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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

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.

hybrid DIMMs
RAM SSDs versus flash SSDs?
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
Why size matters in SSD architecture
utilization and the SSD event horizon
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
90% of enterprise SSD companies have no good reasons to survive
SSD ad - click for more info
The role for a low latency FC connected SDS box which looks like a RAM SSD – such as the Kove box will continue (despite memory channel SSDs from Diablo and PCIe SSD shared memory fabric from A3CUBE)
where do ultrafast RAM SSDs and companies like Kove fit in the market today? - July 22, 2015

In-situ processing - is about closing important gaps in the intelligence of message passing and the speed of data access between application processors and SSD controllers.
12 key SSD ideas which changed in 2014

Sometimes the way that new SSD software gets things done faster is to avoid doing some things at all - by carefully discriminating between - what needs to be done - compared to what would normally get done in blind obedience to tradition.
how new SSD software gets things done faster
the Fastest in-production shipping SSDs - February 2015 - ©
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?
Memory technology, generation level (2, 3 or upcoming 4), the number of lanes and the API integration with critical apps are some of the vital filters in assembling any list of really fast PCIe SSDs. And that's before you get you controller architecture.

So - any list of the fastest products in this category has to be headed by something which is more like a RAM SSD than a pure flash device.
  • PMC - Flashtec NVRAM drive family - is a RAM SSD in PCIe form factor - x8 lane, PCIe 3.0 host interface - 16GB capacity - rated at over 10 million IOPS. You can think of it either as a PCIe version of a hybrid DIMM - or as a market successor to the first line products in this class - launched in 2009 by DDRdrive
In the flash based PCIe SSD category - the 2 companies which have most consistently been at the top of the application measured performance tables in recent years include:-
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" HGST 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 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
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.

Significant advances in the performance of SSDs on a chip in 2014 were seen from some manufacturers starting to develop products with PCIe NVMe interfaces.
USB Renice Technology R/W speeds of 400MB/s and 320MB/s respectively.
"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)

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

TMS banner ad from 2004

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


storage search banner

the fastest SSDs
"Accelerate your system!"
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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. to read the article

SSD ad - click for more info

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?

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.