Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup
You guys know how I love taking voiding warranties. Let's start with the HHHL version:
The heatsink is tricky to remove from these without damage, so leave this one to the professionals and don't risk breaking yours. Here's the back side of all components:
With the lid lifted we find the very same 18-channel NVMe-capable controller present in the Intel SSD DC P3700. The only real differences here are a few (2) flash packages are not present as this consumer device comes with less necessary over provisioning than the enterprise specific part.
Moving on, let's lift the lid on the 2.5" model:
To fit so many components into such a small form factor, Intel had to stack two PCBs into a thicker housing. Both sides of the housing are used as head spreading / sinking surfaces, with thermal pads installed as appropriate.
With everything removed (and unfolded), we can see just how much was squeezed into this package.
Note the same controller and DRAM is present on this variant – just rearranged to fit. The only different component we could easily see was the power loss capacitor, which is of equivalent capacitance to the pair installed on the HHHL edition.
To repeat what we said back in the P3700 article, NVMe is a new protocol that replaces the dated AHCI stack. Similar to how Directx 12 reduces CPU overhead for graphics calls, NVMe reduces CPU overhead for storage IO calls. This is necessary in order to get SSD performance past the limits of the older protocol. Without it, SSDs capable of high IOPS would also require many CPU cores fully saturated to support them. NVMe eases that bottleneck, along with some great bonuses in the form of reduced latency oer IO.
Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!
Test System Setup
We have several storage testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and an ASUS Z87-PRO. Variance between both boards has been deemed negligible when testing SATA devices. Future PCIe and SATA device testing, including this review, will take place on a new ASUS Sabertooth X99, which comes equipped with USB 3.1, M.2, and can also handle SFF-8639 devices with the proper adapter.
PC Perspective would like to thank Intel, ASUS, Corsair, Kingston, and EVGA for supplying some of the components of our test rigs.
|Hard Drive Test System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 5820K @ 4.125 GHz|
|Motherboard||ASUS Sabertooth X99|
|Memory||16GB Micron DDR4 @ 3333|
|Hard Drive||G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD|
|Video Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 750|
|Video Drivers||GeForce Game Ready Driver 347.88|
|Power Supply||Corsair CMPSU-650TX|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 Pro X64 (update)|
- PCPer File Copy Test