Mixed Random Performance

Our test of mixed random reads and writes covers mixes varying from pure reads to pure writes at 10% increments. Each mix is tested for up to 1 minute or 32GB of data transferred. The test is conducted with a queue depth of 4, and is limited to a 64GB span of the drive. In between each mix, the drive is given idle time of up to one minute so that the overall duty cycle is 50%.

Mixed 4kB Random Read/Write

The Optane SSDs put even Samsung's best NVMe SSDs to shame on the mixed random I/O test. The 800p is a little more than half as fast as the 900p, which is plenty to put it far out of reach of the flash-based SSDs.

Mixed 4kB Random Read/Write (Power Efficiency)

The Optane SSD 800p takes first place for power efficiency on the mixed random I/O test, with the 58GB model having a slight advantage over the 118GB due to the lower power consumption of operating half as many 3D XPoint dies. The flash-based SSDs come close to matching the efficiency of the Optane SSD 900p, but are far behind the 800p.

With no write buffering, the Optane SSDs show a steady decline in performance as the proportion of writes increases, with no spike in performance at the end as is typical of flash-based SSDs with aggressive write combining. The 800p shows a more pronounced reduction in performance than the 900p, while the 900p's power consumption climbs more.

Mixed Sequential Performance

Our test of mixed sequential reads and writes differs from the mixed random I/O test by performing 128kB sequential accesses rather than 4kB accesses at random locations, and the sequential test is conducted at queue depth 1. The range of mixes tested is the same, and the timing and limits on data transfers are also the same as above.

Mixed 128kB Sequential Read/Write

With only a PCIe x2 interface and sequential write speeds that only use a fraction of that bandwidth, the Optane SSD 800p is actually performing pretty well on the mixed sequential I/O test. The 800p has the same average performance as Samsung's fastest TLC SSD, and offers more than two thirds the performance of the Samsung 960 PRO.

Mixed 128kB Sequential Read/Write (Power Efficiency)

The power efficiency of the Intel Optane SSD 800p is second only to that of the Samsung 960 PRO. The 800p's efficiency score is far above the 900p and the low-end NVMe SSDs.

As with the mixed random I/O test, the Intel Optane SSD 800p shows a steady decline inn performance as more writes are added to the mix. The decline is steeper than the one shown by the 900p. Power consumption increases very slightly over the course of the test but still stays within the rated maximum.

Sequential Performance Power Management
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  • MrSpadge - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Did you ever had an SSD run out of write cycles? I've personally only witnessed one such case (old 60 GB drive from 2010, old controller, being almost full all the time), but numerous other SSD deaths (controller, Sandforce or whatever). Reply
  • name99 - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    I have an SSD that SMART claims is at 42%. I'm curious to see how this plays out over the next three years or so.

    But yeah, I'd agree with your point. I've had two SSDs so far fail (many fewer than HDs, but of course I've owned many more HDs and for longer) and both those failures were inexplicable randomness (controller? RAM?) but they certainly didn't reflect the SSD running out of write cycles.

    I do have some very old (heavily used) devices that are flash based (iPod nano 3rd gen) and they are "failing" in the expected SSD fashion --- getting slower and slower, and can be goosed with some speed for another year by giving them a bulk erase. Meaning that it does seem that SSDs "wear-out" failure (when everything else is reliable) happens as claimed --- the device gets so slow that at some some point you're better off just moving to a new one --- but it takes YEARS to get there, and you get plenty of warning, not unexpected medium failure.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    The original Nexus 7 had this problem, I believe. Those things aged very poorly. Reply
  • 80-wattHamster - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    Was that the issue? I'd read/heard that Lollipop introduced a change to the cache system that didn't play nicely with Tegra chips. Reply
  • sharath.naik - Sunday, March 11, 2018 - link

    the Endurance listed here is barely better than MLC. it is not where close to even SLC Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/01/xpoint_ex...

    I know ddriver can't resist continuing to use 'hypetane' but seriously looking at this article, Optane appears to be a win nearly across the board. In some cases quite significantly. And this is with a product that is constrained in a number of ways. Prices also are starting at a much better place than early SSD's did vs HDD's.

    Really fantastic early results.
    Reply
  • iter - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    You need to lay off whatever you are abusing.

    Fantastic results? None of the people who can actually benefit from its few strong points are rushing to buy. And for everyone else intel is desperately flogging it at it is a pointless waste of money.

    Due to its failure to deliver on expectations and promisses, it is doubtful intel will any time soon allocate the manufacturing capacity it would require to make it competitive to nand, especially given its awful density. At this time intel is merely trying to make up for the money they put into making it. Nobody denies the strong low queue depth reads, but that ain't enough to make it into a money maker. Especially not when a more performant alternative has been available since before intel announced xpoint.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    Most people ignore or gloss over the strong low QD results, actually. Which is ironic given that most of the people crapping all over them for having the "same" performance (read: bars in extreme benchmarks) would likely benefit from improved performance at low QD.

    With that being said capacity and price are terrible. They'll never make any significant inroads against NAND until they can quadruple their current best capacity.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    Alex - I'm sure they are aware of that. I just remember how consumer NAND drives launched, the price/perf was far worse than this compared to HDD's, and those drives still lost in some types of performance (random read/write for instance) despite the high prices. For a new tech, being less than 3x while providing across the board better characteristics is pretty promising. Reply
  • Calin - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    SSD never had a random R/W problem compared to magnetic disks, not even if you compared them by price to RAIDs and/or SCSI server drives. What problem they might had at the beginning was in sequential read (and especially write) speed. Current sequential write speeds for hard drives are limited by the rpm of the drive, and they reach around 150MB/s for a 7200 rpm 1TB desktop drive. Meanwhile, the Samsung 480 EVO SSD at 120GB (a good second or third generation SSD) reaches some 170MB/s sequential write.
    Where the magnetic rotational disk drives suffer a 100 times reduction in performance is random write, while the SSD hardly care. This is due to the awful access time of hard drives (move the heads and wait for the rotation of the disks to bring the data below the read/write heads) - that's 5-10 milliseconds wait time for each new operation).
    Reply

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