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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  • beginner99 - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Exactly. Anything below 240GB is not a workable solution nowadays. I remember my first intel g2 80GB. constant micro-managing where to put files and which app gets to be on the ssd and which not. Or for my parents I back then got them a 64 gb drive. When the win 10 update came it was not possible to update because updating windows 7 to 10 requires more than 64gb. Reply
  • Calin - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    I do use a 120GB SSD on my desktop, and it works good enough with a 2TB hard drive. I even use a 90% partition, as early SSDs had performance problems when close to full. Reply
  • sharath.naik - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    was rapid mode tried on Samsung drives?. not sure with a large enough ram the difference in random performance would matter that much. Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    Half the test suite is run on Linux, so Rapid Mode isn't an option. And in general, I don't approve of third-party software that second-guesses the decisions made by core parts of the OS like the virtual memory system—especially not when those tools put user data at risk without being absolutely clear about what they're really doing. Reply
  • eddieobscurant - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Billy , do you have any news on micron's QuantX ? Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    Intel and Micron (IM) joint venture, Intel "branded" as Optane either way is 3D XPoint..far as I understood Micron decided to "drop it" so is Intel going about it all on their own, was Unity Semiconductors who was bought out by Rambus 2012, that likely not a good thing either (they) RB seem more prevalent to sue people vs making a tangible product everyone wants (IMO)

    the above 3d x, optane whatever seems like another thing that "on paper" seems like would be a decent thing, but, the price factor puts it into a "there are better options available" that offer similar performance or at the very least substantially better $/gb value.

    I think that is what Micron was seeing, no real way to get the "value" out of it without charging too high a price to make it market worthwhile for them and consumer, Intel is their own fish and they always (again IMO) charge substantial price for a "do we really need this" type product (like Nvidia) cut corners or cut down performance that could have been, but still want top dollar, and "next year" come out with a more full fat version (that should have been the previous year) and want more $ for the "upgrade" planned obsolescence/upgrade path.

    for a loose example, Samsung 950 EVO M.2 250gb (pro faster but ofc more pricey)
    I see available for ~$160 CAD
    read/write 3200/1900
    QD1 Thread
    Random Read: 14,000 IOPS
    Random Write: 50,000 IOPS
    QD32 Thread
    Random Read: 380,000 IOPS
    Random Write: 360,000 IOPS

    their "power draw" and latency do not seem to be praiseworth either, so it still leads me to the same question "why bother"...also, I really wish M.2 drives were maybe a toned down speed version so it could be "less expensive" here I thought that by going smaller and smaller node and going from SLC to MLC to 3d etc price would drop and drop while performance would go up and up, seems that the only real thing that has changed is the less on the "board" the further they crank the speed give smaller capacity and increase the price *facepalm*
    Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    10x less latency
    15x faster in QD1r
    4X faster in QD1w
    Reply
  • Adramtech - Saturday, March 10, 2018 - link

    Micron has no plans to drop QuantX and are providing an update at their May tech conference. Reply
  • shabby - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    Leave it to intel to artificially cripple a product on purpose, who does this? Reply
  • boeush - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    Seems to me, if you really want supper-fast, low-latency high-endurance random read/write at low QD and capacities ~128GB for a lot of $$$, then just get a bunch of RAM and a UPS (to prevent data loss in case of power failure.). No SSD technology will ever beat good ol' RAM in terms of performance. In this case, for mass storage you just need fast sequential reads and writes so you can quickly map your filesystem to/from RAM on system startup/shutdown, respectively...

    In light of which, until Intel comes out with their next-gen Optane at 512 GB+ capacities in M.2 package, the current product feels like a solution on search of a problem
    Reply

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