Samsung XP941 NGFF M.2 PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 – Worlds Smallest SSD Combination Hits 2GB/s

TSSDR M.2 PCIE TEST BENCH

XP941 RAID Test Bench

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This new PCIe Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to be quiet, Corsair, Crucial, Intel, EVGA and InWin for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Maximus VI Z87 MotherBoard
CPU:
Intel Core i7-4770K CPU
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100i CPU Cooler
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD:
EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

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BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities, and PCMark Vantage.  In consumer reports, 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, also, to provide validation to results already obtained.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

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.

RAID XP941 ATTO

Performance highs of 2.1GB/s read and 1.7GB/s write of both Samsung XP941 M.2 PCIe SSDs displays perfect scaling with double the performance expected from a single 256GB capacity.  The gradual and steady increase in performance, parallel to file size, also demonstrates a very strong setup.

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0 X64

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of highly compressible data (oFill/1Fill), or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible.

RAID XP941 CDM

Crystal DiskMark didn’t fare as well as ATTO Disk BenchMark which was a bit odd as Samsung SSDs were created for testing in incompressible data samples.  As a result of this test, we repeated it while testing with compressible data and there was no appreciable difference observed.

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.6

Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it uses incompressible data.  AS SSD, for the most part, gives us the ‘worst case scenario’ in SSD transfer speeds because of its use of incompressible data and many enthusiasts like to AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

RAID XP941 AS SSD BenchRAID XP941 AS SSD IOPSAS SSD seems to display the strength of this RAID 0 configuration once again as it pushes performance to over 2GB/s.   We found both the Total Score and IOPS a bit low considering. As well, some incredible speeds were reached when tests were done in AS SSD Copy Benchmark:

RAID XP941 AS SSD Copy Bench

18 comments

  1. Thanks for the review.
    “two 128GB XP941 M.2 SSDs […] for a 256GB solution capable of 2GB/s performance”.
    It either makes 256GB (no raid 0) or 2GB/s performance (raid 0), but not both.

    • Maybe one of us is misunderstanding… In RAID 0, two 128GB SSDs total 256GB and are in RAID, so will hit RAID speeds. Much the same as we see here where 2x 256GB SSDs total 512GB (RAW) and give us RAID speeds.
      And tx for checking the review out!

  2. So in order to boot a pcie ssd, assuming that they will come out eventually with no RAID chips as they do today, you need new BIOS?
    I mean native PCI Express controller with AHCI or even better NVMe protocols.

    • I am not an expert here but right now, enabling a PCIe card as a boot drive means that it must be recognized before the system bios in a separate BIOS. Each and every PCIe we have tested have been recognized before the system bios. Having said that, we have plug in SATA adapter cards and we believe it enables the drive on that card to install within the systm BIOS through AHCiI/SATA.

      Although the XP941 is recognized automatically and reappears as a drive once the system is live, it is not recognized as a boot drive anywhere in the initial BIOS.

  3. Are all of the XP941 “editions” (the Vaio in this article, the MacBook Air one, etc.) PCIe x2 with only the dual-XP941 setup being x4? Thanks.

  4. Any idea when these are going to hit the gray market?

  5. I am new to SSD drives in general (but have been building PCs since they came out). I am planning a new build and was wondering if it’s safe to assume that the new Z97 motherboards due out next week with built in M.2 support should be able to load an M.2 SSD drive as a bootable drive? I’d like to use an M.2 SSD as my primary OS drive. Also, why does it seem the 2.5″ SSD drives of the same capacity are cheaper than the M.2 “raw” drives? Seems like the M.2 drives would be cheaper with less hardware attached.

  6. If I follow your article correctly, you need to use 2 cards, 1 for each M.2 SSD? so 2 PCIx4 slots?
    Also I am guessing you set the raid up through windows (I have only done raid on hardware cards). What sort of load does that put onto the CPU to transfer data at those sort of speeds while in raid 0?

  7. Asus x99 deluxe motherboard has a M2 SLOT. How to do a RAID0
    Can a M2 slot combine with pcle express slot.
    I XT

  8. Is it too much to ask for a bootable ssd raid array that will saturate the 32gb/S M.2 ultra bus on the Asrock X99 extreme fatal1ty?

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