Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2018 - 10:55 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, Intel, Optane, 905P, msi, RTX 2080, gaming x tio, Oculus, quest
PC Perspective Podcast #515 - 09/27/18
Join us this week for discussion of the 1.5TB Intel Optane 905p, MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio, Oculus Quest, and more!
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Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:22:53
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Picks of the Week:
Intel just sent over a note that they have officially launched the 1.5TB capacity for the Optane SSD 905P (for both HHHL and U.2 form factors). We'd been expecting this for a while now, considering we had tested a full system incorporating the U.2 version of this very capacity two months ago. That system has now been given away, but I borrowed the SSD while Ken was tearing down the system for his review. With the product now officially launched, I thought it appropriate to take a quick look at this higher capacity part, both inside and out.
7 packages on one side of a single PCB. This is unexpected for a U.2 SSD since there is usually some sort of folded-over PCB sandwich, which doubles the available area for packages. Odd finding a single PCB here given the large 1.5TB capacity combined with XPoint dies only holding 16GB each.
7 more packages along with the now standard XPoint controller. No DRAM necessary because, well, XPoint can easily pull double duty in that respect. Alright, so we have 1.5TB spread across only 14 packages. Throughout every Intel SSD we have ever laid our hands on for review, we've never seen *any* product (NAND or 3D XPoint) stack more than 4 dies per package. Had Intel stuck with that limit here, we would only have a maximum raw media capacity of 896GB. This is a 1.5TB SSD, so the only possible answer here is that we apparently have the first 8-die-per-package SSD to come out of Intel.
Editor's Note: The initial version of this review incorrectly listed the Tiki as having 16GB of RAM, it actually has 32GB of memory.
Looking back through the PC Perspective archives as I prepared for this review, I was shocked to find we've never actually tested a Falcon Northwest Tiki system. Since its introduction in 2012, the Tiki has been a mainstay at conventions like CES, providing a compact solution for manufacturers to provide demos of their hardware and software.
With a base milled out of solid aluminum and GPU cut out window, the Tiki provides modest design flair while still remaining relatively tame and "adult-like" compared to many premium gaming PC options.
The Tiki is available with three different CPU platforms. Users have their pick from Intel X370 and X299, and even X470 platforms based around AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. It’s great to see system builders like Falcon Northwest embracing Ryzen CPUs in some of their flagship models like the Tiki.
|Falcon Northwest Tiki (configuration as reviewed)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8086K (Coffee Lake)|
|Motherboard||ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING|
|Cooler||Asetek 550LC 120mm AIO Water Cooler|
|Graphics||NVIDIA TITAN Xp 12GB|
|Memory||32GB (2x16B) G.SKILL RIPJAWS V DDR4-3000|
Intel SSD Optane 905P 1.5TB U.2
|Power Supply||Silverstone SFX-650W|
|Dimensions||4" Wide x 13.5" Deep x 13.25" Tall. (715 cubic inches)|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|Price||$6,242 (as configured) - Falcon NW|
By looking at the specs, it’s clear that the configuration of Tiki we were sent for review packs a lot of punch into its relatively small form-factor. Not only is the Core i7-8086K the highest-end offering for the Z370 platform, Falcon Northwest has further overclocked the CPU to 5.3 GHz (single thread maximum).
The CPU isn’t the only high-end component found in the Tiki either. Both the graphics card and storage solutions are nearing “overkill level” with the inclusion of an NVIDIA Titan Xp as well as 1.5TB of 3D XPoint storage in the form of an Intel Optane 905P U.2 drive.
Subject: Storage | June 6, 2018 - 03:55 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, Optane Memory, Optane, M.2 22110, M.2, Intel, 905P, 3D XPoint
At Computex 2018, Intel announced a new Optane 905P SSD:
...the Optane 905P 380GB, now in an M.2 form factor!
This looks to be a miniaturization of the 7-channel controller previously only available on the desktop add-in cards (note there are 7 packages). There is a catch though, as fitting 7 packages plus a relatively large controller means this is not M.2 2280, but M.2 22110. The M.2 22110 (110mm long) form factor may limit where you can install this product, as mobile platforms and some desktop motherboards only support up to an M.2 2280 (80mm) length. Power consumption may also be a concern for mobile applications, as this looks to be the full blown 7-channel controller present on the desktop AIC variants of the 905P and 900P.
We have no performance numbers just yet, but based on the above we should see figures in-line with the desktop Optane parts (and higher than the previous 'Optane Memory'/800P M.2 parts, which used a controller with fewer channels). Things may be slightly slower since this part would be limited to a ~7W power envelope - that is the maximum you can get out of an M.2 port without damaging the motherboard or overheating the smaller surface area of an M.2 form factor.
An interesting point to bring up is that while 3D XPoint does not need to be overprovisioned like NAND flash does, there is a need to have some spare area as well as space for the translation layer (used for wear leveling - still a requirement for 3D XPoint as it must be managed to some degree). In the past, we've noted that smaller capacities of a given line will see slightly less of a proportion of available space when comparing the raw media present to the available capacity. Let's see how this (theoretically) works out for the new 905P:
- 800P 58GB - 64GB RAW - 10%
- 800P 118GB - 128GB RAW - 8%
- 900P 280GB - 336GB RAW - 20%
- 905P 380GB - 448GB RAW - 18%
- 900P 480GB - 560GB RAW - 17%
- 905P 960GB - 1120GB RAW - 17%
I'm making an educated guess that the new 380GB part contains 4 die stacks within its packages. We've never seen 8 die stacks come out of Intel, and there is little reason to believe any would be used in this product based on the available capacity. Note that higher capacities run at ~17% excess media, but as the capacity reduces, the percentage excess increases. The 280GB 900P increases to 20% by that capacity, but the new 905P M.2 comes in at 18%. Not much of a loss there, meaning the cost/GB *should* come in-line with the pricing of the 480GB 900P, which should put the 905P 380GB right at a $450-$500 price point.
The new 905P M.2 22110 is due out later this year.
Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
Over the past couple of days, we saw some rumors and e-tailer appearances of the Intel SSD 905P. Essentially an incremental upgrade to the 900P, with a few notable differences. Specs see a slight bump across the board, as do capacities, but the most striking difference is Intel’s apparent choice to move forward with the blue-LED enabled design seen in a press deck slide that began circulating last year:
That upper right design seemed pretty cool at the time, and I never thought we would see it materialize, but less than 24 hours ago this arrived at the office:
Note: The color is user adjustable -
we just don't have the software for it yet.
*edit* colors are configurable via command line, using the most recent SSD toolbox app. The possible colors are limited (literally red/green/blue/off - that's it), but I've confirmed that the setting does persist after reboot / power cycling / changing systems. This is a welcome change over other RGB-enabled components that require software to always be installed to control (or even turn off) lighting. Here's a look at the other two colors:
Well now that it’s here, let’s see what it can do!