Intel claims that its Rocket Lake processors offer an 11% increase in PCIe 4.0 SSD storage performance , compared to AMD Ryzen 5000. For its test, Intel used the PCIe 4.0 x16 interface in Ryzen and Rocket Lake-S, somewhat of the that we will talk about next.
“The blue giant” does not plan to give up and fights back the PCIe 4.0 specification with more performance, despite the fact that this interface arrived earlier on the AMD platform. It has been widely criticized for not offering Comet Lake-S support, but Intel will give arguments to justify its backlog in the specification. The first is higher performance using the x16 rail, will that be enough?
Intel Rocket Lake: faster than Zen 3 in PCMark 10
Ryan Shrout shared an Intel slide thanks to Allyn Malventano , Intel Storage Technical Analyst. In this graph we see the results obtained in the PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark by the i9-11900K and the Ryzen 9 5950X.
Regarding the version of PCMark 10, it was v2.1.2506, and the test bench used on both platforms was the following:
|Motherboard||ASUS Z590 ROG Maximus XIII Hero (BIOS 0402)||ASUS X570 ROG Rampage VIII Hero (BIOS 3202)|
Power Limit -> 125 W
|Ryzen 9 5950X
Power Limit -> 105 W
|RAM||32GB DDR4-3200||32GB DDR4-3200|
|SSD||OS -> Intel SSD 760p 512GB
Tested -> Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB
|OS -> Intel SSD 760p 512GB
Tested -> Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB
|GPU||NVIDIA RTX 3090 Founders Edition||NVIDIA RTX 3090 Founders Edition|
Remember that the Samsung 980 Pro is a PCIe 4.0 SSD , but the question is, what rail was it mounted on? Well, most M.2 SSDs make use of the x4 or x8 interface , since PCIe 4.0 x16 is usually reserved for the main PCI-Express slot: where the graphics card is installed. Obviously, the performance will not be the same if we install it in a x4 or x8 slot, than in a x16.
On the AMD platform, the Samsung 980 Pro was installed in the M.2 slot that connects to the X570 chipset , that is, the one that is attached to the CPU. The Intel Z590 bank had the SSD plugged into the M.2 NVMe slot that is attached to the CPU. In short, if we want to achieve the 7000 MB / s that Samsung’s SSD promises, we have to install it in an M.2 slot that is attached to the chipset.
The point here is that Intel , according to Ryan Shrout’s clarification, used an x16 slot , something that is not usual at the user level. In most motherboards, the NVMe SSD is usually installed in a x4 or x8 slot, but in Intel’s test they have tested the performance of the SSD in an x16.
Allyn didn’t test using the M.2 slots, he used a x16 slot with a riser card to make sure it was CPU attached on both platforms.
— Ryan Shrout (@ryanshrout) February 24, 2021
How important is it? Well, it would be nice if the test had been carried out in a slot in which the user is going to use this SSD, as it is in the PCI Express 4.0 x8 or x4 connectors. However, in the high-end we find boards that do offer a x16 slot for SSDs, like the one that Intel has used.
It would also be useful if Intel told us what power supply is used in order to know if 16 lines are used and where they come from. That said, the merit of the Rocket Lake i9 over the Ryzen 9 5950X in PCIe 4.0 SSDs must be highlighted , as they are chips with different core and thread configurations.
Lastly, why PCMark 10 ? SSDs have specific benchmarks that we can use to assess the performance of the drive such as: Anvil’s, AS SSD, ATTO or Crystal Disk Mark. They are the most common in benchmarks and the most conclusive: they show read / write speeds, such as IOPS performance.
Out of all question, the results are what they are and the Rocket Lake i9 is faster than the Ryzen 9 in PCIe 4.0 SSD performance.
What do you think of this test?