Intel 910 PCIe SSD Review – Amazing Performance Results In Both 400GB and 800GB Configurations


The File Server profile emulates usage in a file server environment with a vast range of file sizes being accessed simultaneously. This type of file access is 80% read and 20% write.

The LUN test results easily win the File Server testing, coming in at 434 MB/s in steady state at QD64 and 463 MB/s overprovisioned at the same QD. The RAID 0 Steady State and Overprovisioned results mirror each other closely with a peak of 392 MB/s at QD128.

RAID 5 scores well here with a lower percentage of write operations. With these read-centric workloads RAID 5 comes in with a peak of 235 MB/s at QD128.

The Email profile is an emulation of a mail server, with a 50% Read and 50% Write mixed workload with very small 8KB files. This can be a very stressful test for even the best of drives. The Intel 910 is well suited for this kind of loading and enjoys high marks with all of the different configurations, with the exception of the RAID 5 results. Again, we feel that the low RAID 5 results are indicative of a Windows limitation, with minimal gains from Overprovisioning signaling a performance ceiling.

The LUN Steady State results do drop from a peak of 289 MB/s at QD32 to 254MB/s at QD64 and 128, With Overprovisioning there is no loss at the higher QD, presumably due to leveraging the better write performance that is inherent with extra OP.

RAID 0 results score very well here as well, coming in with 270MB/s at QD128, and jumping to 289MB/s with overprovisioning.

The Database/OLTP (On-Line Transaction Processing) profile is another heavy-usage type of access that can bring many drives, even those with superior write performance, to their knees given Steady State conditions. With small 8K random data being read at 66% and written simultaneously at 33%, this is a very demanding workload.

This type of application is sure to be one of the environments that this SSD will deploy into, with PCIe SSDs already enjoying great penetration into the financial sector. Low latencies and high workload performance are attributes that are almost tailor made for OLTP processing, and here the 910 delivers.

The performance of the separate LUNs is outstanding, particularly when utilized with overprovisioning. In the financial sector Price per GB is secondary to raw performance, so these OP results are particularly relevant. Topping out at a relatively low QD of 32 with 363MB/s, and without overprovisioning peaking at QD128 with 311MB/s.

RAID 0 also performs well but has a hard time matching the stellar LUN performance here, topping out at 315MB/s at QD128.

RAID 5 does surprisingly well at this metric as well, with 150MB/s at QD128.

The Web Server profile is read only over a wide range of file sizes simultaneously.  This read only profile also highlights the blazing speed of the 910 rather well. Read speed is largely unaffected by steady state conditions. All types of configurations, the slower RAID 5 as well, score roughly between 990 MB/s and 950MB/s.