Intel Optane SSD 900P performance storage

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31 October 2017 | 0

If you have been struggling with a complex rendering workload, or regularly run your workstation full of virtual machines and test platforms, Intel’s new Optane SSD 900P solid state drive will be of interest.

The long-awaited drive series has been launched, and can cut down the rendering of a 7-second scene from 17.4 hours to 6.3 hours, Intel said.

If you are wondering how an SSD can make such a dramatic impact on a workload that most associate with a faster CPU or a faster GPU, Intel said the answer is the incredible attributes of the 3D XPoint memory used in Optane versus traditional NAND in most SSDs.

The joint Micron/Intel memory has been pitched as the next step in non-volatile storage and will eventually offer performance a thousand times greater in switching speed than the fastest NAND-based SSDs. In fact, 3D Xpoint is so fast, Intel sees it as approaching the performance of memory.

All that is far, far down the road. Today’s iteration of Optane just offers amazingly low latency, magnitudes’ longer endurance, and high performance at the queue depths at which most people actually use their computers.

Intel launched two drives:

  • The first is a x4 Gen 3 PCIe version in 280GB and 480GB capacities. The 280GB drive is priced at $389, while the 480GB version has a price of $699.
  • The second is a 64mm (2.5”) U.2 drive in a 280GB capacity, which will go for $389. Euro pricing was not available at time of writing.

Both drives have a sequential read speed rating of 2.5GBps and a sequential write speed of 2GBps. Random 4K read speed is rated at 550,000 IOPS, while random 4K write speeds are rated at 500,000 IOPs. Latency is rated at less than 10 microseconds.

The 480GB PCIe drive is rated at 8,760 TBW or terabytes written. For comparison, a 512GB Samsung 960 Pro SSD is rated at 400 TBW.

Intel said the Optane SSD 900P drive can improve workstation performance by up to 4X as well. But for buyers, the biggest impact appears to be in applications and games that are designed to take advantage of Optane.

“The Intel Optane SSD 900P is amazingly fast, easily the fastest drive I have ever used,” Chris Roberts, developer of the game Star Citizen, said in a statement. “Our Star Engine developers have been working on technology to improve loading times using new techniques developed for Star Citizen and optimised for Optane, the fastest SSSD we’ve ever tested with the game. We continue to enhance Star Citizen so the performance benefits with Optane drives will continue to grow, alongside Star Citizen, into the future.”

A high-spec gaming system with an Optane drive remains “smooth,” the developer said.

Although the price-to-capacity of the Optane SSD 900P is not remotely competitive, the launch is likely to calm the nerves of those wondering whether Optane was going to ever match the hype at which it was announced.

 

IDG News Service

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