Random Read Performance

Our first test of random read performance uses very short bursts of operations issued one at a time with no queuing. The drives are given enough idle time between bursts to yield an overall duty cycle of 20%, so thermal throttling is impossible. Each burst consists of a total of 32MB of 4kB random reads, from a 16GB span of the disk. The total data read is 1GB.

Burst 4kB Random Read (Queue Depth 1)

The Optane SSD 900P doesn't break the record for QD1 random reads, but only because we've also tested the 32GB Optane Memory M.2, which is about two microseconds faster on average for each 4kB read. The Optane SSD 900P is still about 7 times faster than any flash-based SSD.

Our sustained random read performance is similar to the random read test from our 2015 test suite: queue depths from 1 to 32 are tested, and the average performance and power efficiency across QD1, QD2 and QD4 are reported as the primary scores. Each queue depth is tested for one minute or 32GB of data transferred, whichever is shorter. After each queue depth is tested, the drive is given up to one minute to cool off so that the higher queue depths are unlikely to be affected by accumulated heat build-up. The individual read operations are again 4kB, and cover a 64GB span of the drive.

Sustained 4kB Random Read

When longer transfers and higher queue depths come into play, the Optane SSD 900P passes the Optane Memory M.2 and remains more than 6 times faster for random reads than any flash-based SSD.

Both Optane devices more or less level off at queue depths of 8 or higher. The Optane SSD 900P saturates at about 1800 MB/s while the Optane Memory tops out around 1300 MB/s. The Samsung 960 PRO 2TB hasn't caught up by QD32, and doesn't surpass the QD1 random read performance of the Optane SSD until the Samsung reaches a queue depth of about 8.

Random Write Performance

Our test of random write burst performance is structured similarly to the random read burst test, but each burst is only 4MB and the total test length is 128MB. The 4kB random write operations are distributed over a 16GB span of the drive, and the operations are issued one at a time with no queuing.

Burst 4kB Random Write (Queue Depth 1)

The burst random write performance of the Optane SSD 900P is slightly higher than the Intel SSD 750 1.2TB, and about 14% faster than Samsung's fastest.

As with the sustained random read test, our sustained 4kB random write test runs for up to one minute or 32GB per queue depth, covering a 64GB span of the drive and giving the drive up to 1 minute of idle time between queue depths to allow for write caches to be flushed and for the drive to cool down.

Sustained 4kB Random Write

With higher queue depths in play, the Optane SSD 900P scales up faster than the Intel SSD 750 1.2TB, leaving the Optane SSD with a 7-10% lead over the Samsung 960s and Intel 750.

Samsung's 960 PROs and the larger 960 EVO all trail slightly behind the Optane SSD's random write performance for queue depths 1 to 4, then the Samsung drives level off and leave the Optane SSD with a substantial performance advantage at high queue depths. The Intel 750 is slightly faster at QD1 and QD2, but saturates at an even lower performance level than the Samsung 960s.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light Sequential Performance


View All Comments

  • ddriver - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    You probably missed the slide where intel positions this product at "eSports" - believe it or not, it will make a world of a difference. You may not see even 1% of improvement, but it will definitely make you much better at eSports.

    But then again, you can get exactly the same benefit from just putting a sticker on your box, without actually paying for the product. It is enough for others to think you have it.

    Sarcasm aside, at this price it is a good purchase for database usage. But only if very low latency is required, meaning a local server on a very fast network, and the server is being lightly loaded. For an internet server the advantages will be diminished by the internet connection bottleneck, and for higher loads, as evident from the test results, SSDs do catch up as the QD increases, and still offer significantly lower cost per GB.
  • lmcd - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    While the endurance shut-off seems pretty ridiculous, I'd imagine as this technology ramps up its density and cost-efficiency it will supplant traditional NAND in the data center before traditional NAND even garners much of a foothold. Reply
  • iwod - Saturday, October 28, 2017 - link

    I think the reality is 90% of consumers are never going to hit that endurance number, ever. Statiscally speaking, they are much more likely to get a Memory Error, Capacitor malfunction, Power Supply issues or likely their CPU heat cooling system ( Increasingly a problem ) messed up before that number ever arrived.

    And I think another problem, is Intel cant figure out the best endurance time and method on this new tech. And they are playing it safe then sorry. Running a 10 PB test takes time.
  • "Bullwinkle J Moose" - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    Thank you ddriver

    I was going to let the My Banhammer stand until I remembered why I love this site so much...

    It's not the articles, it's the comments

    You have learned well my friend!
  • eddman - Sunday, October 29, 2017 - link

    Horses attached to the same carriage. Keep pulling. Reply
  • peevee - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    Looks like this thing is fast enough to be used as swap drive for memory-intensive tasks. Reply
  • Reflex - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    This is a good product for those who can benefit from it, and a great start for the first major advance in solid state storage we have seen in many years. Hopefully the price continues to come down, power consumption declines and capacity rises. I will be very interested in seeing whether or not they can achieve the projections that were made when the technology was first announced. Reply
  • Huayra - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    Is it possible to install macOS on it using thunderbolt enclosure connected to a Macbook? Reply
  • Ippokratis - Saturday, October 28, 2017 - link

    Hi, nice article.
    1 - Can Optane be used as a scratch disk for Ryzen / Threadripper, OSX /Linux ?
    2 - Could you please a compiler (gcc, javascript) benchmark ? Random IOPS are very important in compiling and making compile times shorter is a good reason to buy tech - consider it as a real life test.
  • peevee - Monday, October 30, 2017 - link

    Agree with compile test. On 16+ core machine though, not 4 measly cores. And source code which does not all fit in RAM. Reply

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