Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Each drive is rated for 180,000 random read and 75,000 random write IOPS, along with 2GB/s sequential read and 1GB/s sequential write for the 800GB model. The 910 specifications are measured when the SSD is under steady state conditions and filled to 100% capacity. Intel does not market F.O.B. (Fresh Out of Box) specifications for the 910.
There is also the option to select a "Performance Mode' for this device. This allows the user to select a higher average power draw for the SSD which results in a sequential write performance increase up to 1.5GB/s from the standard 1GB/s. This does increase the average power draw from 25 Watts up to 28 Watts and the peak output to 38 Watts. Our testing with both SSDs will be at the default power settings.
The 800GB model has an MSRP of $3859 and the 400GB is listed for $1929. This is an impressive price point, coming in at $4.82 per GB, outstripping much of the competition easily. This low price point is one of the primary reasons that we see the Intel 910 being very successful in the datacenter space.
Test System and Methodology
The Intel 910 comes in both 400GB and 800GB capacities. The 800GB 910 presents itself to the host operating system as four individual 200GB volumes, while the 400GB version only supplies two of the 200GB volumes. We have tested both in a previous article and will be providing those results as a baseline comparison to the performance of the dual 910s.
There is the possibility of using Windows RAID or a third party program, to aggregate the performance of all of the drives into one large RAID 0 volume. This would be a risky deployment in most applications, but when paired with strong backup schemes in high read and write scenarios, RAID 0 can be a compelling solution. Parity can also be achieved with RAID 5, providing data redundancy at the sacrifice of capacity and write speed.
The configuration that we have tested with for the enterprise portion provides the best latency results and does a good job of showing the base performance of the dual 910's. This is simply configuring it as eight separate LUNs and accessing each individually. This provides low overall latency in conjunction with much lower maximum latencies than RAID 0. This portion of testing also adheres to our testing regimen that is based upon the SNIA specification. More information on our enterprise testing regimen can be found here.