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Sonnet Tempo AHCI PCIe AIC SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Sep 14, 2016 5:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 88%Manufacturer: Sonnet

Iometer - Maximum IOPS


Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014


We use Iometer to measure high queue depth performance. (No Partition)


Max IOPS Read




Max IOPS Write






The NVMe-powered SSDs in our test pool clearly display the superiority of the new protocol. This time, Samsung's superior architecture does not factor in for the AHCI powered Tempo.




Iometer - Disk Response


Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014


We use Iometer to measure disk response times. Disk response times are measured at an industry accepted standard of 4K QD1 for both write and read. Each test runs twice for 30 seconds consecutively, with a 5-second ramp-up before each test. We partition the drive/array as a secondary device for this testing.


Avg. Write Response




Avg. Read Response






Due to Samsung's superior architecture, the Tempo delivers excellent read response, second only to the 950 Pro. However, the limitations of AHCI show up when measuring write response. All of the NVMe powered drives in our test pool deliver better (lower) write response in comparison to the AHCI-powered Tempo.


DiskBench - Transfer Rate


Version and / or Patch Used:


We use DiskBench to time a 28.6GB block (9,882 files in 1,247 folders) composed primarily of incompressible sequential and random data as it's transferred from our DC P3700 PCIe NVME SSD to our test drive. We then read from a 6GB zip file that's part of our 28.6GB data block to determine the test drive's read transfer rate. Our system is restarted prior to the read test to clear any cached data, ensuring an accurate test result.


Write Transfer Rate




Read Transfer Rate






The Tempo delivers good transfer rates, even managing to outperform the 400GB Intel 750 NVMe drive with write transfers. The seemingly low write transfer rates of all the SSDs on our chart, we have come to find, is due to Windows 10 aggressive power mode switching.


Note: We are starting to transition to Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and have noticed that write transfer rates have nearly doubled due to Anniversary Edition's new relaxed power mode switching scheme. This is not reflected in this review, but will be reflected in forthcoming reviews.

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