Skip to main content

Intel 750 Series 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Intel is still playing by the 2014 playbook, re-purposing datacenter technology to fit your desktop and budget. This time, the company is reaching for its top-shelf controller technology to guarantee a winner.

Final Thoughts

Intel has brought a lot of innovation to the storage market. Its 10-channel X25-M was one of the first real enthusiast SSDs, and that was a play on the enterprise-oriented X25-E (without the SLC flash, of course). It was actually disappointing to see Intel back off the desktop with its SSD 510, sporting a Marvell controller. Several products with SandForce processors followed. Last year, Intel's SSD 730 revisited the original formula: use an enterprise-class controller in a client drive to enable superior performance. Those more robust components often consume more power, but offer enhanced reliability and performance. The SSD 750 follows the same recipe, and once again Intel has the fastest consumer SSD available today.

Weighing heavily on my judgement of the SSD 750 is the fact that you need a certain type of workload to extract maximum performance. NVMe is a great step forward, but the new command set doesn't improve performance at low queue depths as much as we expected. That's evident when we see Samsung's SM951 outperforming the SSD 750 in many tests that use lighter workloads. It's a lot like testing CPUs with multiple cores. Yes, you have access to more processing power when you need it for threaded applications. However, most of the time two cores are enough to get the job done. You have to spend a lot on an eight-core Xeon processor, and you have to spend a lot for a 750 Series SSD. 

This is really where the missing capacity point hurts Intel. The 400GB model costs less than $400, and a number of enthusiasts will jump on it for that amazing performance. Those same enthusiasts already run high-capacity SSDs, which they load up with games and professional programs. The 1.2TB model we tested today comes at an Extreme Edition price point in excess of $1000. Enthusiasts will shy away from this price point and look for other options. Sadly, Intel isn't shipping the 800GB version that'd land in the middle.

Professional users running high-performance workstations for CAD, CAM, audio or video production can afford the Extreme Edition pricing. Fortunately, they're also in the best position to exploit the 750 Series' available performance. The 1.2 TBmodel is perfect for this type of user. It's more than 4x faster than the quickest 2.5" SATA SSD and costs less than several of the all-in-one RAID SSDs available today. The SSD 750 1.2TB is a drop-in solution to storage performance woes. In a world where time is real money, the SSD 750 pays back with interest. 

The 400GB model is at a real disadvantage when you take into account the faster Samsung SM951. We haven't tested the 400GB version yet, but we know its performance level is lower than what we just benchmarked.

Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Contact him as CRamseyer on the forums, and follow him on Twitter @chrisramseyer and on Facebook.

Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.


MORE: Best SSDs For The Money
MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDsMORE: Storage in the Forums
MORE: All Storage Articles

  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • tridon
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • unityole
    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.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • Arabian Knight
    NVMe Samsung SM951 is coming soon . and I think it will outperform this card ;) ..

    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply