Intel P3700 NVMe SSD Installed In a Win 8.1 Consumer PC – Drivers Benched


The TSSDR SSD Optimization Guide is one of the most popular in the world and one of its first recommendations is to ensure your drivers are up to date.  Our installation of the Intel P3700 NVMe SSD was a perfect example of this as there is a native driver in Windows 8.1, and another was supplied with the P3700 SSD.  Let’s Compare!


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 P3700 ATTO Stock Dvr


Intel P3700 ATTO Intel Dvr

Taking a close look at these ATTO results, we can see that write performance kicks in much faster with the Intel driver, more than doubling the write performance at the 4K and 8K level.  This plays a key role in what we might see at the OS level in typical use.


The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance.  For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Stock NVMe driver results are displayed on the left while the Intel NVMe driver results are on the right.

Intel P3700 ASSD Bench Stock DriverIntel P3700 NVME AS SSD Intel DriverThese initial AS SSD results are an excellent example of understanding the task at hand when configuring your storage device.  The stock driver on the left displays much higher 4K-64Thrd write speeds and subsequent scores, whereas the Intel NVMe driver results provide us with far superior high sequential throughput.

Intel P3700 AS SSD IOPS Stock DriverIOPS Intel P3700 NVME AS SSD Bench Intel DriverSimilarly, take a look at the P3700 NVMe 4K-64Thrd write IOPS on the left.  I don’t think anyone expected to see 632151 IOPS from this SSD, including Intel themselves.

Intel P3700 ASSD Copy Bench Stock DriverIntel P3700 NVME AS SSD Copy Bench Intel DriverLast but not least, we take a look at the AS SSD Copy Benchmark where the Intel NVMe SSD driver has a clear break on the stock driver found in Windows 8.


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    Many, many thanks for reviewing it this way too & sharing all these great details!!!

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    It would be nice if you posted a similar review for installation on Centos 6.5 or Centos 7 server. I’m particularly interested if this will allow SWAP space to be used on SSD as an acceptable use to not loading my database servers up with lots of more expensive DRAM.

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    Les, I’m not real clear on something. You stated that you had to use CSM mode, but then it sounded like you figured out that you didn’t need it. Can you clarify for us?

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      I have an ASRock Z87M OC Formula and I am trying to figure out if it will boot this drive. I understand the Z97 board you are using will, but hoping I won’t have to upgrade this board that is only a few months old.

      I also understand that this would take away a couple of PCI channels from my video card and I am not sure how that will affect my video performance.

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      No… you need CSM, or a similar mode that will utilize UEFI for the primary boot device. Its a must. In the ASRock board, it is accomplished through CSM. What I intended to say was that, before I did the Win8 install, I had already set the board at CSM/UEFI.

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    the writer didn’t do his homework very well. Dell has been shipping the XS1715 2.5″ PCIe-SSDs under the Dell PowerEdge Express Flash name since March. BTW, Dell is still the only major server company shipping PCIe-SSDs

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    Could you post what it gives for score with Firefox browser?

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    Great review, thx!

    >The stock driver on the left displays much higher 4K-64Thrd write speeds and subsequent scores, whereas the Intel NVMe driver results provide us with far superior high sequential throughput.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but for a development workstation (Multiple VMs, Visual Studio, SQL Server, etc.) the Windows’ stock driver looks like a better choice!?

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    “Installation of Windows 8.1 took a mind boggling 3 minutes”
    Whats mind boggling about that? How slow it is?
    My last install of Windows 8.1 took 90 seconds, on a 4 year old SSD. Don’t tell you you are still using optical drives? Try installing from a decent USB stick, dude!

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    Windows 8.1 was easy to install on my Rampage IV extreme. Just be sure to switch to UEFI and turn the compatibility feature off. The drive will not show up in the BIOS, but Windows Setup will see the drive. Also worth noting – the card comes with a small form factor bracket which is inadequate for installation in a standard cases (or even some 4U chassis with full size slots.) I was able to re-purpose the IO shield from an Intel SATA/SAS RAID controller. Be careful when doing this. The bracket I used was off a RT3WB080 RAID controller. They used to have both brackets standard with RAID controllers – I guess they stopped doing this or maybe they sell them separate.

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    Hi !
    It seems that the p3700 keep cool without any fan since its an open case This is good , but what if it got under heavy load , did you have the chance to test that ?
    My home server is open case like yours with an atx motherboard with an air cooled cpu , but no other hot components at all. Room temperature is about 18 Celsius = 68 F.

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    Dear Les the intel DC P3600 400GB SSD, boots with Win 7 Pro 64-bit with two systems I have based on ASrock X99M-Killer and ASUS Maximus VII Ranger motherboards . Also
    on the ASrock m/b I tested both PCIe 3.0 x16, PCIe 2.0 x4 slots , it is 3 times faster in the PCIe 3.0 slot in reading 2.1GB/s to 0.7Gb/s (ATTO Benchmark)

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    Hey Les, For windows 7, you may need CSM… but for windows 8.1, CSM can be disabled right? CSM is a module to support UEFI for Win 7. (As I understand it) Windows 8.1 should install with CSM disabled (hence FORCE UEFI mode)… Unless your GFX card is legacy…

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