REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The strength of Intel XPoint memory media cannot be shown any better at the consumer level than through the products Intel has introduced since the distribution of XPoint got the go ahead. We started with Intel Optane Memory as a very value-oriented caching solution where 16GB and 32GB Optane SSDs were able to boost the performance of a hard drive to 1.4GB/s read and 300MB/s write data transfer speeds from the hard drives speeds of 150MB/s read and write with the Optane software. The additional requirement for this solution, of course, was the necessity of having an ‘Optane Approved’ motherboard. See report here.
From there we saw the introduction of the Intel Optane 900P SSD which brought with it larger capacity, the option of having the space now available to use the 900P as a boot drive, and of course a larger form factor as the 900P was a half-height half-length PCIe card. This SSD is available in 280 or 480GB versions and provides performance of 2.5GB/s read and 2GB/s write with over 500K IOPS read and write…and this SSD is King of the Hill. It even comes with its own copy of Star Citizen with an exclusive ship that is guaranteed not to be stolen in the course of gameplay. See Report here.
Today we see the introduction of the Intel 800P M.2 SSD which is available in 58 and 118GB capacities with performance of 1.4GB/s read and 600MB/s write and over 340K IOPS. This SSD is bootable, can be used as a system drive, and in all the testing we have done, proves that it can take on the biggest and best 4-lane SSDs on the market. As much as we understand that very few consumers will ever push an SSD into ‘steady state’ through constant operation, even our PCMark 8 storage tests of applications used on a regular basis placed the Optane 800P SSD above all others, the Optane 900P SSD being the only exception of course.
Of course, there just has to be a downside here and that is that Intel is rolling out Optane so slowly. Yes, we understand the art of marketing and are sure that we will see a boatload of 800P sales at 58GB and 118GB capacities…. but would it have been too difficult to throw two more 3D XPoint chips on the other side of that PCB and make this a 236GB (118×2) SSD? Better yet, push out 472GB and 944GB capacities? Someone get me a 1TB Optane SSD to throw into my HP Spectre laptop and I will be in heaven.
The problem most likely lies in die size and their ability to stack at this point so the small capacity would be a small price to pay for the visible performance increase we see in Optane.
Having said that, there is an observable performance upgrade to even a NAND flash SSD system with the Optane, this being seen in typical everyday PC activities and the result of the low 4K random read and write benefits of Intel 3D XPoint. Optane is just that good. Pricing and availability weren’t set when we sat down and wrote this report and the report will be updated once available. Better yet, simply check the links throughout this report to check on pricing and availability!
Last but not least… check out our Intel Optane 800P VROC Report where we RAID four of these Optane 800P’ which you just may find very interesting as the performance is great and VROC in RAID 0 with Intel SSDs is completely bootable. There ya go… capacity and performance in a base system OS. Stay tuned!