Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

It has become clear that simply conducting endless
benchmarks on SSD drives is pointless. Real users may run a few benchmarks when
they first fit their SSD drive, but most users just want a drive that performs
well in the real world. They want their drive to work "out of the
box" and run fast and smoothly.

Most of the latest SSD drives can deliver very fast
sustained reading and writing speeds, but these alone tell you very little
about how the drive will perform in the real world.

If you intend to use your SSD as your primary system drive,
with an operating system and applications installed and running from the drive,
real world performance becomes much more important than just fast sequential
read and write speeds.

Real world copy
tests

I will now conduct a few real world copy tests. These tests
simulate what real people do with their drives. I will be conducting writing
tests, using a large single file, and I will then round off the tests by
copying a folder of MP3 audio files, and also a folder of JPG pictures.

In past reviews I simply used Windows copy and paste to copy
the files from one drive to the target drive, and then I measured the time
taken to complete the test with a stop watch. This method was flawed in a
couple of ways. Windows employs a cache, so even when the files had been
copied, some of the data was still in the Windows cache and hadn’t yet been
written to the SSD. The other flaw was that a stop watch is not a very accurate
way of measuring the time taken to complete the test.

I had also noticed that copying the small file set had
become pointless, as most modern SSDs have a rather large cache, in fact large
enough to be able to take the complete file set in this cache without having to
commit that data to NAND before the test had completed. I could have increased
the amount of data in the test, but I felt this was moving away from the real
world. For example, who would copy 2GB of data containing only very small
files?

I concluded it was perhaps better just to drop this test
completely, and just focus on the large 8GB ISO file, the folder of MP3 audio
files, and the folder of JPG picture files. I also have taken the opportunity
to increase the amount of data to be copied in the MP3 and JPG tests, to make
sure the SSD’s memory cache doesn’t obtain an unfair advantage.

The other change is that I now use an application to copy
the data, which also times how long it takes to complete the test. This application
also supports "cache write-through". What this basically means is,
there is now no caching of the files, and instead the data being copied must be
committed to the target SSD as it’s being copied.

Obviously making such changes to the methods of testing is
not taken lightly. To make changes means a lot of extra work, as all the
comparison drives have to be re-tested with the new method. However, here at
Myce.com, we believe we should always try to improve our reviews, and if that
means updating the testing methods and some initial extra work, then that benefits
the Myce community as a whole.

For the reading drive, I have made the switch to a RAMDisk.
With SATA Express and NVMe PCIe SSDs just around the corner, the OCZ REVODrive
X2 would no longer be fast enough to supply data to a SATA Express or NVMe PCIe
SSDs. Because RAM has lower latency and higher transfer speeds when compared to
an SSD, this has meant having to rerun the tests on a selection of other SSDs
to make sure the results are up to date. Please note, that some SSDs which were
on loan during the review period, has meant that these SSDs still use the old
results, simply because I can’t retest them.

For the tests themselves, I will show a screenshot of the
copy test for the SSD that I’m reviewing. All other results will be presented
in the form of a graph, so you can easily compare the results.  

Single large file writing test (8144.6MB)

For this test I used a single DVD9 ISO file which had been
copied to the RAMDisk. The file was then copied to the Intel 750 NVMe SSDs and
our comparison drives.

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB
SSD

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

The Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB SSD has outstanding sequential
writing performance, and finishes this test in first spot.


Write a folder of JPG picture files.

For this test I copied a folder of JPG picture files from
the RAMDisk to the Intel 750 NVMe series SSDs, and our other comparison drives.
The folder contained 7861 JPG pictures, with a total capacity of 8410.3MB.

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB
SSD

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Once again the Intel 750 NVMe SSD is performing exceptionally
well, and is comfortably the fastest SSD in this test.


Write a folder of MP3 audio files.

For this test I copied a folder of MP3 audio files from our RAMDisk
to the Intel 750 NVMe SSD series SSD and our other comparison drives. The
folder contained 1691 MP3 audio files, with a total capacity of 9176.5MB.

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB
SSD

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Yet again the Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB SSD is performing exceptionally
well, and is by far the fastest SSD in this test.


Single drive copy tests

These tests are to simulate a single drive in a PC or
laptop. In other words, I will copy a series of files from one folder on the
tested drive to another folder on the same drive. This means the drive is simultaneously
reading and writing during the tests. I also want to make this a realistic test,
so I have used a folder of MP3 music files, and then repeated the test with a
folder of JPG picture files.

Single drive copy tests – 1,691 MP3 song files (9176.5MB total)

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB
SSD

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

In this test the SSD has to read and write data. We already
know that the Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB SSD has outstanding mixed reading and
writing performance, so it’s no surprise to see the Intel 750 NVMe SSD finish
this test at the top of the table.

Single drive copy tests – 7,861 JPEG picture files (8410.3MB total)

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB
SSD

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

It’s the same story. The Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB SSD is the
fastest SSD in this test.

Summary

It is quite clear from these real world copy tests that the
Intel 750 NVMe SSD is an outstanding performer, with the low latency NVMe
protocol helping things along nicely.

Installing applications


Installing applications is possibly something you don’t do
that often. But should you replace your system disk, then you will most likely
have to re-install your applications. Most of the SSD drives I have tested up
until now are quite slow at installing applications, most likely because their
I/O performance was quite limited.

For these tests, we picked some popular applications and
copied the entire contents of the CD or DVD media to a RAMDisk. We did this to
make sure that the reading speed of our CD/DVD reader would not hamper the
performance of the target drive.

We then installed these applications onto our comparison drives,
which were all running mirror image installations of our Windows 8 Professional
64-bit installation, and timed the amount of time taken to install the
application with a stopwatch on each of the drives.

MS Office 2007 Professional (full install)

MS Office is one of those applications that make you cringe
at the thought of re-installing it.

Let’s find out how our drives coped with the MS Office 2007
full install.

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

The Intel 750 NVMe SSD gave an excellent turn of speed when
installing this large office suite, and finished the test in first place.


Adobe Fireworks CS3

Adobe Fireworks CS3 is another popular package. Let’s find
out how our drives coped with installing this application.

Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

There isn’t a huge margin in the amount of time taken to
install this application on our modern PCIe SSDs. However, the Intel 750 NVMe   1.2TB
SSD finishes this test in first place.


Summary

Our real world tests, though not scientific in nature, I
feel are more realistic than simply running benchmarks. What is clear from these
tests is that the Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB SSD has outstanding performance in the
real world.

Let’s check out application and game loading performance
on the next page of this article…..