Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup


Starting at the rear:

Well, there's nothing but some labels. All chips are up front for this part, and I suspect that will be the case all the way up to the 1TB capacity.

Three flash packages with the same number of dies in each (same part numbers). Now that's interesting, but it does make sense since the 600p has the majority of its flash operating in TLC mode. IMFT 3D NAND runs 'odd' in TLC mode at 384 Gbit (48GB) per die, so three packages, each with a pair of dies, adds up to 288GB. This leaves some wiggle room for overprovisioning and a small SLC-mode cache.

Intel and Micron are going for a high capacity play with their 3D NAND. Second generation IMFT parts are expected to handle 768 Gbits (96GB!) per die in TLC mode.

Here's a close up of the SMI controller. It appears Silicon Motion and Intel are working together on this one, as the packaging and part number are unique. The controller itself is capped with what appears to be a zinc plated copper heat spreader, which should help somewhat with power dissipation on these small M.2 parts.

Testing Methodology

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, 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
Sound Card N/A
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 750
Video Drivers GeForce Game Ready Driver 347.88
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version N/A
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro X64 (update)
  • PCPer File Copy Test
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • IOMeter
  • YAPT
  • PC Perspective Exclusive Latency Percentile and new Mixed Burst workloads
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