Performance Consistency

We've been looking at performance consistency since the Intel SSD DC S3700 review in late 2012 and it has become one of the cornerstones of our SSD reviews. Back in the days many SSD vendors were only focusing on high peak performance, which unfortunately came at the cost of sustained performance. In other words, the drives would push high IOPS in certain synthetic scenarios to provide nice marketing numbers, but as soon as you pushed the drive for more than a few minutes you could easily run into hiccups caused by poor performance consistency. 

Once we started exploring IO consistency, nearly all SSD manufacturers made a move to improve consistency and for the 2015 suite, I haven't made any significant changes to the methodology we use to test IO consistency. The biggest change is the move from VDBench to Iometer 1.1.0 as the benchmarking software and I've also extended the test from 2000 seconds to a full hour to ensure that all drives hit steady-state during the test.

For better readability, I now provide bar graphs with the first one being an average IOPS of the last 400 seconds and the second graph displaying the standard deviation during the same period. Average IOPS provides a quick look into overall performance, but it can easily hide bad consistency, so looking at standard deviation is necessary for a complete look into consistency.

I'm still providing the same scatter graphs too, of course. However, I decided to dump the logarithmic graphs and go linear-only since logarithmic graphs aren't as accurate and can be hard to interpret for those who aren't familiar with them. I provide two graphs: one that includes the whole duration of the test and another that focuses on the last 400 seconds of the test to get a better scope into steady-state performance.

Steady-State 4KB Random Write Performance

Given the higher over-provisioning and an enterprise-oriented controller, it's no surprise that the SSD 750 has excellent steady-state random write performance. 

Steady-State 4KB Random Write Consistency

The consistency is also very good, although the SSD 750 can't beat the 850 Pro if just focusing on consistency. When considering that the SSD 750 provides nearly three times the performance, it's clear that the SSD 750 is better out of the two. 

Intel SSD 750 1.2TB (PCIe 3.0 x4 - NVMe)

At the initial cliff the performance drops to around 15K IOPS, but it quickly rises and seems to even out at about 22-23K IOPS. It actually takes nearly an hour for the SSD 750 to reach steady-state, which isn't uncommon for such a large drive but it's still notable. 

I couldn't run tests with added over-provisioning because NVMe drives don't support the usual ATA commands that I use to limit the LBA of the drive. There is similar command set for NVMe as well, but I'm still trying to figure out how to use them as there's isn't too much public info about NVMe tools.

Intel SSD 750 1.2TB (PCIe 3.0 x4 - NVMe)
Introduction, The Drive & The Test AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer
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  • Ethos Evoss - Saturday, April 4, 2015 - link
  • Brazos - Monday, April 6, 2015 - link

    Does the Plextor use NVMe?
  • Sushisamurai - Saturday, April 4, 2015 - link

    I mentioned this on twitter with you already, but Dead Rising 3 on a HDD versus a NVMe SSD comparison would be nice :) would save me the work of doing it and testing it on my own :p
  • AntonAM - Monday, April 6, 2015 - link

    I don't understand why both drives have the same endurance if one of them have 3 times more flash? Is it endurance of something else?
  • emn13 - Monday, April 6, 2015 - link

    The endurance figure is also *really* low compared to other drives - it works out to around 128TB of total writes - that's on the order of 50 times less than an 850Pro (which is slightly smaller).

    I'm hoping this is just a really stingy guarrantee, and not representative of the actual drive - otherwise I'd really, recommend against using it.

    I mean, running the anandtech destroyer benchmark with its close to 1TB of writes would use up your write-allowance for the next two weeks (put another way, it's cost around 10$ in relation to the 1k drive cost).

  • edved - Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - link

    So how does this compare to the Kingstone HyperX Predator that was recently reviewed and I recently purchased?!
  • eliz82 - Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - link

    any chance of testing Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe SSD ?
  • SanX - Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - link

    Put down the drain all flash trash and start making full power loss protected ramdrives with flash/harddrive backup. Would be cheap by this time if not slow selfdedtroying flash garbage lying on the way.
  • gospadin - Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - link

    In other words, 100x the cost for a marginal improvement in performance?
  • Rustang - Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - link

    1) Why would you post a review of a Intel SSD 750 PCIe SSD solution without benchmarking it against the other state of the art Intel PCIe SSD Intel DC P3700 solution?

    2) Why would you put up sequential/random read/write graphs with pull-downs to display the different hardware results instead of efficiently putting all of the hardware results on ONE graph?

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