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Intel SSD 5 545s 512GB SATA III SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jun 27, 2017 7:30 am
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Intel

ATTO

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.47

 

ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufacturers with data used for marketing storage products. With ATTO, we are looking at maximum sequential performance with compressible data as well as the performance curve.

 

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Compressible sequential read/write transfers max out at 564/507 MB/s. Both figures exceed Intel's factory specs. Keep in mind this is our OS volume, and it is filled to 75% of its total capacity. Maximum sequential performance is achieved at 512KB transfers.

 

Sequential Write

 

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We decided to toss Intel's 730 480GB into the fray. The 480GB 730 series SSD is no longer being sold, but to this day, it is one of the fastest SATA SSDs ever made. This will allow us to gauge the progression of Intel's SATA TLC SSDs in comparison to their fastest MLC SATA model. The SSD 5 545s delivers the goods when the file size is small. We see a couple of small dips in the performance curve, but nothing that causes concern.

 

Sequential Read

 

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We are looking for a nice smooth performance curve and good small-file performance. The SSD 5 545s gives us exactly what we are looking for. Great small-file performance and class-leading performance on the big end. We can see that sequential performance of Intel SSDs have progressed greatly over the years when we compare the 545s to the 730. The drive with the closest hardware configuration to the 545s is the SU800. The SU800 employs an SM2258 controller and first generation IMFT 32-layer 3D flash. The drives trade blows, but we give the win to the 545s because it has better small file performance.

 

 

 

Anvil Storage Utilities

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1.0

 

Anvil's Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark designed to measure the storage performance of SSDs. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4K QD16. With Anvil's, we are focused on the total score.

 

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Scoring

 

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Anvil's scoring typically provides us with a good indication of a drive's overall synthetic performance. Whenever we get a score of over 5,000, we take notice. The SSD 5 545s is the first Intel SATA SSD to exceed this milestone since the 480GB Intel 730. We consider 4K QD1 random read performance to be one of the best indicators of how well a drive will perform as an OS disk.

 

We consider 10K at QD1 a milestone that very few SSDs are capable of delivering. Only the best can do it, and SSD 5 545s smashes right through the 10K ceiling delivering an astounding 13,800 random read IOPS at QD1. Of course, this is just SLC assisted burst speed, but typical consumer workloads are bursty in nature, so it does reflect the typical user experience.

 

Now, let's focus in on the most important score the read score. Here we find the Intel SSD 5 545s delivering a big win. Much to our surprise, it delivers a better-read score than the mighty Samsung 750 EVO 500GB. We are beginning to see that Intel is focusing on random read performance which has been very much lacking with first generation 32-layer IMFT 3D flash. Compare the read score of the SU800 to the 545s to see what we mean.

 

(Anvil) Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale

 

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We are exceeding factory max random read specs (75K IOPS at QD32) even when our drive has a partition on it, and it is 75% full.

 

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The 545s delivers the goods where it matters most, low queue depths. This is the best low queue random read performance we've ever seen from any SATA SSD to date when running Anvil's. We didn't include the 850 EVO in our test pool but can confirm that the SSD 5 545s is delivering better random read performance at low queue depths than the 850 EVO and 850 Pro. Gen 2 IMFT 64-Layer flash is looking very, very good.

 

(Anvil) Write IOPS through Queue Scale

 

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We are exceeding factory max random read specs (85K IOPS at QD32) even when our drive has a partition on it, and it is 75% full.

 

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The SSD 5 545s runs in the middle of the pack when writing random data at low queue depths. This is fine by us because this is more than offset by the 545s' superior random read performance. Read performance is more important than write performance, and we are extremely happy to see that Gen2 IMFT 3D flash is now more balanced. With Gen1 IMFT we got lousy read performance even with 256Gbit 3D MLC.

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