Intel SSD 910 PCI Express SSD Performance Review

Article Index

Test System, SANDRA Physical Disk and FIle System

Our Test MethodologiesUnder each test condition, the SSDs tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a standard spinning hard disk for the OS and benchmark software installations.  The SSDs were left blank without partitions wherever possible, unless a test required them to be partitioned and formatted, as was the case with our ATTO, Vantage, and CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests, as well as IOMeter runs. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle before invoking a test.

** Please also note that the Intel SSD 910 card was configured in high performance mode, for maximum write performance of up to 1.5GB/sec.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 and SSD Powered

Processor -
Motherboard -

Video Card -

Memory -
Audio -


Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-970

Gigabyte GA-EX58 Extreme
(X58 Chipset)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
6GB Kingston DDR3-1333

Integrated on board

WD Caviar Black 1TB (OS Drive)
OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCIe
LSI WarpDrive 300GB PCIe
OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB PCIe
Fusion-io ioDrive 160GB
Fusion-io ioXtreme 80GB PCIe
Intel SSD 910 800GB PCIe SSD

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -
Video Drivers

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX 11


Benchmarks Used:
IOMeter 2010
ATTO v2.46
CrystalDiskMark v3.01
Alex-IS AS-SSD Benchmark 1.6.42
SiSoftware Sandra 2012

SiSoft SANDRA 2011
Synthetic HDD Benchmarking

For our first set of tests, we used SiSoft SANDRA, the the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. Here, we used the Physical Disk test suite and provided the results from our comparison SSDs. The benchmarks were run without formatting on all drives and read and write performance metrics are detailed below.

SANDRA's purely sequential and rather short read/write tests show the Intel SSD 910 bringing up the rear by a notable margin.  In this test, SANDRA only sees each individual 200GB SSD module on the card, even if we format and RAID the drive in Windows.  As a result, what you're seeing here is essentially about 25% of the total available bandwidth for the SSD 910. Doing the math, optimally across all volumes, the Intel PCIe SSD should offer 1.6GB/sec for reads and 1.2GB/sec for writes

(Note: In SANDRA's File System test, which exploits the software RAID setup, the Intel drive offered up 1.7GB/s--more results forthcoming). 

Update 12:15PM, 5/4: We've pulled a sampling of data from various PCIe SSDs we had here, in SANDRA's File System test.  The Intel SSD 910's aggregate bandwidth across all SSD modules is dramatically higher than what was shown in the Physical Disk test above.

We'll see if that pans out in other tests that can exercise the drive across all of its SSD modules simultaneously as well.

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