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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

Light Usage Model


We are going to categorize these tests as indicative of a light workload. If you utilize your computer for light workloads like browsing the web, checking emails, light gaming, and office related tasks, then this category of results is most relevant for your needs.


PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests


Version and / or Patch Used:


The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.


We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's guidelines. Steady state testing simulates a drive's performance similar to that of a drive that has been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.


OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used




OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State




Secondary Volume Empty - Lightly Used




As you can see, there's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.




The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing. This is exactly why we focus on steady state performance.


The empty drive score is incredibly high, we are not sure exactly why. Doesn't really matter though because that score is essentially meaningless, after all, will you be running your 750 as an empty secondary attached storage device? When we focus on a steady-state and 75% full, we get a clearer picture of the drives performance in typical user states.


First, we can see that the 750 is outperforming the DC P3700 in this test. This indicates that Intel has tuned the 750 for consumer workloads. Next, we can see that both our Intel 6-drive array and our Samsung 850 Pro array outperform the 730 in this test.



PCMark 7 - System Storage


Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.00


We will look to the Raw System Storage scoring for an evaluation because it's done without system stops and therefore allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives.


OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used






These results pretty much mirror what we saw with our Vantage testing, The 750 outperforms the DC P3700 because it is tuned for consumer workloads and this time all of our arrays outperform both NVMe drives. Let's see if this trend continues or if the 750 has enough under the hood to make a comeback in testing that we place a higher importance on.



PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth


We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.


OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used






PCMark 8 is the most intensive light model workload simulation we run. We decided to toss in Samsung's two fastest M.2 PCIe drives for comparison. Both Samsung drives were run as empty secondary attached devices. Our experience with PCMark 8 tells us that there is little difference in results between a loaded up OS volume and an empty secondary volume in this particular test, so we feel we are getting an accurate result even though all the other drives/arrays are loaded up OS volumes. Unlike what we saw in our previous two tests, the 750 defeats our best SATA array, but both the DC P3700 and the SM951 manage to outperform the 750 in this test.

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