Published on November 11th, 2021 | by Adrian Gunning

3DMark adds new SSD benchmark for gamers

Introducing the 3DMark Storage Benchmark

Fast, modern storage means shorter loading times, less waiting for levels to restart, and fewer gameplay interruptions. PC gamers can now choose from a wide range of high-performance storage options, from the fastest PCI Express 4.0 and NVMe devices to cheaper SATA SSDs and high-capacity hybrid drives.

Unfortunately, many tools for measuring storage performance were developed when HDDs were the most common drive type. And it’s hard to relate results from those synthetic benchmarks to real-world performance.

The 3DMark Storage Benchmark is a dedicated component test that measures the gaming performance of the fastest modern PC storage hardware. It supports all the latest storage technologies and focuses on practical, real-world gaming performance.

3DMark Storage Benchmark screenshot

Real-world gaming performance

The problem with many storage tests is that they use artificial, synthetic workloads to measure performance under ideal conditions. Results from these tests are hard to relate to practical, everyday needs, which is why the 3DMark Storage Benchmark focuses on measuring real-world gaming performance.

Storage activity consists of input and output operations. It is possible to record these operations while the storage device is performing a task. These recordings are called traces.

The 3DMark Storage Benchmark uses traces recorded from popular games and gaming-related activities to measure real-world gaming performance, such as:

  • Loading Battlefield™ V from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Overwatch® from launch to the main menu.
  • Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch®.
  • Installing The Outer Worlds® from the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds®.
  • Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike®: Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.

3DMark Storage Benchmark result screen

Compare the performance of the latest SSDs

The 3DMark Storage Benchmark is compatible with all modern storage devices and can test both internal and external drives.

The test produces a 3DMark Storage Benchmark score as a measure of performance. As usual with 3DMark, a higher score means better performance. Here are a few reference scores for context.

Storage device 3DMark Storage
Benchmark score
Intel® Optane™ SSD 900P 280 GB
(PCI Express 3 M.2)
Samsung® 980 PRO 500GB
(PCI Express 4 M.2)
(PCI Express 3 M.2)
Samsung® SSD 860 EVO 1TB

The test also produces bandwidth and average access time metrics. You can read more about the benchmark in the 3DMark user guide.

3DMark logo banner

3DMark Advanced Edition

3DMark—The Gamer’s Benchmark—is $29.99 (USD) on Steam and the UL Benchmarks website.

The 3DMark Storage Benchmark is available as paid DLC for the 3DMark app. It costs $2.99 (USD) on Steam and the UL Benchmarks website.

3DMark Professional Edition

The 3DMark Storage Benchmark is available now as a complimentary update for 3DMark Professional Edition customers with a valid annual license.

For press use

About the Author


Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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