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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  • boeush - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    P.S. please pardon the "autocorrect"-induced typos... (in the year 2018, still wishing Anandtech would find a way to let us edit our posts...) Reply
  • Calin - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Unfortunately, if you already have a computer supporting only 32 GB of RAM, the 200$ for an Intel 800p is peanuts compared to what you would have to pay for a system that supports more than 128GB of RAM - both in costs of mainboard, CPU and especially RAM. I'd venture a guess of a $5,000 entry price (you might pay less for refurbished). It might very possibly be worth it, but it's still a $5k against a $200 investment Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Entry-level Intel Xeon + 1U motherboard with 8x DIMM slots = ~$600
    8x 32GB modules for 256GB RAM total = ~$3,200

    So not quite $5k, but still a lot more than $200 :)
    Reply
  • mkaibear - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    ...plus a new case, plus a new PSU, plus a UPS... Reply
  • boeush - Saturday, March 10, 2018 - link

    Yes, I did mention a lot of $$$...

    But that's the point: how badly do you really need the extreme random access performance to begin with - above and beyond what a good 1 TB SSD can deliver? Will you even be able to detect the difference? Most workloads are not of such a 'pure' synthetic-like nature, and any decent self-respecting OS will anyway cache your 'hot' files in RAM automatically for you (assuming you have sufficient RAM).

    So really, to benefit from such Optane drives (at a cost 4x the equivalent-sized NAND SSD) you'd need to have a very exotic corner-case of a workload - and if you're really into such super-exotic special cases, then likely for you performance trumps cost (and you aren't going to worry so much about +/- a few $thousand here or there...)
    Reply
  • jjj - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Yeah not impressive at all. They can't reach mainstream price points with higher capacity and that leads to less than stellar perf and a very limiting capacity.
    To some extent, the conversation should also include investing more in DRAM when building a system but that's hard to quantify.
    Intel/Micron need the second gen and decent yields, would be nice if that arrives next year- just saying, it's not like they are providing much info on their plans. Gen 2 was initially scheduled for early 2017 but nobody is talking about roadmaps anymore.
    Reply
  • jjj - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Just to add something, NAND prices are coming down some and perf per $ is getting better as more folks join the higher perf party. It's not gonna be trivial to compete with NAND in consumer. Reply
  • CheapSushi - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Hardware "enthusiasts" have sure become jaded, cynical, grumpy assholes. Reply
  • Reflex - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    No shit. I think people are confusing their anger at Intel with whether or not this is a good tech advancement. I am wondering if they even are looking at the article I saw. The vast majority of the charts showed Optane products in the lead, power consumption lower, latency lower, etc. Only a few places showed it behind, most around scenarios that are not typical.

    It is fair to point out its not worth 3x the cost. I'm building a system now, not going with Optane at this price. It is fair to point out that the capacity is not there yet. That is another part of why I'm not using it. Those are valid criticisms. They are also things that are likely to be remedied very soon.

    What is not fair is to bash it incessantly for reasons imagined in their own minds (OMG IT DOES NOT HIT THE NUMBERS IN A PAPER ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IN ITS FIRST GEN PRODUCTS!), or ignore the fact that we finally have a potentially great storage alternative to NAND which has a number of limitations we have run up against. This is a great thing.
    Reply
  • Adramtech - Saturday, March 10, 2018 - link

    Agreed, Reflex. In 2 years Optane Gen 2 is likely going to look a lot better and impress. Criticizing Gen 1 tech is ridiculous. Reply

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