Benchmark considerations on Windows Operating Systems

I am very excited to have the opportunity to test Intel® Optane™ in several scenarios, and certainly, I will be sharing this experience with you, as much as possible.

The first thing to consider when performing a benchmarking test is what is your goal? I mean, what do you want to get out of the test?

It is very easy to get consumed by simple target raw numbers. We all know what they are:

  • IOPS
  • Throughput
  • Latency

Most benchmarks tests use very high queue depth to achieve results, however, this is not how real workloads behave. They are normally random in nature with low queue depth.

Whatever you want to achieve, you need to understand the effects of settings on overall performance results.

Intel® Optane™ storage devices can achieve latencies in the microseconds range, so it is very important to tune the system to achieve the best possible result.

The following list presents settings to achieve a more predictable performance for benchmarking tests, on a single system. For production settings, you should consider the trade-offs of each setting for your current scenario. Since peak results are achieved with Hyper-Threading and Intel Boost enabled, but the tradeoff could be less predictable and consistent results across platforms.

1. Hardware Settings

Setting Value
Hyper-Threading Disable
EIST Disable
Intel Turbo Mode Enable
PCIe ASPM (Active State Power Management) Disable
C-States Disable
P-States Disable
Power Scheme Performance Mode

2. Software Settings

a. Set Operating System Power Management to High Performance (Elevated command prompt).

i. powercfg /S 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c

b. Check if Default Scheme is correct: powercfg /GETACTIVESCHEME

C prompt - file location GETACTIVESCHEME

c. Check for any filter driver installed on the system and remove if not in use (Elevated command prompt).

i. FLTMC (look for any legacy type filter)

Num Instances, Altitude & Frame screenshot

d. Disable Scheduled Defragmentation (Elevated PowerShell)

i. Get-ScheduledTask -TaskName ScheduledDefrag | Disable-ScheduledTask

e. Set Windows Defender or any Anti-Virus to not scan the Optane Drive.

f. Use INTEL provided NVMe driver https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27231/NVMe-Drivers-for-Intel-SSDs

For a complete list of settings check the Evaluation Guide

If we do not achieve the expected results, or if it is way off, be sure to check all the knobs in order to unleash all the power of the device.