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Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 AIC SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Apr 2, 2015 4:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Intel

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended - Consistency Test

 

Heavy Usage Model

 

We consider PCMark 8's consistency test to be our heavy usage model test. This is the usage model most enthusiasts, heavy duty gamers, and professionals fall into. If you do a lot of gaming, audio/video processing, rendering, or have workloads of this nature, then this test will be most relevant to you.

 

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 a heavy usage scenario. This test takes on average 13 to 17 hours to complete, and it writes somewhere between 450GB and 14,000GB of test data, depending on the drive being tested. If you want to know what an SSD's performance is going to look like after a few months or years of heavy usage, 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 can use to judge a drives performance.

 

intel-750-1-2tb-nvme-pcie-gen3-x4-aic-ssd-review_56

 

We consider steady state bandwidth (the blue bar) our test that carries the most weight in ranking a drive/arrays 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 consistency testing is where true high performing SSDs are separated from the rest of the pack.

 

This is the test we use to rank a drives performance in a heavy usage OS environment. The fastest drives in this test are the drives we feel are the fastest OS drives. Samsung's SM951 is no match for the 750 or our 6-drive array. As expected, the DC P3700 is the fastest and most consistent, but the 750 is not far behind. The results of this test are convincing; leading us to conclude that the Intel's 750 1.2TB NVMe SSD is without a doubt the fastest consumer OS disk you can buy. Intel touts their 750 series as the next revolution in consumer solid-state drives, and they are right. It has been a long reign for our Intel 730 6-drive array, but the day has finally come when there is a faster consumer based option.

 

intel-750-1-2tb-nvme-pcie-gen3-x4-aic-ssd-review_57

 

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.

 

Total Access Time (Latency)

 

We chart the total time the disk is accessed as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations.

 

intel-750-1-2tb-nvme-pcie-gen3-x4-aic-ssd-review_58

 

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-750-1-2tb-nvme-pcie-gen3-x4-aic-ssd-review_59

 

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

 

Data Written

 

We measure the total amount of random data that the drive/arrays are capable of writing during the degradation phases of the consistency test. The total combined time that degradation data is written to the drive/array is 470 minutes. This can be very telling. The better the drive/array can process a continuous stream of random data, the more data will be written.

 

intel-750-1-2tb-nvme-pcie-gen3-x4-aic-ssd-review_60

 

Our 6-drive array comes on for one last win, but that isn't going to change a thing, we still believe the 750 series 1.2TB is the best performing consumer based OS disk money can buy.

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