Intel 750 PCIe SSD Review (400GB)

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

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. To see the best performance possible the CPU C states have been disabled, C1E support has been disabled, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) has been disabled. 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.

While this SSD is simply plug and play, for testing we are utilizing Intel’s NVMe driver to ensure the best performance possible.

Sean Enterprise Test Bench Urban T81This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to those who jumped in specifically to help the cause. Key contributors to this build are our friends at ASRock for the motherboard and CPU, be quiet! for the cooling fans, and Thermaltake for the case. We have detailed all components in the table below and they are all linked should you wish to make a duplicate of our system as so many seem to do, or check out the price of any single component. As always, we appreciate your support in any purchase through our links!

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

PC CHASSIS: Thermaltake Urban T81
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock X99 WS-E
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3
CPU COOLER: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate
POWER SUPPLY: Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W Gold
GRAPHICS: MSI GT 720
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz
STORAGE: Crucial MX200 500GB
OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
IRST: 13.1.0.1058
NVME DRIVER 1.2.0.1002

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of TRIMcheck, Intel Toolbox, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, PCMark 8, and PCMark Vantage. 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.

S.M.A.R.T. DATA

Normally we would show you a screenshot of the S.M.A.R.T. data using Crystal Disk Info here, however this SSD does not show up when using this program. Instead, we are using Intel’s Toolbox to show off the S.M.A.R.T data.

Intel 750 Series 400GB SMART

TRIMCHECK

We’ve covered TRIMcheck in the past. It is a great tool that easily lets us see if TRIM is actually functioning on a SSD volume in your system.

Intel 750 Series TRIM

A quick check with TRIMcheck shows us that TRIM is working.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.47

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

Intel 750 Series 400GB ATTOOur first look at performance with ATTO reveals a very similar performance pattern to that of the 1.2TB model. The small file size performance doesn’t start to pick up until the 4KB file size. From then on, up until the 128KB file size write performance is much better than read. Sequential reads reach 2,363MB/s while writes max out at 1,035MB/s at the 4096KB file size.

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hpvd
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hpvd

Thanks very much for this review – especially for also covering boot times.
Booting slower after post than expected and as samsung’s nvme drive is really a bit strange.
Maybe it simply depends on the driver? Which driver did you use for booting
test for the 750? Intel or Windows integrated one? Regarding
performance after boot there are some differences in speed depending on
the driver – maybe during boot too? Which driver was used for the
samsung? Many thanks again!

Sean Webster
Guest

Hi, we used both the Windows and Intel NVMe drivers and both showed similar boot times after multiple trials.

hpvd
Guest
hpvd

thanks for this information. Sounds still strange to me – could you imagine any technical explanation for this? Why should the drive be slower during booting but faster after boot-process? The driver should be loaded right at the beginning so ist should work with full performance right from the start….do you have any contacts direct at intel to ask for?

Sean Webster
Guest

I have reached out through my contact and will be sure to update you when I hear anything.

hpvd
Guest
hpvd

thank you – I’m excited 🙂
btw: have you experienced the same starting from sleep/hibernate?

Had Enough With the BS
Guest
Had Enough With the BS

More thorough analysis of boot times from various states should have been performed instead of just passing this solution off as a “workstation” platform and covering it in cursory fashion.

Sean Webster
Guest

Well, it took me a few hours, but I just updated the last page to reflect hibernation and sleep resume times. Hibernation shows similar results to boot times while sleep is similar, yet still longer, compared to other SSDs. 🙂

hpvd
Guest
hpvd

awsome! Many many thanks! I think you are the only one in the web having analysed that!
(maybe you should add sleep and hibernate to the headline – so your site could be even better found for these results…)

Sean Webster
Guest

I have received a reply: “it is
a known condition with the 750 Series. The firmware was optimized for reliability in the event of an unexpected power loss event. The boot delay was a side-effect of that change. Intel is currently
exploring options to make the boot time shorter in a safe way.”

hpvd
Guest
hpvd

Many thanks for this piece of information! So if they know it they can work on it 🙂
Would be awesome to have an eye on this if there is an update on Intel’s SSD Data Center Tool from https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23931 which would bring new versions of the firmware..

??????
Guest
??????

Hi Sean Webster, do you think, improving boot speed can be improved by upgrading the firmware?

Sean Webster
Guest

Possibly.

??????
Guest
??????

Intel released a new version of firmware improves load time and the ability to initialize the device, whether the comparison at least for a short time after loading a firmware update?

hpvd
Guest
hpvd

source: https://communities.intel.com/message/335029#335029
We would like to inform that the Intel® Solid-State Drive Data Center Tool contains a firmware update for the Intel® SSD 750, the new firmware improves the Boot time of this drive significantly.
=> should be available soon

hpvd
Guest
hpvd

from https://communities.intel.com/message/335454#335454: “Just updated the firmware using the Intel SSD Data Center and boot time
went down from 15 seconds from the moment I see the Windows Loading icon
to 8 seconds!!”

sounds like this is the thing we were waiting for 🙂

hpvd
Guest
hpvd

@Sean: maybe you could add this as the fourth device to http://www.thessdreview.com/our-reviews/intel-750-pcie-ssd-review-400gb/5/ ?

3x0
Guest
3x0

I’d be interested in seeing latency tests done between NVMe SSD connected directly to CPU PCIe Gen3 lanes vs PCH Gen3 lanes on the upcoming z170 chipset. Do you have any plans on testing it out or do you think the differences would be so minor it isn’t worth it?

Sean Webster
Guest

When we get a new test bench we will be sure to take that into consideration.

Jeffrey Michael de Smit
Guest
Jeffrey Michael de Smit

how about booting in non uefi systems like x58?

Sean Webster
Guest

Not possible.

Karl Ermatinger
Guest
Karl Ermatinger

Are their motherboards/adapters that could put 4 of these into a RAID 10 and see even further speed benefits? I’d like to make a database server with Windows Server 2012. Not sure where to start.

Sean Webster
Guest

You can use any motherboard that has support for 4x PCIe 3.0 x4 slots or more. Our X99 system we tested this drive in has 7 slots. Your RAID options are limited to software RAID. You can trick windows into doing a double software RAID set up like seen here: http://www.sgvulcan.com/2014/10/31/trick-windows-8-into-creating-a-raid10-stripped-mirrors-array/ I wouldn’t suggest it though. Too much overhead most likely. PCIe SSDs are not as flexible with RAID as SATA and SAS drives.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Hello, I was reading this review and that of the Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB PCIe 2.0 M.2 SSD and I couldn’t fail to notice the huge difference between the writing endurance capabilities, while Intel 750 delivers 127TB writes (70GB/day), on the course of its 5 y warranty, the HyperX delivers a “staggering” 882TB writes (with an 1.7/day). I’m in the point of choosing on of them for my x99 system. My final objective would be: video/photo editing, gaming and last, but not least, running a couple of VMs (at least 5 VMs that are intended to simulate a Linux Lab… Read more »