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

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

The Intel 750 series is a storage enthusiast’s dream come true and a penny savers nightmare, but who cares about those penny savers anyways? They have a wide variety of entry level SSD storage to choose from. The storage enthusiasts are the ones that really matter here. We want fast, faster than fast, and we want it yesterday! Well, the Intel 750 series is not only fast, it is a great value when looking at this segment of the market. For under $1 per GB you get a lot of bang for your buck. For SSDs such as this we like to say “just shut up and take my money!”

Intel 750 1.2TB AngledIntel is a bit like Mercedes Benz when it comes to the SSD market. With Mercedes their engine power ratings are usually on the more conservative side and often times they push out more power than the specs list. This goes the same for Intel, while they state that this beast of an SSD is rated for up to 2.4GB/s read and 440K IOPS we were able to achieve much higher speeds at nearly 2.7GB/s read and over 460K random read IOPS! During PCMark Vantage it achieved an all-time high score of 338K points! This is very impressive as the last highest score we’ve seen in this benchmark was less than half that!  In PCMark 8 we could see an apparent performance increase due to the PCIe and NVMe interface in terms of bandwidth and latency over some of the popular high-end SSD options in the market. Furthermore, during tested we found it pointless to do any type of temperature vs throughput testing as when put under our Iometer write workload for 1hr the PCB and heat sink were barely warm to the touch.

Overall, the Intel 750 series has a lot going for it. It is the first SSD to bring NVMe to consumer hands, as well as Intel’s first PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD for the client enthusiast and workstation market. We’ve seen it deliver great performance. It is available in capacities of 400GB and 1.2TB and two form factors, a 2.5″ form factor with a SFF-8639 connector as well as the HHHL add-in card form factor we tested today. It can be used as bootable storage. It utilizes NVMe for better performance and efficiency. It comes with support from Intel’s Toolbox. It is backed by a 5 year warranty and best of all it comes in at a great price point. It seems like this is the perfect SSD for the enthusiast, right?

Intel 750 1.2TB Detail

Now the cons. “Wait, there are cons? How can there be cons to something as magnificent as this?” Well yeah, just some because we had to be really picky. The main one we could think of is its endurance rating. Yes, 219TB written is quite a lot for a consumer SSD, however, this is a class leading enthusiast/workstation product. While not providing similar performance, we have seen a few SATA and M.2 SSDs with endurance ratings that dominate the Intel 750’s. Then when you think of the ratings that its P3000 series brothers have it is a bit of a letdown, however, if you do want more endurance simply step up to one of their enterprise class products. Furthermore, another con would be that this SSD is not available in an 800GB capacity as the gap between 400GB and 1.2TB is quite large and we are pretty sure that many would opt for the 800GB model if they could. Our final con is a very minor one, it is that this SSD is not bootable in legacy systems. This SSD requires UEFIs that are 2.3.1 or later, however, if you are in the market for something such as this you are going to pretty much have the latest and greatest of everything anyways. Besides that, we don’t have any more gripes with the Intel 750 given its market position.

Quite frankly the Intel 750 series is a game changer. Without using a complicated RAID type configuration the Intel 750 series delivers enthusiast class leading performance and Intel’s legendary reliability at under $1 per GB. If you are looking for very high performance at a very decent price, this SSD blows its competition out of the water. Without further ado, we would like to award the Intel 750 our Editor’s Choice award due to its value/performance ratio!

Check out the Intel 750 series on Amazon today!

Editors Choice-SSD copy Opt

Review Overview

Build and Components
SSD Performance
Price and Availability
Features
Warranty

NVMe in Consumer Hands

A storage enthusiast's dream come true. Intel is providing us near enterprise class storage for under $1 per GB. The Intel 750 series is not only a fast PCIe SSD, reaching near 2.7GB/s read and 1.3GB/s write during our testing, but it the first consumer PCIe NVMe SSD on the market and it sure is going to disturb the peace with it's value.

User Rating: 3.63 ( 23 votes)

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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