Intel releases their new Optane 900P series SSD
Published: 27th October 2017 | Source: Intel |
Specifications and pricing
With their new Optane 900P series of SSDs Intel is aiming to be the best performing SSD on the market, though traditional testing methods may have difficulty highlighting the drive's performance benefits when compared to its NAND-based competition.
In the charts below Intel is comparing their SSD to a "PCIe NAND Competitor", which is a Samsung 960 Pro, a drive that is currently lauded as one of the best performing SSDs on the market.
The problem with a lot of today's storage benchmarks is that they are designed for NAND and often do not highlight things like low queue depth performance and typically look deep into sequential workloads. This is not really representative of what most users experience, as most PC users will be using low queue depths of between 1 and 10 while most benchmarks focus on a queue depth as high as 32.
Intel has conducted their own testing and compared their results to Samsung's 960 Pro, revealing some huge shortcomings for Samsung's fastest consumer SSD, showcasing how Intel's strength at low queue depths and lower latencies allows a lot of different workloads to be accelerated, making an Optane SSD a great choice for productivity depending on your desired workload.
One of the workloads Intel used was to render a highly complex video scene that simulates a large whirlpool, which can take up to 17 hours to complete with a 960 Pro. When using the Intel 900p the render was done in around six hours, a render time that is around 2.7 times faster.
The sheer speed of Intel's 900p was able to keep the system running at higher loads for longer, with 2.75x higher system utilisation, allowing the workload to be completed at a much faster rate. This highlights how certain workloads can be limited by SSDs, making Xpoint/Optane a highly attractive storage medium for ultra-high-end media creation and data-centric workloads.
Intel will be releasing two capacity options for this SSD at launch, a 280GB version (PCIe and U.2 variants) and a 480GB version (PCIe only). Note that Intel has listed the same performance characteristics for both their 280GB and 480GB versions, as Optane does not suffer from the same parallelism problems as NAND, which often causes smaller drives to offer lower performance numbers than their higher-end counterparts.
These new SSDs will start shipping today, which means that these new ultra-enthusiast SSDs should be available at retailers soon.