ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Tests Samsung XP941 M.2 x4, Plextor M6e M.2 x2 and Samsung 840 Pro SATA 3 SSDs

TSSDR Z97 TEST BENCH

SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have not been changed at all.  Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

Z97 Test Bench30

This is a brand new test bench and, as such, we would love to thank those who jumped in specifically to help the cause.  Key contributors to this build are our friends at ASRock, Corsair, Kingston with components from past contributors to include In-Win, EVGA, beQuiet, Plextor, SamsungQNIX and RamCity, this still being a key resource in the acquisition of the XP941.  We have detailed all components in the table below and they are all linked should you wish to make a duplicate our system as so many seem to do, or check out the price of any soul component.  As always, we appreciate your support in any purchase though our links!

 SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Socket 1150
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790
CPU COOLER: Corsair Hydro Series H105 Extreme Water Cooled
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Kingston HyperX Beast
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
MONITOR: QNIX 27″ QX2710 2560×1440
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

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In addition to these components, our test storage media include the Samsung XP941 PCIe M.2 x4 SSD, the Plextor M6e PCIe M.2 x2 SSD and the Samsung 840 Pro SATA 3 SSD.

M.2 PCIE GEN2 X4 SSD Samsung XP941 M.2 x4
M.2 PCIE GEN2 X2 SSD Plextor M6e M.2
SATA 3 SSD Samsung 840 Pro SATA 3

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, PCMark Vantage, and Anvil Storage Utilities.  In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

TEST PROTOCOL

For today’s testing, we have connected both of the M.2 SSDs to the ASRock Extreme 6, the XP941 in the Ultra M.2 connector on the right, and the M6e in the M.2 connector on the left.

Both Drives

The Samsung 840 Pro of course is connected via the Intel SATA one of the first Intel SATA ports, and bottlenecked by SATA speeds of a realistic high of 575MB/s.  This sample Samsung SSD has been in use for some time and has seen several terabytes of data passed through it. It is also our present system drive.

ASRock Z97 Extreme 6 Intel Ports

We should realize top speeds of just over 1GB/s for the Samsung XP941, 750MB/s for the Plextor M6e, and about 560MB/s for the Samsung 840 Pro SATA 3 SSD.

ASRock Z97 Extreme6 All Drives 2

As I am not a big fans of charts that are only the result of the same benchmarks we typically use in any case, we will dedicate a page to each of the three SSDs to demonstrate their test results.

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MikeGR7
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MikeGR7

Thanks for the article Les!
It’s great to see you opening up your reviews to more hardware while still keeping it relevant
to storage technologies!
I like the mobo but i still say that two 840 pros in raid 0 are still the way to go perf wise.
That said i can clearly see the patern of where the industry is moving and that’s the M.2.

Vext
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Vext

Can you elaborate on that? All the benchmarks suggest that’s not the case, but I could be misinterpreting the data as I’m new to the I/o performance conversation.

scope4live
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scope4live

I am just happy to see the XP941 being so fast as is. For me it’s win-win as the size of my 1U’s shrink, and at they same time they get faster, and bootable. I will use them to load my data into a RAM template, and rarely write to them. Lets hope our M$ gatekeepers will let us use 24GB out of 32GBs w/o any performance issues.

Mick
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Mick

Hi I am glad I look at this site quite often I think you do
a real good job on everything ssd.

Also I am thinking of buying an extreme 6- Z97 1150 socket with a 4790k canyon this xmas.

Plus the Samsung M.2 XP941 128 I just don’t know?

I was originally going for Asus Maximus Ranger plus the
4790k Canyon and two Samsung 120 gb 850
EVO SSD’s Many thanks if you can help.

MikeGR7
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MikeGR7

It’s easy.
You’ve seen the 840p results. Multiply by 2X and take -10% out.
You’ll find that you are around the same “1GB/S” read/write territory as the M.2’s.
BUT you also get to enjoy that sweet fast ramp up in performance in the low end up to 8K. The 4k write will also be about double.

dravo1
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dravo1

Just curious, are the M2 slots eligible to be included in a RAID set?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Of course the could be used that way but you have to consider that the RAID set of two XP941 SSDs would be restricted to the lowest speed which is dual lane travel. That might get you a negligible improvement on the XP 941 alone in the ultra M.2 slot. Just to be sure I will try to do this prior to taking off for China in a few days…

dravo1
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dravo1

Just to cover all the bases, can the M2s be in a mixed RAID with equal sized SSDs?

felix
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felix

I wonder…what if there were 2 M.2 x4 slots on that board….combined with 2x XP941….

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Then any thought of decent gfx, other than integrated…might be gone. Intel needs to increase total PCIe lane count for something like that.

felix
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felix

I wouldn’t care for 1x8PCIE for Graphics ( don’t think it would hurt performance much) and 2x4PCIE lanes for M.2…but you’re right…Intel needs to increase lanes to 24+ for something like this to happen properly…

Yar Nunya
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Yar Nunya

X79! 40 pci-e lanes if using a 6 core SB-E or Ivybridge-E. Too bad it came out in 2011 and X99 isn’t here yet and no X79 boards with M.2 connectors.

Eric
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Eric

I’m actually pretty satisfied with Intel’s iGPU.
I’d love to see two M.2 slots running at PCIe x4, combined to RAID 0, and which can be booted from. Oh my…

Yar Nunya
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Yar Nunya

Exactly, like if an X79 board were to sprout some M.2 connectors in a larger than regular ATX size then one would have 40 PCI-e lanes with which to delegate 8 lanes to GPU A, 8 to GPU B, 4 or 8 to your m.2 SSD’s, and use the rest for the other crap that needs to ride the pcie bus. Perhaps in X99?

Paul Braren
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Such a great article, so glad M.2 is finally arriving…

DanaJRobertson
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DanaJRobertson

It’s great to see you opening up your reviews to more hardware while still keeping it relevant

to storage technologies! http://goo.gl/ai61Qh