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Intel 750 NVMe 400GB U.2 SSD Bootable RAID 0 Report

By: Jon Coulter | RAID in Storage | Posted: Apr 12, 2016 1:08 pm

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended

 

Heavy Workload Model

 

PCMark 8's consistency test simulates an extended duration heavy workload environment. PCMark 8 has built-in, command line executed storage testing. The PCMark 8 Consistency test measures the performance consistency and the degradation tendency of a storage system.

 

The Storage test workloads are repeated. Between each repetition, the storage system is bombarded with a usage that causes degraded drive performance. In the first part of the test, the cycle continues until a steady degraded level of performance has been reached. (Steady State)

 

In the second part, the recovery of the system is tested by allowing the system to idle and measuring the performance after 5-minute long intervals. (Internal drive maintenance: Garbage Collection (GC)) The test reports the performance level at the start, the degraded steady-state, and the recovered state, as well as the number of iterations required to reach the degraded state and the recovered state.

 

We feel Futuremark's Consistency Test is the best test ever devised to show the true performance of solid state storage in an extended duration heavy workload environment. This test takes on average 13 to 17 hours to complete and writes somewhere between 450GB and 14,000GB of test data depending on the drive. If you want to know what an SSD's steady state performance is going to look like during a heavy workload, this test will show you.

 

Here's a breakdown of Futuremark's Consistency Test:

 

Precondition phase:

 

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

 

Degradation phase:

 

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 10 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 8 times, and on each pass increase the duration of random writes by 5 minutes.

 

Steady state phase:

 

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

 

Recovery phase:

 

1. Idle for 5 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

 

Storage Bandwidth

 

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we use to judge a drive's performance.

 

intel-750-nvme-400gb-2-ssd-bootable-raid-report_41

 

We consider steady state bandwidth (the blue bar) our test that carries the most weight in ranking a drive/arrays heavy workload performance. Performance after Garbage Collection (GC) (the orange and red bars) is what we consider the second most important consideration when ranking a drives performance. Trace-based steady state testing is where true high performing SSDs are separated from the rest of the pack.

 

We observe a 14% increase in steady-state performance when going from a single 750 to a dual 750 array. This chart is a carry-over from our 950 Pro RAID Report, where we manually over-provisioned both of our 950 Pro arrays by 20%, and that's the main reason they both outperform the 750 array by a significant margin. Without OP, the 950 Pro arrays and our 750 Pro array perform similarly in terms of PCMark 8 extended storage bandwidth.

 

intel-750-nvme-400gb-2-ssd-bootable-raid-report_42

 

We chart our test subject's storage bandwidth as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations. This gives us a good visual perspective of how our test subjects perform as testing progresses. We notice that an array displays much less performance variability across the 18 phases of this brutal test than does a single drive.

 

Total Access Time (Latency)

 

We chart the total time the disk is accessed as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations. The total latency of our 750 array is up to 2.5X lower than a single 750. This is another example we can point to as a reason why we believe an NVMe array is currently the ultimate OS disk.

 

intel-750-nvme-400gb-2-ssd-bootable-raid-report_43

 

Disk Busy Time

 

Disk Busy Time is how long the disk is busy working. We chart the total time the disk is working as reported at each of the tests 18 trace iterations.

 

intel-750-nvme-400gb-2-ssd-bootable-raid-report_44

 

When latency is low, disk busy time is low as well.

 

Data Written

 

We measure the total amount of random data that our test drive/array is capable of writing during the degradation phases of the consistency test. Pre-conditioning data is not included in the total. The total combined time that degradation data is written to the drive/array is 470 minutes. This can be very telling. The better a drive/array can process a continuous stream of random data, the more data will be written.

 

intel-750-nvme-400gb-2-ssd-bootable-raid-report_45

 

It is important to keep in mind that the 950 Pro arrays shown on this chart are over-provisioned by 20% which resulted in up to 9X increase in the amount of data written in comparison to a single non-overprovisioned 950 Pro. Although not charted, without manually over-provisioning the 950 Pro arrays, our dual 750 array is able to write double the amount of data of a non-overprovisioned 950 Pro array.

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