Performance has been measured on the latest Intel Skylake-X platform which I won’t hide that is a bit disappointing. Later I will tell you why.
Test setup includes the i9-7900X processor and ASUS X299 TUF Mark 2 motherboard. Windows 10 operating system has been installed on HyperX Savage 240GB SATA SSD.
Let’s begin with single drives tests.
ATTO is showing performance close to what we could see on M.2 sockets directly on the motherboards. Results are about the same as we could see in the Hellfire 240GB SSD review some time ago. It’s still worth to mention that drive could make a bit more than declared by Patriot so 3.04GB/s read bandwidth.
In CrystalDiskMark we can see little improvement in random transfers as these drives are not really passing 45MB/s 4K random read while here we have 48-49MB/s. Sequential transfers are similar to what we could see on typical M.2 sockets.
Two drives are starting to show big improvements in maximum bandwidth. It’s also time to tell you why X299 chipset is a bit disappointing for me. Intel decided to use hardware keys to unlock VROC ( Virtual RAID on CPU ) which is the only way to set RAID array on two or more PCIE drives. These keys are not available on the market while we are performing tests, not to mention that expected price is high. Probably you can set RAID on other platform using two or more of HDX-2 but at least for now it’s not possible on the X299 motherboards.
You may ask how I tested RAID performance on two M.2 SSD installed on the HDX-2. It’s quite simple. I set dynamic stripped volume in Windows which works like software RAID0. It’s not possible to boot from this drive but you can still install all applications which are using high storage bandwidth. However, for most users single drive will be still more than enough.
Now maybe couple of words about achieved results.
On the ASUS APEX Z270 motherboard we couldn’t pass DMI limits which are a bit below 4GB/s. This was the max bandwidth of RAID array while our single drives couldn’t pass much above 3GB/s.
The HDX-2 is changing situation and as you see we are able to reach 5486MB/s in sequential read. It’s a huge improvement. About the same performance gain we can see in write bandwidth.
Besides higher bus bandwidth, HDX-2 also offers better cooling for drives so some models shouldn’t throttle under high load. It mainly happens on Samsung SSD while we had no problems with our Patriot Hellfire drives. They were running hot but temperature was still safe. If you have problems with airflow in the computer case then even the Hellfire may overheat.