A Closer Look at Intel SSD 750 Series
We purchased the Intel SSD 750 400GB at Newegg and picked it up at the warehouse located just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. We know Intel sells a retail boxed model because we've seen it on Newegg's site, and we hoped to get that version.
The SSD 750 400GB we purchased is the add-in card model that plugs into PCI Express. The controller supports PCIe 3.0 x4 natively, but you can use the drive with older versions of PCIe as well. Its performance just won't be as high.
Also, the card's four-lane interface will run just fine in x8 and x16 slots, if you have them. We suggest reading your board's manual to figure out the best place to plug the SSD 750 in, avoiding shared links, those behind bridges or attached to the PCH. Optimal performance comes from PCIe lanes attached directly to the CPU. Even X99-based platforms are subject to variation; in our X99 system, we observed one slot that only delivered 800 MB/s sequential read performance.
The 400GB model only requires 100 LFM of cooling. The 1.2TB model requires three times that amount, though we didn't run into any issues testing either drive in a system with basic cooling. The SSD 750s will run cooler in a case with positive air pressure, resulting from more air coming in than the exhaust fans can push out. The pressure pushes air past the passive heat sink, where it is exhausted through the rear plate that is perforated for this purpose.
We pulled the drive apart for this review, but suggest you don't dismantle yours. The pink discs are thermal pads, and it's possible to pull the NAND and DRAM packages off the PCB on accident.
We were surprised to see each pad filled with flash packages. When asked, Intel told us the 400GB model uses half the number of controller channels and half the DRAM of the 1.2TB model. The 400GB still populates all of the available spaces for flash, though. This is why it's still nearly as fast as the higher-capacity model.
The brown-box package we received includes a half-height, half-length adapter. These are often used in 2U server cases where the overall system height is restricted to 3.5 inches. Surprisingly, the SSD 750 didn't ship with drivers, so you'll have to download the latest software from Intel's website.