Intel Is Back to the Consumer SSD Game
You will have to pay for it, but the new Intel SSD 750 Series is the fastest consumer-grade PCIe SSD currently in the market.
With that out of the way, it wasn't all roses...
The performance of the SSD 750 Series 1.2TB ranged from blistering fast to downright slow depending on the test. For example, the SSD 750 killed it in our file copy benchmarks, and it comfortably handled the pack of consumer-grade SSDs in most others (Samsung SSD 850 Pro, SanDisk Extreme Pro and Plextor M6e).
However, the synthetic benchmarks were mixed, with CrystalDiskMark showing weaker than expected sequential read performance and random 4K-QD32 performance, while AS SSD provided strong sequential and 4K-64 thread performance. Finally, it was Atto Disk Benchmark that revealed the reason for this inconsistency.
When reading and writing data smaller than 4K, the SSD 750 Series 1.2TB is terribly slow. The SSD 750 didn't impress until the file sizes reached 128K in the read tests, though things got moving a lot faster when measuring write performance. This weak small file performance likely explains the sluggish virus scan and game installation tests that just matched the less ambitious competition, while we saw strong overall bandwidth in PCMark 7 and PCMark 8 but no real application improvements.
There's no denying that the SSD 750 Series 1.2TB is fast, but we were hoping to find it fast everywhere.
The SSD 750 Series isn't cheap and being an enthusiast/workstation series, that's hardly shocking. The 400GB model is set to sell for $390 ($0.97 per gigabyte) and the 1.2TB model that we reviewed is set at $1,030 ($0.85 per gigabyte).
Those were decent prices a few years ago, but with the Samsung SSD 850 Pro 1TB fetching $0.55 per gigabyte today, that makes the Intel SSD 750 Series rather expensive.
Then again, the SSD 750 Series isn't necessarily competing with the likes of Samsung's SSD 850 Pro. Competing cards such as the Plextor M6e Black Edition -- the 512GB M6e costs $530 or a little over $1 per gigabyte, while being much slower -- and the SSD 750 Series also lays waste to the G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB ($650) and the OCZ RevoDrive 350 960GB ($1120).
Intel is staying quiet on whether we can expect the SSD 750 Series in more capacities than 400GB and 1.2TB. Although there are no plans to release an M.2 version of the SSD 750 Series, the company says it does have NVMe M.2 drives in the works.
Pros: Blistering fast, fastest consumer-grade PCIe SSD available. NVMe support, excellent endurance, 5-year warranty.
Cons: Possible performance drops when working with small data. Expensive. Potential compatibility issues with older X79 and Z87 platforms.