Intel 750 PCIe SSD Review (1.2TB) – 1st Consumer 2.4GB/s NVMe SSD Set To Change The Industry

COMPONENTS

Our review sample did not come in retail packaging. It was placed in an anti-static baggie and wrapped in bubble wrap. The overall design of the Intel 750 series looks very similar to that of the Intel DC P3000 family of SSDs.

Intel 750 1.2TB HHHL

It seems that the front simply has a different heat sink. When looking at the back, the PCB design is practically the same. There are a total of 14 NAND packages and two DRAM chips on the back.

Intel 750 1.2TB bACK

Our sample also came with both the HHHL and full length PCIe slot brackets. The top of the heat sink lists the 750’s information from serial number and capacity to firmware revision. It also states that this product was assembled in China. The PCIe bracket has holes in it to allow for better airflow and cooling. The heat sink includes airway grooves as well to aid with heat dissipation.

Once we remove the heat sink from the 750′ we get a close look at just how much this SSD mirrors the other Intel DC P3000 series SSDs. There are 18 NAND packages and three DRAM packages on this side.

Intel 750 1.2TB PCB and Heatsink Below we can also see two 330V Nichicon UD Series aluminum electrolytic capacitors that ensure that, in the case of an unexpected power-loss, in-flight data can be written to the NAND and your data is safe.

Intel 750 1.2TB Power-loss Caps

Taking a closer look at the controller, we can see that Intel is utilizing the same 18-channel flash controller (CH29AE41AB0) in the 750 as they are in the Intel DC P3700! Typically, SSD controllers range from 4-10 channels. By utilizing 18 channels Intel can take advantage of much more parallelism to allow for far greater speeds than we are used to seeing without the use of a complex RAID type configuration.

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe Controller

Intel is utilizing their own 20nm 128Gbit MLC NAND flash in this SSD’s design. There are 86 NAND die overall in 32 packages on the 1.2TB model. 18 of the packages have 4 die (64GiB), the other 14 have a single die (16GiB). Overall, there is a RAW capacity of 1,376GiB. Once formatted the user accessible space is 1.09TB.

Intel 750 1.2TB NAND Intel 750 1.2TB DRAM

 

The DRAM memory is Micron DDR3 operating at 1066MHz. The 400GB model has 1GB of DRAM while the 1.2TB has 2GB.

41 comments

  1. You guys are replacing my keyboard. I just drooled all over it

    • Haha, time for one of those water proof ones! Trust me, I found myself drooling uncontrollably after first receiving this SSD as well! I think that I even forgot how to speak for a bit.

      • Is it true that in the real world a user will notice no difference between an Intel 750 and a Samsung 850 pro or any other SSD for that mater?

      • It depends on what your real world use is. Everyone has different workloads. If you are editing media heavily such as video and 4K video for that matter, yes there is a difference. If you are just a power user who does a lot of typical desktop tasks you are better off with a SATA SSD.

      • So for a person with an overclocked 5820K, 16gb of ram, four 4 TB HDs full of movies, who plays games and reads the internet, a 400gb 750 would be a waste of $150 over a Samsung 850 pro 512gb? or should I just blow the $150? I am not the price sensitive.

      • Well…if you are one who likes the best and the fastest (evident by the OC), you might just have to have the 750 but, for what you describe, there will be no performance difference from the other SSD. Not being price sensitive, I’de be grabbing the 750 personally though…just sayin’.

      • It’s not going to help you with movies or surfing the web if you’re already running on SSD. It will benefit game loading times, but probably not by a noticeable amount.

        Also, a word of warning on the 5820K, it’s been crippled to only have 28 PCIe lanes. Which means if you’re ever thinking of Crossfire/SLI on your graphics card then may start running out of lanes.

        If you’re looking for a sensible decision, this isn’t it – but then, Haswell-E is probably not that sane either (I’ve got one, so I’m with you on that).

  2. So my revodrive 3 x2 failed a few days ago and I was eyeing the p3700 but its a bit pricey. Is there a good reason not to consider this thing now?

    • Up to you and your uses. The P3600 is rated for faster reads and writes, but a bit lower random writes. Then if you look at the endurance rating the P3600 is rated for 3 drive writes per day up to nearly 11PB TBW…not 219TB TBW. So the P3600 annihilates it in endurance if you need that for your workflow.

      • Its a solid point on the endurance. Its for a workstation so I might trade in this case I might favor the p3600 but it’s pretty amazing that tech has gotten to the point where this is even a decision.

        Thanks for the note and great input as always!

      • No problem, good luck with your decision!

  3. If you actually are running workstation loads then this might be useful otherwise judging by the real world benchmarks I’ve seen elsewhere this is a waste of money.

  4. The 2.5-inch form factor model interests me. It says it ships with an add-on card? Is the SSD tethered to this card or can we use other SAS/Sata Express cards from LSI to power this thing?

    • It comes with a SFF-8639 to SF-8643 cable. It is only compatible with a PCIe adapter of some sort such as an M.2 to SFF-8643. Currently the only supported motherboard for this SSD is the Asus X99 Sabertooth as it comes with an M.2 to SFF-8643 adapter. It will not work with SAS cards.

  5. Hi, can anyone help to verify how fast was the boot up timing as I get a wide range of result for the boot up timing.

    Techreport review claim 51 sec boot up which is slowest in all SSD and TT also claim that 750 is noticeable slower, yet the review here mentioned single digit boot up.

    Just how fast? Any software to keep the exact timing?

    • I had 9 seconds boot in the Z97 test system from power off to on after optimizing everything.

      • Hmmm so is about as fast as SATA drive, but just not much faster?

      • Yeah, just about the same. The Samsung 850 Pro 128GB I have as the OS Drive normally boots from power off to desktop in about 8-10 seconds…even a bunch of other SSDs I’ve tested boot about the same.

      • Well then, I guess this drive need some firmware update to really boost up the boost speed. Probably better future bios update as well.

    • I suspect most of the delay in boot these days with SSD are BIOS/UEFI initialisations and or driver issues with Windows. All of which could vary from system to system.

  6. How about testing 2-4 of these in a raid?

  7. What an incredible piece of tech! I can’t find a single retailer that has them in Canada! I was going to get a 730 series, but now, I’ll get the 750 for a few bucks more!

    Not many people talk about the flush-in-flight power loss protection, but this is a very rare feature on consumer SSDs and I really appreciate.

  8. So how does this compare to the Kingstone HyperX Predator that you recently reviewed and I recently purchased?!

  9. I second GE, how does this compare with the HyperX and some of the other high-end consumer pci-e solutions such as the G.skill phoenix and Mushkin Scorpion? What are the pros and cons? (other than a slightly lower $or£/gb)

    • There are a number of things that differentiate the Intel NVMe SSD from previous solutions, the first of which is the fact that the NVMe driver is part and parcel to Win 8 and above. What this means to boot times is that there is not a lengthy drive bios having to initiate prior to that of the motherboard. Because there are also less commands associated with NVMe, it naturally runs cooler at higher speeds and the best example we have seen of this so far is the performance of the newest Samsung M.2 SSD which reaches performance previously not possible without a heat sink on a M.2 drive. Lastly, performance is very much limited, even in a PCIE 3.0 x4 setup and the IOPs pulled off by this SSD without effort is the true reality of NVMe. Imagine that before long, we will be seeing ultra books such as the MBA pushing selling with performance specs above 2GB/s and similar IOPs which is absolute gold to those working with media, especially 4K video and higher.

  10. I am currently new to NVMe technology and trying to get a feel of it.I am looking forward to use NVMe SSD. But currently in dilemma as NVMe SSD is same as PCIe SSD?

    Also currently I am using SAS SSD in AHCI mode. Do I need any specific hardware/software to use it on my system (Fedora 20, kernel 3.13, RAM 4 GB).

    • NVMe, as alluded to in the article is the protocol your OS talks to the drive in – currently we generally use AHCI.

      PCIe is a way of physically connecting the drive to your computer; currently we generally use SATA, before it was IDE.

      In terms of specific hardware, you’ll need a spare PCIe x4 (or greater) slot. If you want to be able to boot from it then your BIOS needs to be of the UEFI variety – if you have a X99 or Z97 chipset then you can be reasonably confident that you’ll be ok.

      I think Linux 3.13 will do it, but you’ll really want to go for 3.3 which has the Intel driver in the kernel.

  11. The big question for me is just, can I boot it? I’ve got a Z87 based system (Gigabyte Sniper M5) and was really tempted by the HyperX, but this looks even better…

  12. Samsung Starts Producing 3.2-Terabyte NVMe SSD Based on 3D V-NAND for Next-generation Enterprise Servers
    Seoul, Korea on Sep. 25. 2014

    The newly introduced 3.2TB NVMe SSD provides a sequential read speed of 3,000 megabytes per second (MB/s) and writes sequentially at up to 2,200MB/s. It also randomly reads at up to 750,000 IOPS (input output operations per second) and writes randomly at up to 130,000 IOPS.

    In addition, the 3.2TB SM1715 features outstanding reliability with 10 DWPDs (drive writes per day) for five years. This provides a level of reliability that enterprise server manufacturers have been requesting for their high-end storage solutions.

    The SM1715 comes in 1.6TB and 3.2TB versions, adding more NVMe options to a 2.5-inch NVMe XS1715 lineup that includes 800GB and 1.6TB versions.

    https://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/news-events/press-releases/detail?newsId=13701

  13. Oddbjørn Kvalsund

    I just recieved my 750 yesterday and soon found myself slightly bummed out by the lacking NVMe BIOS-support in my ASUS P8Z77-V motherboard. I managed to get the drive working (albeit non-bootable) by placing it in the black PCIe 2.0 slot of the mainboard, but this is hardly a long term solution. I posted a question to the https://pcdiy.asus.com/ website regarding possible future support for these motherboards and this morning they had publised a poll to check the interest for BIOS/UEFI-support for NVMe’s. Please vote here if you (like me) would like to see this implemented! https://pcdiy.asus.com/2015/04/asus-nvme-support-poll-voice-your-opinion/

  14. Is it worth moving from 2x480GB 730 SSDs in raid 0 to a single 1.2TB 750?

  15. Would the TRIM work if I place 3x 750 in the server and make Windows software RAID5 with it ?

  16. This seems to be basically a low-durability P3500? It’s a bit cheaper than the P3500, but not by a lot.

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