Intel 750 Series 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Mixed Workload And Steady State Testing

Our mixed workload testing is described in detail here, and our steady state tests are described here.

Our sequential mixed workload test with a single worker pushes Intel's 750 Series to over 500 MB/s at a queue depth of two. The drive skips along in predictable increments as we increase the workload's intensity. By QD8 (a valid measuring point for multitasking environments), it steps away from Samsung's SM951, showing this product's datacenter pedigree.

In our random 4KB mixed test, the 750 Series needs an even more demanding workload to distinguish itself from the SM951. With 16 outstanding commands, you push a lot of data to and from the drive, and this workload only comes from professional software environments working with several files at once.

Sequential Steady State Performance

The steady state mixed workload test put the 750 Series behind OCZ's RevoDrive 480GB based on SandForce SF-2281 controllers. That particular processor fares really well in this environment, and the RevoDrive 350 uses four controllers in RAID 0. The 750 Series still tops all other single- and dual-controller products on the market today.

Random Write Steady State Performance

The enterprise lineage really shows in our steady state 100% random 4KB write test. In time, we hope to see a RAID 0 NVMe boot environment that would give this test a little more meaning. Still, the random write results not only represent best-in-class performance, but also the highest consistency. 

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  • mapesdhs
    Typo on the 1st page, it states, "Up To 22400 MB/s" for sequential read.
    Presumably that's supposed to be 2400. ;)

    Ian.

    PS. Would be handy to include just one good normal SATA SSD as
    a comparison reference, eg. 850 Pro 512GB.
  • CRamseyer
    Thanks Ian, we'll get the typo fixed ASAP.

    Let me see what I can do about putting a 2.5" performance drive in the charts. I'm building new charts now for PCIe-based devices.

    Looks for the other SM951 capacity sizes and Predator soon.
  • tridon
    Quote:
    PS. Would be handy to include just one good normal SATA SSD as a comparison reference, eg. 850 Pro 512GB.


    For those of us that don't have these number in our heads, I get no real sense of how fast this really is compared to my ssd.
  • unityole
    from what I see, intel with lower performance number is likely due to lower performance controller or flash or firmware, whichever it maybe we all know samsung like to clock controller/flash higher for better looking performance. reason that random write at QD1 is so fast probably because of NVMe. can't wait to see this go up against SM951 NVMe.
  • unityole
    Quote:
    For those of us that don't have these number in our heads, I get no real sense of how fast this really is compared to my ssd.


    from HDD to SSD you see the huge latency drop by about 50x, where as fastest SSD compare to ram is maybe 30-50x dependent on ram/ssd. with NVMe can look forward to at least another 3x loss in latency.

    basically it'll be so much more snappier than your ssd for sure.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Does this quote from page 5 apply to this card: "In time, we hope to see a RAID 0 NVMe boot environment that would give this test a little more meaning."

    Is this card bootable in Windows 10 or not?
  • CRamseyer
    I haven't tested it in Win 10 yet but I don't see MS going backwards with NVMe and not allowing it to boot.
  • ralanahm
    Hi thank you for the article. If you ever reviewed a Mushkin scorpion deluxe could it be added to the chart? it has 2000 MB/s. the top one is a four 480-ssd raid on a card.

    http://poweredbymushkin.com/catalog/36-scorpion-deluxe-pcie-ssd
  • Arabian Knight
    NVMe Samsung SM951 is coming soon . and I think it will outperform this card ;) ..
  • atheus
    Maybe it's just me (I doubt it) — when I see an article on something like this the biggest question on my mind is what exactly am I going to get from going with something like this for a system build rather than 2.5" SATA SSD at less than half the price. In order to understand that, I've got to go dig out another article with 2.5" SSD stats and compare them there. Please consider putting the most prevalent main drive option of today into the charts next time you pop out a NVMe article.
  • JoeMomma
    From what I have read about SSD speed, SATA3 is adequate for most people. A PCI-e storage or RAID will crush a 500Gb/s in benchmarks or workstation productivity apps pushing large file sizes. But for browsing, games and heavy use even Tom's tester said he could not "feel" the difference between a single SSD and a RAID that benchmarked much higher. Where I think NVMe shines is the ability to have a separate queue for each thread. I want the 400GB Intel 750 asap.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    1888934 said:
    I haven't tested it in Win 10 yet but I don't see MS going backwards with NVMe and not allowing it to boot.


    Thank you Chris.
  • jasonkaler
    What happens when you exceed the "70 GB Per Day" "endurance" ?
    At 1200 MB/s - that happens in one minute flat.
  • danlw
    What exactly is "Service Time"? I read the TomsHardware article "How We Test HDDs And SSDs", but I'm still fuzzy on "Service Time". Using Battlefield 3 / WoW, for example, are those times how long it takes for the game to load? (I'm pretty sure Wow loads for me much faster than 57 seconds for me) What I'd like to see is a "Load Time" chart. Will an Intel 750 boot windows and load games faster than the other SSDs in the chart? That's where the value is for me - reducing load times.
  • JQB45
    Quote:
    What happens when you exceed the "70 GB Per Day" "endurance" ? At 1200 MB/s - that happens in one minute flat.


    It will be fine so long as you don't do it to often. So write once to the drive and then as little as possible for the life of the drive and it will last a long time.
  • Larry Litmanen
    What will be the boot time with this thing? 10 seconds? 5 seconds?
  • kiniku
    Quote:
    PS. Would be handy to include just one good normal SATA SSD as a comparison reference, eg. 850 Pro 512GB.

    Quote:
    For those of us that don't have these number in our heads, I get no real sense of how fast this really is compared to my ssd.

    Yes. On all these sites it seems new SSD reviews these days contain droves of benchmark results and in the final words or conclusions it states something as ambiguous as "this is really fast!" Most of us already own an SSD. How about we move on from the magnetic drive era and give us SSD enthusiasts a conclusion. For example I enjoy the "diminished returns" comments in the monthly best CPU articles.
  • unityole
    some people would be ok with just a 2.5" sata SSD. for people that are getting this, considering you are on a sata III ssd and you are trying to explain its just much better to have it over a sata I but they just wont budge because they dont think the difference is worth the cost, and they do have a point. sometimes its unnecessary to upgrade but we do it anyway.

    right now these pcie cost a lot, and it'll drop overtime, first it'll be 2.5" hopefully we see some tlc at 4TB a piece at 7 or 9.5mm, follow by these nvme ssd become available for majority of notebook.

    sata III compare to sata I is around 3 to 3.5x of sequential read/write performance, 4k increases by around 2-3x, and due to older gen SATA I ssd with older flash/controller/firmware etc, latency is about 2-3x higher. NVMe compare to sata III is about the same.
  • Eggz
    Here's the Tom's review I've been waiting for! Great review!

    I am curious to know more about the "heavy conditioning" mentioned on the second-to-last page. It says that heavy conditioning the 750 changes the game entirely, but what exactly did achieving that entail?
  • danlw
    Toms, you may want to investigate boot times. I read a review on another site, and the Intel 750 took significantly longer to boot than standard SATA drives - on the order of 10+ seconds longer to boot. I wonder if this was a configuration issue, or something about NVMe is not conducive to fast boots?