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the Fastest SSDs

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor

In 2007 I started publishing a simple list of the fastest SSDs in popular form factors here at this page on StorageSearch.com.

The SSD market has become more complex and segmented - so "speed" is no longer the same guarantee to market success within SSDs as it once used to be. Nevertheless - this article remains popular among readers.

testing SSDs
top SSD companies
RAM SSDs versus flash SSDs?
what changed in SSD year 2013?
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
Why size matters in SSD architecture
utilization and the SSD event horizon
the New Business Case for SSD ASAPs
How fast can your SSD run backwards?
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
Can you trust flash SSD specs & benchmarks?
understanding flash SSD performance limitations
what's in a number? - introducing SSDserver rank
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SSD ad - click for more info


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The faster the SSD, the quicker it can wear out the memory.

That's what creates the pressure cooker environment for ever more devious flash controller management schemes and clever SSD architecture. The risk of flash wear-out in SSDs is a kind of forever war - which is never really permanently won.
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the Fastest in-production shipping SSDs - February 2014 - © STORAGEsearch.com
form factor rackmount SSDs

Earlier versions of this document only listed the single fastest rackmount SSD in each u-size (1U, 2U etc) - but there were some disadvantages in that method because the listings were dominated by RAM SSDs - even though flash SSDs represented the realistic choices made by most users.

To make this rackmount SSD list more useful I've changed this section to include the top 3 or so companies in each market/ application silo.

You'll have to look at each vendor's own offerings to get the exact specifications - but these are the vendors who are positioning themselves as the companies to beat in each of these market segments.
  • fast-enough rackmount SSDs (budget priced):- Skyera, SolidFire, and Pure Storage - as well as many of the companies in the "fast" category above.
Speed has a different value in fault tolerant rackmount SSDs - where the raw latency and IOPS may be outweighed by user preferences about the exact design and consequences of the differing FT architectures.
PCIe SSD cards See also:- the article - the 3 fastest PCIe SSDs list - or is it really lists? And here's another thing you may be wondering about - how will Memory Channel SSDs affect the PCIe SSD market?
Fusion-io ioDrive Octal double-width card PCIe 1 million IOPS 6.2 GB/s of bandwidth.
Virident Systems FlashMAX 1/2 height, 1/2 length PCIe 160K IOPS (4KB), 75/25 R/W, 1.6GB/s sustained write, 47us READ latency, 1.5 million read IOPS (512B)
CoreRise Comay BladeDrive E28, full height, 3/4 length PCIe 520K/ 440K R/W IOPS (4KB), 3.4GB/s sustained read, 3.2GB/s sustained write, latency (4KB) 65us (read) / 50us (write), 1.3 million read IOPS (512B)
The specs below - for 3.5" SAS drives are performance indicators for older 6Gbps products. In general 2.5" has replaced 3.5" as the form factor in SSDs which advances performance.
3.5" STEC ZeusRAM SSD SAS 6Gbps under 23 microseconds average latency
2.5" In the 2.5" form factor - the 2 competing interfaces with claims for the "dastest 2.5 inch SSD" are be the 2.5" PCIe and 12Gbps SAS. However, in the current state of the market - the very small number of 2.5" PCIe SSDs don't have impressive write performance - and are mostly pitched at read intensive applications.
Samsung XS1715 2.5" PCIe 3GB/s read, 740,000 read IOPS
HGST Ultrastar SAS 12Gbps 1.2GB/s read, 750MB/s write, and R/W IOPS of 145,000 and 100,000 respectively
SMART Optimus SAS 6Gbps 100K/50K random IOPS and 500MB/s sustained R/W transfer rates
LSI (SF3700 inside) SATA 3 94K / 46K random IOPS (4K blocks) and 550 / 502MB/s R/W rates.
1.8" SMART Optimus SAS 6Gbps R/W speeds of 500 MB/s. IOPS is 45,000 for read, and 100,000 for write.
1" This form factor includes a diverse range of SSDs on a chip and modules which aren't all plug compatible. For indicative performances see the tiny SSDs page. SATA
USB Renice Technology R/W speeds of 400MB/s and 320MB/s respectively.
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"Consumer products are moving more and more towards that touch of artificial intelligence and in particular speaking to your devices and having your voice sent off to the cloud, recognised and analyzed on good computers there and transmitted back"
Steve Wozniak - cofounder Apple and Chief Scientist - Fusion-io
in the article - Data deluge - the need for speed (September 28, 2012)


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"In April 2005 -Texas Memory Systems offered the world's first money-back performance guarantee for SSDs..."
...from:- SSD market history


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TMS banner ad from 2004

above - an SSD banner ad from 10 years ago (2004)


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storage search banner

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the fastest SSDs
"Accelerate your system!"
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Fusion-io fast SSDs - click for more info
the standard for enterprise PCIe SSDs
by which all others are judged
ioDrives from Fusion-io
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1st generation ULLtraDIMM SSDs are limited by having "SATA inside" - so imagine what a next generation flash DIMM might perform like
memory channel SSD news (May 8, 2014)
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SSD ad - click for more info

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how fast can your SSD run backwards?
SSDs are complex devices and there's a lot of mysterious behavior which isn't fully revealed by benchmarks and vendor's product datasheets and whitepapers. Underlying all the important aspects of SSD behavior are asymmetries which arise from the intrinsic technologies and architecture inside the SSD.
SSD symmetries article Which symmetries are most important in an SSD?

That depends on your application. ...click to read the article

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Unlike before - today new companies entering the market can rely on a sophisticated SSD ecosystem - in which key elements of their solutions are already being supplied by other companies.
what changed in SSD year 2013?

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9 million IOPS in a single PCIe SSD
Editor:- March 5, 2013 - Fusion-io today announced it has achieved 9.6 million IOPS (64 byte) from a single 365GB MLC ioDrive2 (PCIe SSD).

This is made possible using APIs in Fusion-io's ioMemory SDK (such as Auto-Commit Memory) which integrate flash into host systems, allowing data to bypass normal bottlenecks in the OS.
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