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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  • Alexvrb - Saturday, March 10, 2018 - link

    Calin you are obviously too young to remember some of the early "affordable" consumer NAND SSDs. Hammer them a bit and they stalled... producing worse results than a lot of fast HDDs... especially in random writes. Sequential speeds were never a major issue that I can recall. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Trying to equate a NAND-to-Optane transition to the mechanical-HDD-to-SSD transition is laughable. Reply
  • wumpus - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    The moment pseudo-SLC in TLC showed up, Optane was pretty much dead in the SSD market. They would presumably compete with SLC (does anybody still make it?), but TLC is the coffin nail in consumer markets.

    From the moment the 3d-xpoint hypetrane started, it was clear that it would try to wedge itself into the memory hierarchy, presumably between flash and DRAM, and hopes for replacing flash.

    Flash isn't going anywhere, and 3d-xpoint hasn't shown the endurance needed for a fast-paging DRAM replacement. It certainly wouldn't replace *all* DRAM, but anyone who's seen a 4GB machine actually function (slow, but they do work) knows that nearly all that expensive (hopefully DDR4 will fall back to Earth) DRAM could be replaced by something sufficiently fast, but neither flash nor 3d-xpoint is quite there.

    To compound the problems, Intel decided that "Optane in a DDR4 slot" would be strictly proprietary. So there are marketing/political problems trying to get manufacturers to support it as well as technical issues to make the stuff.
    Reply
  • name99 - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Consumer NAND launched in an environment where it had SOME spaces where it was optimal, and so had the chance to grow. It started in phones and DAPs, then grew to ultra-laptops, and finally the desktop. Point is --- there were niches that could pay for on-going improvement.

    Octane is different because there is NO obvious niche that justifies continuing to pump money into it. The niche that was SUPPOSED to justify it (NV-DIMMs) is STILL MIA years after it was promised...
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    I am all for super fast QD1 results. But so far none of the application seems to benefits from it. At least not according to test results. I am wonder, we are either testing it wrong, looking at the wrong thing, or the benefits of QD1 is over thought and bottleneck is somewhere else.

    And NAND continues to get bigger better and faster. We may be looking at below $100 250GB SSD this year.
    Reply
  • iter - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Exactly. It is hilarious how them fanboys keep claiming that we overlook the advantages, when I explicitly state them almost every time.

    There are very little and far in between workloads where those advantages can translate into tangible improvement of real world performance.

    When your bottleneck is a human being interacting via input devices, discrete savings of several dozens of microseconds are simply not perceivable.

    Even cumulative savings are in fact not, because most of the time that data has to also be processed by the cpu, which is why synthetics aside, raw real world applications snow minuscule going from a decent ssd to a crazy fast nvme device.
    Reply
  • sor - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Probably has something to do with your name calling and “it keeps getting worse and worse” when that objectively isn’t true. You come off as having an axe to grind.

    It is not true that this is worse and worse. The power improvements shown here are quite impressive. Low QD performance is still better than NAND by an order of magnitude, and looks to have gotten a roughly 20% improvement. Sequential read now even beats NAND.

    You and others are falling over yourselves to crap on it for some strange reason, and clearly are ignoring the upsides. It’s just a product.
    Reply
  • iter - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    "when that objectively isn’t true"

    It absolutely is. It is slower than the 900p. They improved power a bit - big whoop, especially considering it came at the cost of gutting the interface by 50%.

    118 GB? I bet enthusiasts all over the planet are drooling about that crazy capacity. Not to mention the smaller model...

    Nobody denies the strong points, it is just that they are way too little to make this a good product.

    Instead of getting bigger and faster it gets smaller and slower.

    And somehow the price per GB increases.

    Truly impressive.
    Reply
  • nevcairiel - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    If you want to go down that road, at current consumer SSD speeds (say Samsung 960 Pro), I doubt any normal user would even notice if the performance suddenly doubled (or halfed, for that matter).

    Does that mean we should not innovate? Perhaps consumer work-load isn't the main goal, but if you have the hardware, why not try to make a consumer product, anyway.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    With decently fast SATA SSDs the bottleneck is almsot entirely the CPU already, unless you've got purely I/O load. Reply

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