Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Test Setup, Benchmarks, And Methodology

Intel SSD DC S3700 Review: Benchmarking Consistency
By

With the recent announcement of the SSD DC S3700, Intel is firmly targeting enterprise customers with something not normally seen on spec sheets: performance consistency. Will their latest offering live up to expectations, or fall short? Lets find out.

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
Motherboard
Intel DX79SI, X79 Express
Memory
G.Skill Ripjaws Z-Series (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 @ DDR3-1600, 1.5 V
System Drive
Intel SSD 320 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
Tested Drives
Intel SSD DC S3700 200 and 800 GB, Firmware: 5DVA0138
Graphics
AMD FirePro V4800 1 GB
Power Supply
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700 W
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: ATI 8.883
Iometer 1.1.0# Workers = 4, 4 KB Random: LBA= Full Span varying Queue Depths


AS SSDv1.6437.30508

ATTOv2.47, 2 GB, QD=4

CustomC++, 8 MB Sequential, QD=4

Enterprise Testing: Iometer WorkloadsReadRandomTransfer Size
Database67%100%8 KB: 100%
File server80%100%512 Bytes: 10%
1 KB: 5%
2 KB: 5%
4 KB: 60%
8 KB: 2%
16 KB: 4%
32 KB: 4%
64 KB: 10%
Web server100%100%512 Bytes: 22%
1 KB: 15%
2 KB: 8%
4 KB: 23%
8 KB: 15%
16 KB: 2%
32 KB: 6%
64 KB: 7%
128 KB: 1%
512 KB: 1%


The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a working group made up of SSD, flash, and controller vendors, has produced a testing procedure that attempts to control as many of the variables inherent to SSDs as possible. SNIA’s Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification (SSS PTS) is a great resource for enterprise SSD testing. The procedure does not define what tests should be run, but rather the way in which they are run. This workflow is broken down into four parts:

  1. Purge: Purging puts the drive at a known starting point. For SSDs, this normally means Secure Erase.
  2. Workload-Independent Preconditioning: A prescribed workload that is unrelated to the test workload.
  3. Workload-Based Preconditioning: The actual test workload (4 KB random, 128 KB sequential, and so on), which pushes the drive towards a steady state.
  4. Steady State: The point at which the drive’s performance is no longer changing for the variable being tracked.

These steps are critical when testing SSDs. It is incredibly easy to not fully condition the drive and still see fresh-out-of-box behavior and think it is steady-state. These steps are also important when going between random and sequential writes.

For all performance tests in this review, the SSS PTS was followed to ensure accurate and repeatable results.

All tests employ random data, when available. Intel's SSD DC S3700 does not perform any data compression prior to writing, so there is no difference in performance based on data patterns.

Display all 7 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 5 Hide
    merikafyeah , January 31, 2013 6:57 AM
    Consistency and reliability are always more important to me than speed and capacity,
    but it's wonderful when you can have all four.

    Kudos to Intel for raising the bar yet again on SSD quality. Eagerly awaiting trickle-down effect.
  • 0 Hide
    adgjlsfhk , January 31, 2013 10:15 AM
    how does ssd power consumption compare to an hhd's in watts per gigabyte?
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , January 31, 2013 11:56 AM
    adgjlsfhkhow does ssd power consumption compare to an hhd's in watts per gigabyte?

    For conventional 3.5" HDDs, you have 5-8W idle, 10-15W seek and 15-25W spin-up.
    For 2.5" HDDs, you have ~1W idle and 2-2.5W seek/spin-up.

    I'm a little surprised at how much power Intel's enterprise SSDs are using. I'm guessing a good chunk of the reason comes from having extra circuitry to do the double-conversion from 5/12V to ~30V and then back down to whatever the SSD needs.
  • 1 Hide
    drewriley , January 31, 2013 12:32 PM
    InvalidErrorFor conventional 3.5" HDDs, you have 5-8W idle, 10-15W seek and 15-25W spin-up.For 2.5" HDDs, you have ~1W idle and 2-2.5W seek/spin-up.I'm a little surprised at how much power Intel's enterprise SSDs are using. I'm guessing a good chunk of the reason comes from having extra circuitry to do the double-conversion from 5/12V to ~30V and then back down to whatever the SSD needs.


    You nailed it. If you look at 2.5" 15K and 10K RPM drive, the Intel is better on W/GB, but it is pretty high when compared to other SSDs.
  • -1 Hide
    master9716 , January 31, 2013 1:13 PM
    Samsung aint gona mess around , they are going to bring this type of performance to Desktops watch .
  • 1 Hide
    sanilmahambre , January 31, 2013 5:53 PM
    So this is why they gave up on motherboards and concentrated more on SSD's! Believe me that trick worked wonders and a lot more money.. LOL
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 2, 2013 4:55 AM
    adgjlsfhkhow does ssd power consumption compare to an hhd's in watts per gigabyte?


    i am not sure if watt/GB is important for storage.
    Reason : the new philosophy is to "hurry up, finish the work, and relax".