Sequential Read Performance

Our first test of sequential read performance uses short bursts of 128MB, issued as 128kB operations with no queuing. The test averages performance across eight bursts for a total of 1GB of data transferred from a drive containing 16GB of data. Between each burst the drive is given enough idle time to keep the overall duty cycle at 20%.

Burst 128kB Sequential Read (Queue Depth 1)

The burst QD1 sequential read performance of the Intel Optane SSD 900P falls in between the Samsung 960 PRO and 960 EVO. Samsung's fastest outperforms the Optane SSD by about 11%.

Our test of sustained sequential reads uses queue depths from 1 to 32, with the performance and power scores computed as the average of QD1, QD2 and QD4. Each queue depth is tested for up to one minute or 32GB transferred, from a drive containing 64GB of data.

Sustained 128kB Sequential Read

On the longer test of sequential read performance, the Optane SSD holds on to a commanding lead after the flash-based SSDs mostly slow down relative to their burst performance.

Both Optane devices show a jump in performance from QD1 to QD2, after which their performance holds steady. Samsung's 960s show very minor performance increases with queue depth, and at the highest queue depths the Intel SSD 750 comes closest to catching up to the Optane SSD.

Sequential Write Performance

Our test of sequential write burst performance is structured identically to the sequential read burst performance test save for the direction of the data transfer. Each burst writes 128MB as 128kB operations issued at QD1, for a total of 1GB of data written to a drive containing 16GB of data.

Burst 128kB Sequential Write (Queue Depth 1)

Samsung's 960 PRO and EVO drives all outperform the Intel Optane SSD 900P on the burst sequential write test, by up to 16%.

Our test of sustained sequential writes is structured identically to our sustained sequential read test, save for the direction of the data transfers. Queue depths range from 1 to 32 and each queue depth is tested for up to one minute or 32GB, followed by up to one minute of idle time for the drive to cool off and perform garbage collection. The test is confined to a 64GB span of the drive.

Sustained 128kB Sequential Write

On the longer sequential write test, the Optane SSD loses ground to Samsung's three fastest SSDs but everything else slows down even more.

Almost all of the SSDs in this bunch reach their full sequential write speed at QD2, and they are mostly differentiated by their speeds once saturated. A few drives show some unevenness during the later portions of the test, but the Optane SSD has just a minor blip in its favor at the end of the test.

Random Performance Mixed Read/Write Performance


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  • ddriver - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    "MLC/TLC NAND treated like SLC"

    That sounds like "a snail treated as a cheetah". I bet feeding antelopes to a snail will make it as fast as a cheetah.

    There is already a huge gap in access performance between MLC and TLC. TLC drives turn pathetic the moment they run out of cache. It is physically impossible to store multiple bits and access as if it is a single bit. Neither in terms of performance, nor in terms of endurance.

    We haven't even seen what SLC is truly capable of, only the very early SSDs had SLC, and back then they were crippled by the primitive and tremendously under-powered controllers. At the medium level, SLC is insanely fast.
  • MFinn3333 - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    OK, no that is simply not true.

    Fujtisu made a drive in 2014 entirely of Intel 25nm SLC and a Sandforce 2281 controller. It was called Fujitsu FSX 240GB (And 120GB). It kicked ass for it's class and time but it is nowhere and I mean nowhere near the speeds that are here or what you are claiming.

    I set a couple of them up in RAIeD-0 through both hardware and software RAID and while it did often saturat the bandwidth but only with sequential transfers. The only number that it could ever come close to matching anything here is when you are talking random writes. I could easily hit 220MB/s at 4K Random Write but it's Random Read speed was around 50MB/s at the best of times.

    SLC was and is awesome and I feel comfortable with doing horrible things to those drives (I defragged them for no reason, compiled code, did multiple virtual machines including Windows 3.11, and more benchmarking than any person ever should) but it's time is over.

    Get over it.
  • ddriver - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    Oh wow, you are some kind of a tech genius, expecting raid to boost something other than sequential access.

    2014 is ancient history in the world of SSD controllers. SLC on the physical level is capable of 500-600 times better performance than what the "best" SLC controller could squeeze out of it.

    I am not saying this isn't the case for xpoint as well, I am just saying SLC is far more capable than what people can imagine.
  • MFinn3333 - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    "We haven't even seen what SLC is truly capable of, only the very early SSDs had SLC, and back then they were crippled by the primitive and tremendously under-powered controllers. "

    That is what you wrote, not about SSD's a few years ago but the very early ones. You moved your own goalposts.

    SLC is about 4x faster than MLC. You are claiming it to be 500x while showing little to no evidence and roasting Intel for their claims. So either put up or shut up with your evidence.
  • Reflex - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    SLC does not obey physics. Gotta take that into account. ;) Reply
  • chrnochime - Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - link

    No comment when the other guy mentions 2014 is not "very early SSD"? Come on now. Your prejudice against anything other than SLC is showing. We all know early SSDs go back much earlier than even 2007. Reply
  • edzieba - Saturday, October 28, 2017 - link

    If SLC were truly better and cheaper than PCM, then companies would be using it and undercutting the competition with their cheaper, faster drives with lower production costs. Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Friday, November 3, 2017 - link

    Indeed: Reply
  • extide - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    Regardless of the tests used here this thing is one of the fastest storage devices available PERIOD, and it's honestly priced pretty well. It's cheaper/GB than the first SSD I bought, in fact. I could see this being used for large swaps on servers that need a huge memory footprint for a lot cheaper than a shitload of RAM, or as a ZFS L2ARC or ZIL, or for hosting a ton of VM's or for running databases off of, etc.

    BUT you are ddriver, the king of cynicism, so I can at least say "I got what I expected."
  • ddriver - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    I am also the king of "1000 times better means 1000 times better" ;)

    I too got what I expected, because I expected that "1000 times better" to be a lie.

    If you look at my comments, I am actually 100% objective about acknowledging the benefits of hypetane. Which is where my true biggest fault lies. How dare I be objective rather than expressing nothing short of complete awe and admiration?

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