TinkerTry Gets a Real Look at the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X

Subject: Storage | August 14, 2017 - 08:09 AM |
Tagged: P4800X, XPoint, NVMe, HHHL, Optane, Intel, ssd, DC

We reviewed the Intel P4800X - Intel's first 3D XPoint SSD, back in April of this year. The one thing missing from that review was product pictures. Sure we had stock photos, but we did not have the product in hand due to the extremely limited number of samples and the need for Intel to be able to make more real-time updates to the hardware based on our feedback during the testing process (reviewers making hardware better FTW!). After the reviews were done, sample priority shifted to the software vendors who needed time to further develop their code bases to take better advantage of the very low latency that Optane can offer. One of those companies is VMware, and one of our friends from over there was able to get some tinker time with one of their samples.

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Paul whipped up a few videos showing the installation process as well as timing a server boot directly from the P4800X (something we could not do in our review since we were testing on a remote server). I highly encourage those interested in the P4800X (and the upcoming consumer versions of the same) to check out the article on TinkerTry. I also recommend those wanting to know what Optane / XPoint is and how it works to check out our article here.


August 14, 2017 | 09:02 AM - Posted by Power (not verified)

Hopefully Intel (or Micron) decides to release Optane based USB drive.

August 14, 2017 | 10:01 AM - Posted by psuedonymous

I can't think of a good reason for them to do so. 3DXpoint's raison d'être is low-latency at high IOPS. Sticking it on the end of a USB bus nerfs that entirely. If it's just raw R/W bandwidth you;re chaisng, you'd be better placed ganging up multiple NAND dies for the same cost as a 3DXpoint die.

August 14, 2017 | 11:16 AM - Posted by Power (not verified)

I'm fed up with unreliable flash drives.

August 14, 2017 | 06:33 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I feel your pain. I believe the way to get better reliability in those is to go with higher end USB drives that have desktop-class controllers in them.

August 14, 2017 | 10:18 AM - Posted by Cmon (not verified)

"and the upcoming consumer versions of the same"
Seriously, when ? :p A week ? A month ? A quarter ? A year ?

August 14, 2017 | 10:53 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Later this year / early next year.

August 14, 2017 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Cmon (not verified)

Thanks :)
That's a bit later than I hoped :(

August 14, 2017 | 01:08 PM - Posted by quest4glory

Thanks for posting. This sort of thing is right up my alley for my mixed usage.

August 14, 2017 | 07:02 PM - Posted by rcald2000

The Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X represents 2.5 times the cost of a 32GB Optane, per gigabyte. I did the math. Very interesting.

August 14, 2017 | 09:30 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Allyn, Any word about the 2.5" U.2 Optane SSD?

August 14, 2017 | 09:33 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

What do you mean? It will come in both flavors. Been that way since launch.

September 2, 2017 | 08:30 PM - Posted by MRFS

> What do you mean?

Intel's marketing literature predicted a 2.5" NVMe U.2 Optane SSD by now, but I haven't seen it anywhere in the wild.

August 14, 2017 | 10:05 PM - Posted by Shadowarez

Any word on microns implementation of xpoint as I'd rather use a and system Intel really fudged this Gen by trying to double sell same cpus. I'd rather go and but waiting on micron might end up waiting till I'm in a retirement home in 59 yes from now at the rate there going.

August 17, 2017 | 08:25 PM - Posted by PhasesOfTheMoonMemory (not verified)

If Micron's QuantX Braand of 3D XPoint is not out by the end of the year then there may be a little SEC troubles incoming.

It's at some times even difficult to Google QuantX as that branding is not unique with hits for medical to stock fund management showing up under the "QuantX" naming. How Micron was not involved in any trademarking legal disputes with that QuantX branding is a mystery but they need to find another name their 3D XPoint product.

Micron is also more interested in licensing its 3D XPoint IP to others that may make use of the technology in their product offerings. I'm going to wait for XPoint version 2 with hopefully better endurance metrics in an NVDIMM form.

August 17, 2017 | 11:51 PM - Posted by Shadowarez

Ahh ok so they may even pass that to Samsung if they can strike a deal to release nvdimms that'd be serious business but as no one would touch Intel's proprietary garbage implementation of it. Plus from the diagram I seen microns slides look to be far better then Intel's.

September 2, 2017 | 08:28 PM - Posted by MRFS

Dreaming (again) here: anybody interested in 4 x Intel M.2 Optane installed in 1 x Highpoint SSD7101A-1 and an AMD X399 chipset with AMD Threadripper CPU? There are similar AICs being built e.g. Dell, HP, Kingston, but most are BIOS-locked, or suffer from other restrictions e.g. the VROC "dongle". A recent report has surfaced claiming that AMD is preparing an X399 BIOS update designed to support bootable NVMe RAID arrays. I forwarded one URL to Allyn, for his information. The combination of Optane's very low latency + the raw upstream bandwidth of an x16 edge connector should yield some very interesting benchmarks. Many thanks, Allyn, and keep up the good work!

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