House of Cards: PCIe SSD Performance Roundup @ [H]

FrgMstr

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House of Cards: PCIe SSD Performance Roundup - The new NVMe SSDs are now the de facto standard performance kings when it comes to accessing data on a desktop PC. However, there are more than a few other alternatives when it comes to PCIe attached SSD storage solutions. We take a look at how the other current PCIe SSDs on the market fare against NVMe and the best performing SATA.
 

nilepez

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I won't spend 800 on a 480 GB drive, but I look forward to win they're 200 (give or take).
 

hmp_goose

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Sir? Bootable by what? :confused:

One of these would be nice to have on an X58 mobo, but no-one wants to talk about those … :rolleyes:
 

GoodBoy

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Nice review.

I haven't jumped into the SSD world yet. Do they still have some of the problems of old, where the performance seemed to always degrade over time? Like 6 months after the install, the super fast booting had slowed? Do the benchmark results change over time?
 

drescherjm

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Do they still have some of the problems of old, where the performance seemed to always degrade over time?

In general no although a few models have had this behavior.
 

Teenyman45

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Two questions: 1) Don't these drives place a real limit on PCIe slot spacing when using several enterprise (or gaming) cards and trying to use any sort of RAID configuration?

2) How much slower would a 4TB WD Caviar Black or a Segate drive be in these application benchmarks?
 

Chris_Lonardo

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Sir? Bootable by what? :confused:

One of these would be nice to have on an X58 mobo, but no-one wants to talk about those … :rolleyes:

OPROMs on the cards = bootable by pretty much anything, just like RAID cards

Why not compare the m.2 SSDs, like the SM951?
Nobody gave us an SM951 yet :(

Nice review.

I haven't jumped into the SSD world yet. Do they still have some of the problems of old, where the performance seemed to always degrade over time? Like 6 months after the install, the super fast booting had slowed? Do the benchmark results change over time?
Just don't buy a Samsung 840 Evo and you're pretty much fine.

Two questions: 1) Don't these drives place a real limit on PCIe slot spacing when using several enterprise (or gaming) cards and trying to use any sort of RAID configuration?

2) How much slower would a 4TB WD Caviar Black or a Segate drive be in these application benchmarks?
1) They're only standard thickness, so no more of a constraint than any other regular add-in card.

2) MUCH slower. We'll probably test this eventually, but it's not even going to be fair.
 

jojo69

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wow, would be nice on the old X58 system...still pretty pricy though
 

atp1916

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It would be cool if the [H] could put up a crowd-funding type deal for related hardware (like say, the afformentioned SM951) that is not on hand (or owned) at the time of the review which would have been (or is) "nice to have" in the review. I'd throw in a couple bucks, even.

When the hardware is not deemed needed anymore, raffle it off (or something) back to the [H]orde. Perhaps it could be a DCr of the Month award? !

What do you think about this idea, Kyle?
 

Zion Halcyon

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I feel like these reviews really cater more to the content creation crowd.

I feel like these can be a bit misleading in terms of those of us enthusiasts just looking for a Hard drive that will allow faster boots and quicker loading of games.

Case in point, while you do take customer reviews with a grain of salt, people's impression of the Intel 750 who have bought it say that it doesn't noticeably improve the aspects gamers care about, and there are actually other drives that will boot faster and load games quicker based on older technology. The same owner reviews also state that where the card kills it is in content creation, and that is where you find out it is superior.

But for those of us who don't care about content creation, reviews like this can unintentionally mislead. Just putting that out there...
 

atp1916

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Role-oriented review criteria would be an interesting twist, but possibly an undue burden on the reviewers if the need isn't honestly there or even cared about.

Frankly, it is [H]'s job to present numbers (solid, factual) and the readers to view that data with the appropriate context. A review and its scope can only span so much.
 

Zion Halcyon

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Role-oriented review criteria would be an interesting twist, but possibly an undue burden on the reviewers if the need isn't honestly there or even cared about.

Frankly, it is [H]'s job to present numbers (solid, factual) and the readers to view that data with the appropriate context. A review and its scope can only span so much.

At the same time, mind where the review is at - an enthusiast site. Where people come to get reviews of how well the latest video card/processor/motherboard/ram can run their games and content.

I wouldn't be critical in the way I was had this been on a site for say, datacenters, or programmers, or even content creation enthusiasts.

But the issue is the review is being seen by say this many [____________________], when the portion that the review will actually ring true for would be this many [_____], leaving this many [_____________] to feel pissed off and mislead when they buy a Hard drive on a recommendation of how fast it is, and then don't even notice a difference from the Sata III SSD they just replaced because that is not what the Hard drive was made to do. That happens enough times, it can cause distrust of the reviewer and the site.

Just my 2 cents, but I do think there does need to be an aspect addressing the gamers in SSD reviews, so that a degree of parity can be attained between the 2 types of overall audiences that visit this site.
 

Patriot

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OPROMs on the cards = bootable by pretty much anything, just like RAID cards


Nobody gave us an SM951 yet :(


Just don't buy a Samsung 840 Evo and you're pretty much fine.


1) They're only standard thickness, so no more of a constraint than any other regular add-in card.

2) MUCH slower. We'll probably test this eventually, but it's not even going to be fair.

Got my AHCI version of the SM951 off ebay. $430 for 512GB
Yeah... it is quick, but if it doesn't have airflow it will throttle, so don't tuck it behind a gfx card.

Never saw mine throttle though... and I did 8Gib and 32Gib runs back to back.

aK2YMWR.png
 

Mako360

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Any roundup of this sort without the Samsun SM951 leaves us hanging. Definitely understand how hard they are to get, but I would have made the editorial decision to wait until I had one as that's the big kahuna in this segment.

Good writeup however, like these sorts of comparos.
 

Patriot

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Any roundup of this sort without the Samsun SM951 leaves us hanging. Definitely understand how hard they are to get, but I would have made the editorial decision to wait until I had one as that's the big kahuna in this segment.

Good writeup however, like these sorts of comparos.

But... they are not hard to get... you can buy them on newegg and ebay...
 

nilepez

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Role-oriented review criteria would be an interesting twist, but possibly an undue burden on the reviewers if the need isn't honestly there or even cared about.

Frankly, it is [H]'s job to present numbers (solid, factual) and the readers to view that data with the appropriate context. A review and its scope can only span so much.

I don't disagree, but it wouldn't hurt if they tossed in a blurb about it not being beneficial (assuming it's not) for gamers...or if it is, then showing how it is.

For me it doesn't matter, because I'm not going to dump that much money to gain a few seconds on booting or loading a game, but in a few years when they become more reasonable, I'll probably reconsider, especially if it dramatically improves Photoshop and Lightroom.
 

weebling1

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Nice review.

I haven't jumped into the SSD world yet. Do they still have some of the problems of old, where the performance seemed to always degrade over time? Like 6 months after the install, the super fast booting had slowed? Do the benchmark results change over time?

Performance degradation over time will always be present, until a new type of memory is introduced that is less affected. 6 months sounds horrible though. Should last several years.
 

Patriot

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Performance degradation over time will always be present, until a new type of memory is introduced that is less affected. 6 months sounds horrible though. Should last several years.

Clean state performance is always faster than dirty state. Hence trim and gc routines.
Enterprise drives are better about maintaining a more stable performance but the current nature of nand means a re-write takes more time than a write. So if you delete and re-write it will be slower. It is up to firmware of the drives to make the impact less felt.

That said... dirty state performance is still magnitudes faster than a HDD...
 

Trimlock

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I have to say very nice review. I found it impressive how the 850Pro is kicking butt on that lame SATA3 bus.
 

Chris_Lonardo

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I feel like these reviews really cater more to the content creation crowd.

I feel like these can be a bit misleading in terms of those of us enthusiasts just looking for a Hard drive that will allow faster boots and quicker loading of games.

Case in point, while you do take customer reviews with a grain of salt, people's impression of the Intel 750 who have bought it say that it doesn't noticeably improve the aspects gamers care about, and there are actually other drives that will boot faster and load games quicker based on older technology. The same owner reviews also state that where the card kills it is in content creation, and that is where you find out it is superior.

But for those of us who don't care about content creation, reviews like this can unintentionally mislead. Just putting that out there...

In our Intel 750 review, we talk about how, in Intel's own words, it's not going to really improve current-gen games. Content creation is a major area where SSDs are really differentiated from one another at this point. I've been pretty vocal on this point in the past, but if you want to shave a few seconds off your boot times and have games load faster than from an HDD, get any decent SATA SSD you can afford, and you're really, really splitting hairs beyond that.

It would be cool if the [H] could put up a crowd-funding type deal for related hardware (like say, the afformentioned SM951) that is not on hand (or owned) at the time of the review which would have been (or is) "nice to have" in the review. I'd throw in a couple bucks, even.

When the hardware is not deemed needed anymore, raffle it off (or something) back to the [H]orde. Perhaps it could be a DCr of the Month award? !

What do you think about this idea, Kyle?
I can't (and won't attempt to) speak for the site or Kyle on this, but this is an interesting notion that raises some bigger questions that I'll probably discuss with journalist friends over beer. Thanks for the food for thought, if nothing else :cool:

I have to say very nice review. I found it impressive how the 850Pro is kicking butt on that lame SATA3 bus.
Thanks. The 850 Pro is a strong offering, and Samsung's SSD product portfolio is excellent at this point.

Got my AHCI version of the SM951 off ebay. $430 for 512GB
Yeah... it is quick, but if it doesn't have airflow it will throttle, so don't tuck it behind a gfx card.

Never saw mine throttle though... and I did 8Gib and 32Gib runs back to back.
Mmm. I really need to get my hands on one. It's kind of a bummer that the current top capacity is 512GB, though.
 

Streiw

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I can't wait for these drives to fall a bit more in price; Still a tad too rich for what I use my PC for.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Nice review and comparison.

Intels 750 drive seems conspicuously absent from the comparison though.
 

Zion Halcyon

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In our Intel 750 review, we talk about how, in Intel's own words, it's not going to really improve current-gen games. Content creation is a major area where SSDs are really differentiated from one another at this point. I've been pretty vocal on this point in the past, but if you want to shave a few seconds off your boot times and have games load faster than from an HDD, get any decent SATA SSD you can afford, and you're really, really splitting hairs beyond that.

Chris, thank you. That is actually very educational. Then to that point, would you say that the same will hold true going forward for the newer NVMe technologies as pertains to game loading times and boot times?
 

Tobit

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Got my AHCI version of the SM951 off ebay. $430 for 512GB
Beats the fuck out of my m.2 XP941 I was an early adopter of last year back when they were stupid cheap. I still love it though, still going strong as my C: drive. However, I would not pay todays price for one.

kSzrIcI.jpg


My older 1st gen 850 Pros, of which I still have 4, continue to be excellent performers though, this one is presently empty.

vwQw4TG.jpgp
 

wirk

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Got my AHCI version of the SM951 off ebay. $430 for 512GB
Yeah... it is quick, but if it doesn't have airflow it will throttle, so don't tuck it behind a gfx card. Never saw mine throttle though... and I did 8Gib and 32Gib runs back to back.

But do you have it under the graphics card? Is it time to start thinking about a cooler solution when the M.2 SSD is under the card?? With the cards under water, a water cooling for the M.2 SSD :D? OK, at least mounting a long thin copper sheet on the memory modules to get the heat out from beneath of the cards??
 

Tobit

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Is it time to start thinking about a cooler solution when the M.2 SSD is under the card??
On my mITX build, my m.2 is on the bottom of the motherboard. :eek:
 

Patriot

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On my mITX build, my m.2 is on the bottom of the motherboard. :eek:

Not to worry, you are already limited on pcie lanes and couldn't drive it hard enough to overheat anyways.
 

valis1

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I think it'd be cool to use electrolyzed water as a storage device.
 

Chris_Lonardo

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Chris, thank you. That is actually very educational. Then to that point, would you say that the same will hold true going forward for the newer NVMe technologies as pertains to game loading times and boot times?

The logic given by Intel's engineers on the benefits of NVMe in future games seems to hold up in a vendor-neutral light. Of course, if a manufacturer were so inclined, they could make a cheap, slow drive "speak" NVMe, and users wouldn't realize the same performance benefit of, say, an Intel 750 (which is, of course, a pretty serious drive). At this point, there's no incentive for manufacturers to put NVMe in anything but performance drives. It will be interesting to see how the market evolves around this point, but it certainly seems likely that NVMe will supplant earlier technologies as it becomes more widely supported.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Looks like for our applications the Kingston HyperX is the one to beat, based simply on the fact that for client workloads, low queue depths are really all that matters.

The HyperX is even beating Intel's 750 at low queue depths.

Makes me wish I would have considered it before ordering my 400GB Intel 750, which gets here tomorrow. Oh well, I'm sure I'll be happy with it either way.
 
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