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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 - (the new kings of the RAM SSD market)
RAM SSDs versus flash SSDs?
SSD testing & analyzer news
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
From 2007 to 2014 - the dominant focus and center of SSD accelerator gravity was PCIe SSDs.

It was the rapid domino effect adoption of 3rd party PCIe SSD accelerators by every mainstream server manufacturer - which changed the way that SSDs were perceived from being an alienlike technology promoted by industry outsiders to being a necessary option which was expected to be supported inside every new server product line.
DIMM wars in SSD servers - Memory1 - episode 1
SSD ad - click for more info
the Fastest in-production shipping SSDs - September 2015 - ©
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. So instead this now includes a mini list of the most important companies and product lines in this market space which covers a range of different interfaces and architectures. 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 terms of latency and throughput. 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.

In the RAM SSD category - the fastest PCIe SSD is PMC's Flashtec NVRAM drive family . This RAM SSD in PCIe form factor has a x8 lane, PCIe 3.0 host interface - 16GB capacity - rated at over 10 million IOPS.

In the flash based PCIe SSD category - the fastest flash based PCIe SSD (at the time of writing - September 2015) is Mangstor's MX-Series . This is the fastest according to either IOPS or latency when compared to any of the previous industry leaders in this category listed in these pages.
3.5" Although the 3.5" form factor was at the sharp end of SSD performance in earlier phases of SSD history - it is no longer a launchpad for new high speed products. Although you will find some older legacy 3.5" SSDs which were fast at the time they were launched - they are mostly EOL - or simply available for old designs. Instead you'll get better results by installing one or more smaller SSDs in a 3.5" carrier module.
2.5" fastest 2.5" flash SSDs?

In the 2.5" form factor - the 2 interfaces with claims for the "fastest 2.5 inch SSD" are 2.5" NVME PCIe SSDs and 12Gbps SAS.

Here are examples of some of the faster products in these categories2.5" PCIe SSD fastest contenders include :-
  • Radian's RMS-250 - is a 2TB eMLC NVMe Gen3 x4 PCIe SSD with 581K / 681K serquential R/W IOPS (Over 300K IOPS in 66% Read/33% Write mix)
2.5" SAS SSD fastest contenders include several products with 12Gbps line rates:- Note... In many real life applications - particularly in arrays of such SSDs - the factors which contribute to higher performance (higher power consumption and bigger RAM cmake such SSDs bad citizens. Therefore some of these SSDs have pre-selectable electrical power settings (in watts) which also impact the performance.
1.8" The question arises - what kind of interfaces are available for 1.8" SSDs?

At the time of writing this I'm unaware of any 1.8" PCIe SSDs.

That leaves the speed race to SAS SSDs. And currently these are only available at 6Gb/s.

Contenders include HGST's s846 which falls a long way short of its 12Gbps bigger cousins with 65K / 37K R/W IOPS
M.2 SSDs This form factor is becoming a surprising hotbed of innovation and (surprisingly) even speed.

fastest M.2 SSD? - possibly Samsung's NVMe SM951 - with 300K / 100K random R/W IOPS and 2.1 / 1.5 GB/s R/W.
SSDs on a chip This section will be updated soon with details of the fastest BGA PCIe SSDs.
PS - if you've got this far and think that an SSD drive or system from your own company deserves to considered for inclusion in the list above - then contact me with the details.

Although it's rare - it has happened that I've missed hearing about a significant new SSD product. In which case another important question to ask - is whether your marketing is reaching the audience it deserves?

I'm always open to communications and reconsiderations. And if I've got things wrong and missed something which is significant - I'll set the record straight.


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the fastest SSDs
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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
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A good way to think about what SSDs will do in the 100 per cent SSD enterprise - is to set the limits for how an enterprise can repurpose, leverage and monetize its data - and increase process efficiency by analyzing and anticipating customer demands in real-time.

Bottlenecks in the pure SSD datacenter will be much more serious than in the HDD world - because responding slowly will be equivalent to transaction failure.
will SSDs end bottlenecks?

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?

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