Thermals and Conclusion
*note* If you skipped straight to the last page of this piece, you missed the important stuff! Go back a page to get the goods!
Each Samsung 950 Pro draws 6 watts at max load, but based on what we saw on the previous page, that load is spread across three SSDs, meaning it will become even harder to reach the thermal throttling point of the drives.
The above thermal image was taken at a steady QD=16 write load, on an open testbed with no direct airflow (there was a water cooler on the CPU, so no flow from that, either). In this condition, the 950 Pros remained well below the temperature at which they begin to throttle. I did some other testing at very high loads and when they finally did begin to throttle, performance only droppd by ~5%.
…so the takeaways from all of the testing we performed on the Gigabyte Z170X-SOC Force with triple M.2 Samsung 950 Pros was as follows:
- SSD latency favors reduced Queue Depths heavily
- RAID splits the queue across multiple devices
- SSD RAIDs operate at significantly reduced latencies for a given IOPS load
- Intel RST PCIe RAID adds ~6μs of latency per IO (mostly negated by above benefits)
- Reduced SSD loading leads to lower operating temperatures and less chance of thermal throttling.
Now that we have developed a proper way to show the true latency profile of the SSDs we test, today we were able to show just how SSD RAIDs 'feel faster'. We look forward to deploying this testing across all future storage device reviews, as the knowledge gained is rapidly proving itself to be just as valuable (if not more) than the simple IOPS and throughput figures seen from a device. We hope you learned from this new data, and feel free to discuss all of this further in the comments below!