To find out, we are using up to Ge Force GTX Titan X video cards that we will either leave at idle (as a best-case scenario) or running a GPU stress-testing application called Furmark (which would be a worst-case scenario).To make sure our results are as accurate as possible we used a combination of IOMeter files and a custom Auto It script to automatically benchmark the drive with different work loads (sequential read/write and random read/write).If you are purchasing a M.2 drive because you need high transfer speeds, hearing that it will slow down if it gets too hot is likely a major concern.
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To put this into perspective, however, the SATA drive didn't start throttling until after about 37GB worth of random writes and the U.2 drive worked flawlessly until after about 120GB worth of random writes.
This is a pretty huge amount of random writes to be doing continuously like this so we wouldn't expect anyone to actually see this in the real world outside of very specific circumstances.
We found that the amount of video cards did not actually have much of an impact on performance for these drives, so in an attempt to keep data overload to a minimum, we are simply going to show you the results with dual video cards at idle and 100% load: [ ] View individual charts with temperature logs With both drives, we saw no throttling for the sequential read, sequential write, or random read tests; but interestingly both drives did eventually throttle on the random write benchmark.
The SATA drive dropped massively in performance after about 110 seconds, and the U.2 drive dropped in performance after about 170 seconds.
Our entire test setup consists of the following hardware: With this set of hardware, we will be able to test the M.2 drive in slots that are below the top PCI-E slot, below the bottom PCI-E slot, upright (sticking straight out from the motherboard), and on the underside of the motherboard.