The motherboard in our SSD test system is the mighty Asus Rampage V Extreme. As well as a slew of full speed SATA 6Gbps ports, this motherboard also supports both SATA Express and M.2 drives, as well as, of course, drives that connect directly to PCI-E expansion slots. Furthermore, the motherboard is fitted with an Intel Core i7-5960X, giving us the full set of 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes that the X99 platform affords. This means we can test all manner of PCI-E storage devices without bandwidth restrictions.
The CPU is overclocked to 4.2GHz (42 x 100MHz) with a vcore of 1.25V and it's paired with 16GB (4 x 4GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 clocked at 2,666MHz. All CPU power saving features are disabled and the system is ran in the high performance power mode, ensuring that storage devices are always operating at peak performance.
All SSDs are reset to factory performance prior to testing by issuing a secure erase command, either from the appropriate software where available or from our motherboard's BIOS.