Intel Optane DC P5800X PCIe 4 NVME SSD Review – SSD Perfection Via Throughput, IOPS and Latency

PCMARK 10 FULL SYSTEM STORAGE BENCHMARK

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmarks produce an overall score as a measure of drive performance. Comparing devices is as simple as comparing scores. The tests also measure and report the bandwidth and average access time performance for the drive. Each test uses traces recorded while performing real-world tasks such as booting Windows 10, starting applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, working with applications such as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, and copying several large files and many small files.

INTEL Z590 TEST BENCH

AMD X570 TEST BENCH


PCMARK 10 QUICK SYSTEM BENCHMARK

The Quick System Drive Benchmark is a subset of the Full test and is more representative of typical daily usage to show what would be expected regarding hybrid SSD performance on a day-to-day basis.

INTEL Z590 TEST BENCH

AMD X570 TEST BENCH

 PCMARK 10 FULL SYSTEM COMPARISON CHART

For our Test Comparison today, we have only completed recent Gen 3 and Gen 4 SSDs that had been tested on our newest Intel 11th Gen Z590 PCIe 4 Test Bench.  Of particular interest is how lower latency mixed with performance correlates to better overall performance.

TRUE DATA TESTING THE INTEL OPTANE DC P5800X NVME SSD

For our True Data Testing, we simply loaded 15GB video, music, photo and OS files onto the Intel Optane 400GB P5800x and copied the data to a new folder on that same disk. These Test results reflect Tests only completed on ouir newest Intel Z590 Test Bench.

SUSTAINED FILE TRANSFER

We wanted to demonstrate exactly what the Intel Optane P5800X was capable of as compared to another high end Gen4 SSD when it came to large file transfers.  For the P5800X, we created a 425GB folder of 8K files to see if transfer speeds would drop at all during the transfer, as would be normal in any typical SSD.  This was our result.

As a means of comparison, we thought we might do same with our  Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Gen 4 4TB System Drive which is running and performing as it should. This SSD is considered one of the best consumer/enthusiast  SSDs in the market today.  The file size is a bit smaller as our only purpose is to generate how a similar transfer looks when a long transfer takes place with NAND, vice Optane memory.

As we can see, there is an extended period of data transfer above 2GB/s before it falls to almost half of that for the remainder of the transfer.  This is typical for all modern NAND flash memory SSDs and even more prominent as we have progressed from TLC to QLC memory.

TEMPERATURE MONITORING

We had spoken a bit previously with respect to the low sustained temperatures we observed throughout our testing of the Intel Optane P5800X PCIe 4 NVMe SSD and wanted to provide a bit of validation here. During our testing, the highest temperature we could achieve was 44°C during a 8K video write transfer as shown here:

More to the point however, we have had the Intel Optane in our main system for several days now and can attest to the fact that the median temperature for our Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Gen 4 4TB SSD is 43°C, while the Intel Optane P5800X is 35°C.

INTEL MEMORY AND STORAGE TOOL

Intel has a great software program called the memory and Storage Tool (MAS) available for monitoring (and much more)  of your Intel SSD.  It is free and can be found here.  This software provides the most detailed SMART information you can find for your Intel SSD, Firmware Update, Diagnostic Scan, as well as the quickest and easiest way to Secure Erase an SSD that we have ever seen.

For our Optane P5800X, we simply went into Windows 10 Disk Management, removed the logical partition from the drive and then clicked on Erase in the software.  It took less than two seconds to Secure Erase the P5800X to like new state once again!

14 comments

  1. For the price I would consider the SSD has at least 16 PCIe lanes and not this bottleneck with 4 lanes.

  2. If the SSD has sequential write speed of 5.6 GB/s, how comes that in that 425 GB file transfer test on page 5 it shows only 2.45 GB/s? Was it bottlenecked by reading speed of another SSD used as source? This is a faulty test, I think. You make a conclusion that P5800X does not drop its write speed, but in reality you tested that it only maintains 2.45 GB/s speed. You did not test how it maintains its full write speed. Your max temperature test is also faulty, since it is based on the same file transfer test limited to less than half of max write speed. If you transfer the same 425 GB folder at max speed of 5.6 GB/s (using a pcie gen 4 SSD as source) then max temperature could be way higher.

    • Despite your best efforts at negating the validity of this report, I always welcome the opportunity to assist others. If you have a decent grasp of storage, you will understand that listed specifications with respect to flash storage are just that, listed specifications. They are a unrealistic high that are seldom reached in reality, and do more to sell SSDs and storage than serving any real purpose. Several years ago I did a study of just this and determined that an SSD EVER reaches its real peaks only about .04% of the time. This is exactly the same when, in your scenario listing the ‘sequential write speed’ you are hoping to hit these highs. This is nothing new and I don’t know of a single SSD in the hundreds that have been through our hands that has ever reached its peak (or sequential write high) as you discuss here, during file transfer…not one. In fact, of all the reports I have ever seen in the industry, I have not ever seen even one. Now, there are many factors that are the cause of this, the first being of course that manufacturers determine their listed specifications with of benchmarks such as ATTO that provide a high performance variable through sequential data transfer. As well, different types of data transfers at different speeds depending on size, compression used and other variables, this being front and center in our true testing. Next up…temperature. If you are relying on your first point to validate your second, this point has now been negated but… Temperature is very easy to determine while monitoring a SSD during testing, which is explained very clearly.

      • I’m not “negating” anything – I just asked if that write speed could be bottlenecked by reading speed of the source disk. Based on your response, I assume it wasn’t? I currently have Samsung 970 Pro, and it reaches 2 GB/s in actual file transfer speed (according to the same Windows popup window, not according to synthetic tests). That’s why I thought that 2.45 GB/s in real file transfer speed for P5800X is kind of low, taking into account how much more advanced it is. Either way, thanks for responding.

      • Prior to responding, I had a few industry peers provide thought on your input. The received response for the most part was to simply delete or ignore your comment as you state how the testing was faulty, prior to simply asking why such and such result was achieved. I elected to respond to assist. Setting that aside, you have shown exactly what I described with the 970 Pro reaching 2GB/s in actual transfer speed. By your model, I would ask why it doesn’t reach the full 3.5GB/s transfer speed. Hope this helps.

  3. Les, I’m not real familiar with the Ryzen architecture but wanted to know if it supports any PCI-E lanes direct into the CPU like the newer Intel CPUs do. I’d be curious to know if that generates any better performance specs on SSDs over running them through chipset lanes.

    • AMD Ryzen CPUs (And more specifically the x570 motherboards) support PCIe lanes from the CPU natively, and others via the chipset. It all stacks up very similarly to Intel’s solutions.

      In general, the x16 graphics slot + 1 x4 NVMe slot generally come natively from the on-die PCIe lanes, and the rest come from the chipset.

      Graphic here from Anandtech’s x570 motherboard roundup, showing the lane breakdowns:

      https://images.anandtech.com/doci/14161/X570.png

      • So, there are some caveats with that. Yes, there are 4 lanes dedicated to the first NVME / m.2 slot, but they are electrically connected to that M.2 slot. You would have to use an M.2 to U.2 adapter of some sort to plug the drive in to the m.2 slot. It can be done, but PCIe 4.0 is a real stickler for signal integrity and trace length. I have not seen a good u.2 to m.2 adaptation setup that reliably supports PCIe 4.0 speeds. I have some parts on the way that will be tested soon to see if the m.2 socket can be made to work properly with this drive.

        The author is using a PCIe carrier card that adapts the drive directly to a PCIe slot. This is a viable connection method but has some drawbacks for an enthusiast system. Consumer amd be intel systems will bifurcate the 16x PCIe slot that the gfx card uses down to the required two 8x PCIe slots if you plug the carrier card into the motherboards second cpu direct attached 16x slot. While this is fine for the nvme drive, it does create some minor performance issues for the gpu if you have a baller enough GFX card (rtx 3090. . .).

        Plugging this kind of drive into a chipset connected PCIe slot would likely negate the benefit of having a drive that has the performance characteristics that this one has.

  4. Thanks for your review. I’m interested in random performance and latency for my apps. My suspicions have been confirmed. Cheerz.

  5. Want the AMD #s up there with Intel #s?
    Simply mod the Intel driver’s .inf file a bit.

    My 800P:
    Q1 R4K read: 200 to 291 MB/s
    Q1 R4K Write: 161 to 217 MB/s

    Screenshot and linked driver in my FarceBook post here:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AMDHardwareEnthusiasts/posts/3083610618363854/?__cft__%5B0%5D=AZW0Ohn2H97vVE3CtHDwoLDG7A4Rx-Hol8tVupcZY_LedzCFmhRTw4si_OjFNc1JrhFN-tM1OPZppHhQfvBJQJETKYrhZRUyF-flb2_lGKd6nwvOrKE5w9ICUakxxv_8dSKM4xBxt4hhWMV_JiJ9R_1U&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R

  6. Any chance to get AMD vs Intel CPU benchmarks on Linux (e.g. Debian)? AMD usually performs better on Linux than Intel. Would be interesting to see if that carries over to the SSD benchmarks.

  7. The best thing about Optane is not the durability or the latency, it is that it doesn’t need a cache. You can up the copy test size as much as you want and it will stilll go like hell.

    There is no cache misses with Optane. I am done with Nand, I just want Optane v2 to get cheap enough that my wife won’t kill me when I buy it.

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