On our Test Bench today is the newest Intel SSD Optane P5800X PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD and we must say that we are pretty impressed. In fact, I am left with a lingering question as to whether this level of performance will even be attainable by others? This SSD is just that good. Intel’s secret weapon. We are saying this after pushing through more than 37TB of testing on this monster… and it just keeps performing better and better. Don’t believe me? Let’s start with this benchmark where we have the Intel Optane DC P5800X filled to 90% of its storage capacity, an amount that would cripple many other SSDs.
It isn’t ever that we cut to the chase as we have with this benchmark at the beginning of a report. That is over 7GB/s throughput, 1.5 million IOPS ,and just under 10µ (microseconds) latency with that ‘best ever’ random 4K read result of 416MB/s… at 90% filled. All is not perfect though. Follow along after this first look at the Optane DC P5800X in our Test Bench.
Intel Optane was announced in 2015, released in 2017, and remains to be marketed today in two forms, Optane and Optane Memory. Optane is a pure SSD as we are reviewing today while Optane Memory is marketed in the H10 (report here) and H20 configurations, where Optane Memory itself is used primarily as a caching device. In other words, you get a very small taste of true Optane. These versions are sold as a low capacity H10 module and caching software, or as an all inclusive Optane caching solution (with software), as we most recently reviewed with the H20. Our first true look at Optane started with our review of the Intel SSD 900P 480GB SSD back in 2017.
Now… Intel Optane should have developed into an all inclusive consumer, business and enterprise solution but they put an abrupt end to that this past February, discontinuing Optane sales at consumer level. By Optane, we mean the their pure version of Optane and not the most recent H20 caching solution Optane Memoory SSD. Where I get just a bit…misplaced…is that this above picture is the newest Intel Optane DC P5800X PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD in a 800GB capacity. Having pushed this for over 37TB of testing and opened this up to see the interior components (we will get to that), I can say that this is the fastest and coolest running SSD in the world, and better yet, Intel could EASILY put this into a M.2 form factor where it would be absolute heaven to so many in the media world that choose not to rely on the U.2 form factor. There would simply be the issue of cost but…we are pretty certain that it could be done.
The Intel Optane DC P5800X is a PCIe 4x 4 (4 lane) U.2 form factor SSD that uses the NVMe 1.3d protocol and is available in capacities of 400GB, 800GB (our sample today) and 1.6TB. This SSD is intended for workstation use first and foremost. Our initial sales pitch for review of the 1.6TB sample resulted in a return phone call from Intel filled with laughter. Unlike just about every other SSD these days, performance does not vary with capacity and specifications for the P5800X are 7.2GB/s read, 6.2GB/s write, 1.5mil IOPS read and write with up to 1.8mil IOPS mixed.
MSRP pricing for the Intel Optane DC P5800X is set at $1189 (400GB), $2044 (800GB) and $3724 (1.6TB) and its warranty is 5-years limited (so long as you DON’T open it) with a 100 drive write per day (DWPD) rating. Want to try something interesting? Find any other SSD for a comparison to this. The P5800X warrants at 100 DWPD which equals 80TB per day for the 800GB we are testing…or 146PB over the 5-year warranty period. 146PB. There is no SSD in the world that even comes remotely close to this. Intel could have cut this in half (or even half of that) and we still would have boasted this as being the only in the world to achieve such.
Intel states that the P5800X will thermal throttle if it gets as hot as 70-73°C, however let’s acknowledge from the outset that this is the fastest and coolest SSD on the planet. Where other Gen 4 SSDs will easily climb above 80°C without a heatsink, and still remain relatively high during the most stressful tests, we couldn’t get the Intel Optane DC P5800X above 42°C no matter how hard we tried and, typically, it sat in the mid-30 range. Granted, we did not test the P5800x PCB only without its shell.
The Intel Optane DC P5800X components are contained on a green PCB that is protected by a clam-shell design black metal exterior with ribbing that provides for heat dissipation. It hooks in place on one side while the other is secured by two torx screws, found under the metal Intel black branding sticker. Damaging this sticker as we did immediately voids any future warranty hopes.
The heart and soul of the P5800x is Intel’s proprietary Optane EAX39W01 controller set into a green PCB and eight packages of Intel Optane modules, numbered 9P0ITI4NDSGI, four on each side.
As far as power goes, the Intel Optane DC P5800X has a 4.2W Idle power rating with 18W active. It is has AES 256-Bit hardware encryption, end-to-end data protection, temperature monitoring, logging and thermal protection, along with High Endurance technology (HET). As well, QoS (4KRR, QD=1, 99%) is listed up to <6us² with QoS (4KRR, RW, Mixed QD=1, 99.999%) up to <25us.