The Intel Optane SSD 900p 480GB Review: Diving Deeper Into 3D XPointby Billy Tallis on December 15, 2017 12:15 PM EST
AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer
The Destroyer is an extremely long test replicating the access patterns of very IO-intensive desktop usage. A detailed breakdown can be found in this article. Like real-world usage, the drives do get the occasional break that allows for some background garbage collection and flushing caches, but those idle times are limited to 25ms so that it doesn't take all week to run the test. These AnandTech Storage Bench (ATSB) tests do not involve running the actual applications that generated the workloads, so the scores are relatively insensitive to changes in CPU performance and RAM from our new testbed, but the jump to a newer version of Windows and the newer storage drivers can have an impact.
We quantify performance on this test by reporting the drive's average data throughput, the average latency of the I/O operations, and the total energy used by the drive over the course of the test.
The average data rate of the 480GB Optane SSD 900p on The Destroyer is a few percent higher than the 280GB model scored, further increasing the lead over the fastest flash-based SSDs.
The 480GB Optane SSD 900p shows a substantial drop in average latency relative to the 280GB model, allowing it to score better than any flash-based SSD. For 99th percentile latency the 480GB model scores slightly worse than the 280GB, but both are still far ahead of any competing drive.
The two capacities of Optane SSD 900p have essentially the same average read latency that is less than half that of any flash-based SSD. For average write latency, the 480GB model sets a new record while the 280GB performed worse than it did the first time around, but still faster than anything other than the Samsung 960 PRO.
The 99th percentile read and write latency scores for the Optane SSD 900p are all substantially better than any flash-based SSD, even though the 280GB's results again show some variation between this test run and our original review. The 99th percentile read latency scores are particularly good, with the Optane SSDs around 0.5ms while the best flash-based SSDs are in the 1-2ms range.
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nathanddrews - Friday, December 15, 2017 - linkIs there any indication that performance would degrade with a lesser CPU or improve with a faster CPU? Just curious if we should expect CPU bottlenecks from these hyper-speed SSDs.
Billy Tallis - Friday, December 15, 2017 - linkYes, CPU speed can definitely affect latency and consistency and maximum achievable IOPS. Some of those limits were hit with the P4800X testing on a server with lower per-core performance than this consumer testbed.
At the moment, my inclination is to leave the consumer test suite single-threaded, because consumer workloads don't actually hit the queue depths necessary to go beyond the I/O capabilities of a single CPU core. I don't care too much if the high QD range on some of the graphs doesn't quite reach the theoretical limit of the drive, because that's not the part of the graph we should be paying attention to. (For consumer drives.)
At low queue depths, interrupt servicing latency can be helped a bit by a faster CPU. But for most consumers, switching from Windows to Linux will do a lot more to help reduce their storage latency. And saving a few more microseconds only matters on Optane; mainstream products won't be this fast for quite a while.
ddrіver - Friday, December 15, 2017 - linkI think I'll have to reevaluate my position on Optane. Seems like a solid product. Guess I misread the signs.
ddriver - Friday, December 15, 2017 - linkHow can you tell a fake "ddriver" apart? Well, the real one would never mislabel the product hypetane ;)
It is what it is, and still nowhere nearly "1000x" better as intel claimed. It has its niche strengths, but those offer no tangible benefit to 99.9999% of the consumers out there. I don't recall ever claiming that it will suck, my claim has always been that it will epically fail to live up to the hype, which testing thoroughly confirms. It is not even 10% of "1000x better". So hypetane it is.
SLC flash can easily match and even bet it in most performance metrics. Unfortunately the industry is not even trying, even mlc is now considered "ultra high end enterprise". Which is understandable, as the workloads that could actually benefit from higher performance are very few and far in between, and for 99% of them using ram is the more applicable and still tremendously better performing solution.
It is definitely not a bad product on its own. And I would not refer to it as "hypetane" if only intel hadn't shamelessly lied about it on such a preposterous scale.
tuxRoller - Friday, December 15, 2017 - linkInterface speeds≠ media speeds
When will you learn?
Also, still need a reference for those SLC numbers.
LordanSS - Saturday, December 16, 2017 - linkIndeed, Interface speeds are not "media" speeds. I never expected it to work according to Intel's "1000x" claims, but was hoping for a more in-line 20x better from what we currently have, considering first generation product and all.
And it doesn't even do that. Sorry, for this one time, I am (partially) siding with ddriver.
lmcd - Saturday, December 16, 2017 - link20X better overall is entirely unrealistic. Certain attributes are 20X better. That is all you can really expect when so many things (form factor, power usage, interface protocols, physical interface, etc) are retained from the previous generation.
LordanSS - Sunday, December 17, 2017 - link20x is 2% (TWO PERCENT) of what Intel claimed when they disclosed XPoint. It's not realistic?
Intel shoul have kept their mouth shut back then, just like Micron has done so until now. If they can't even do 2% of what they claimed, they're the unrealistic ones.
tuxRoller - Sunday, December 17, 2017 - linkWere those claims that Intel made in reference to xpoint the tech, or optane the first gen product?
tuxRoller - Saturday, December 16, 2017 - linkI'm not sure why you are quoting media, but you are absolutely welcome to be disappointed.
You'll notice I don't care whether anyone thinks Intel over hyped their product only that we still don't know what the actual xpoint (the media, or "tread + xfer + Misc" times, as Handy refers to it) response times look like.
If AT doesn't allow the below link, search for "xpoint presence in slow lane explained" on the register, or Google "Why XPoint SSDs won't meet original speed claims: A guide"