911 lol! I want and can drive FAST LOL. Like I said, I remember migration from HDD's to SDD's and that was a leap. I just with that in the last 5 years since my 2013 Mac Pro came out, SSD technology has made such a leap. Kinda like I wish I won the lottery :)
 

MIKX

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I just did a ( High Sierra 10.13.6 bootrom 140.0.0.0 ) cold bootup time test comparison .

1. Samsung 970 EVO 250gb = 50 seconds to login screen. ( main work drive )

2. SanDisk Ultra 250gb = 60 seconds to login screen. ( new clean install )
 

agejon

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