Skip to main content

Intel SSD 910 Review: PCI Express-Based Enterprise Storage

Enterprise Workload Performance

The next set of tests simulates different enterprise workloads, including database, file server, Web server, and workstation configurations.

Our Iometer database workload (also categorized as transaction processing) involves purely random I/O. Its profile consists of 67% reads and 33% writes using 8 KB transfers.

The Intel SSD 910 starts to struggle compared to the R4 when it comes to mixed workload tests. Considering how close the two were in our random read benchmarks, we expected them to finish closer here. As it turns out, the R4 is two times faster at a queue depth of 16, and it pushes that margin to 3x at a queue depth of 64.

The file server profile is also completely random, but biased even more to read operations. The relative difference between the SSD 910 and R4 remains the same, 2x at a queue depth of 16 and 3x at a queue depth of 64.

With a workload set to 100% random reads at various transfer sizes, the Intel SSD 910 is much more competitive, finishing slightly ahead of the R4 at lower queue depths. As queue depth increases, though, the R4 starts to pull away.


The workstation profile consists of 80% reads and 80% random operations. In this mixed workload, the R4 once again moves past the SSD 910 at higher queue depths.

  • that is one fast Sequential read speed. It to bad that they will be $1000+ market and out of reach of all but the server/ workstation crowd
    Reply
  • The OCZ is tested with compressible data? talk about best case scenario. what were the incompressible results like?
    Reply
  • s3anister
    PCI-E Solid State Storage is great but I can't help but wonder; where is the Memristor? The true performance gains to be had are with massive RAM-disks that aren't volatile.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    The most important and un-comparable factor here is 5 years later those Intel SSD's will still be functional, any other brand im surprised they last 5 months in normal machines with the failure rates i have seen first hand - OCZ, GSkill etc there all horrible i bought an Intel SSD for this reason - THEY WORK.

    Review sites never cover real world use - that is to live with it day in day out (reliability), its not all about raw speed and performance.
    Reply
  • ZakTheEvil
    Yeah, consumer SSD reliability is a bit of disappointment. At best they seem to be as reliable as hard drives.
    Reply
  • georgeisdead
    This is a note to address several articles I have come across lately that state intel's reputation for quality and reliability in the SSD market as if it is a given. These comments are from my personal experience with intel's drives. I have owned 3 intel solid state drives, one X25-M G1, and two X25-M G2's. The X25-M G1 failed after 2 years while one of the G2 drives failed after 2.5 years. Now, I am not an expert on MTBF and reliability, but in my opinion this is a pretty poor track record. It is entirely possible that this is a coinicidence, however both drives failed in the same manner, from the same problem (determined by a third party data recovery specialist): Bad NAND flash.

    As best I understand it as it was descibed by the company that analyzed these failed drives, a block of NAND flash either went bad or became inaccessible by the controller rendering the drives useless and unable to be accessed by normal means of hooking it up to a SATA or USB port. Two drives, different NAND (50 nm for the G1 and 34 nm for the G2), same failure mode.

    Once again, this is not definitive, just my observations but to me, I think review sites need to be a little more cautious about how they qualify intel's reputation for quality and reliability because from my perspective, intel has neither and I have since began using crucial SSD's. Hopefully, I will see much longer life from these new drives.
    Reply
  • jdamon113
    I would like to see something like this stacked in our EMC, Could this drive with a rack of othere just like it, run 24/7 for 3 + years, Sure we replace a drive here and there in our EMC, but the unit as a whole has never went down in its 5 year life.
    Intel, you should test these drive in that real world application. EMC, VM-ware and several data bases carve out some LUN's and Push the envelope. In this situation, should the device prove worthy, the 4000 price tag will come down very fast, and the data center will put it trust in product, So for those reading this for your personal home workstation and gaming ridge, you need not apply in this arena.
    Intel is just about 18-months 2 years of owning the data center, Even EMC is powered by intel.
    Reply
  • jaquith
    Enterprise e.g. SQL you need SLC otherwise you'd be making a career replacing drives. The cost is down time and replacement. I can write more 'stuff' but it's that simple. For our IDX and similar read data it about reliability and capacity.
    Reply
  • willard
    razor7104that is one fast Sequential read speed. It to bad that they will be $1000+ market and out of reach of all but the server/ workstation crowdThat's because this was not designed for consumers. It's not like they're marking the price up 1000% for shits and giggles. Enterprise hardware costs more to make because it must be much faster and much more reliable.

    This drive, and every other piece of enterprise hardware out there, was never meant to be used by consumers.
    Reply
  • drewriley
    jimbob rubaeThe OCZ is tested with compressible data? talk about best case scenario. what were the incompressible results like?
    Check out the Sequential Performance page, lists both compressible and incompressible. For all the other tests, random (incompressible) data was used.
    Reply