Review Index:

Intel Optane SSD 800P 58GB, 118GB, and RAID Review - 3D XPoint Goes Mainstream

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup



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If these look familiar to you, you'd be right. Let's add a couple of more parts in here:

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At the top are the Optane Memory 16GB and 32GB parts.

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I pulled the labels off of all four devices for a closer look. PCB layout is mostly identical save some slight rearranging of components that used to be on the back edge. Also worth noting was that the Optane Memory parts came with a copper layer embedded into their label, while the 800P had a standard label with no need for a copper layer. Part numbers of the media packages are as follows:

  • 16GB: 1x 29P16B1BLDNF2 (1 die in 1 package)
  • 32GB: 2x 29P16B1CLDNF2 (1 die per package)
  • 58GB: 2x 29P32B1AMDNF2 (2 dies per package)
  • 118GB: 2x 29P64B2AMDNF2 (4 dies per package)

In case you wanted to see further inside, we can cheat a bit with a photo I snagged elsewhere:

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Those curious how 3D XPoint media actually works can check out my article on the topic.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. We have developed a custom test suite as off-the-shelf tests just no longer cut it for in-depth storage testing. More details on the next page. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!

Test System Setup

We have several storage testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and a Gigabyte Z170X SOC Force (for RAID testing). Future PCIe and SATA device testing, including this review, take place on an ASUS Sabertooth X99, which comes equipped with USB 3.1, M.2, and can also handle SFF-8639 (U.2) devices with the proper adapter.

PC Perspective would like to thank Intel, ASUS, Gigabyte, Corsair, Kingston, and EVGA for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7 5820K @ 4.125 GHz
Motherboard ASUS Sabertooth X99
Memory 16GB Micron DDR4 @ 3333
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 750
Video Drivers GeForce Game Ready Driver 347.88
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version N/A
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro X64 (update)
  • PCPer File Copy Test
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • IOMeter
  • YAPT
  • PCPer Custom SSD TEST SUITE!!!

March 8, 2018 | 04:32 PM - Posted by AnonymousFool.setText("Question?") (not verified)

OK so with all that it faster than a 960 evo for everyday windows use? and does it use more or less power for a laptop?

March 8, 2018 | 04:54 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Likely less power in laptop usage as it spends less time servicing IOs on average, but the 'feel' will likely be similar unless you are doing some heavy mixed/random read workloads.

March 8, 2018 | 04:41 PM - Posted by CB

Any idea why Intel chose the PCI-E 3.0 x2 interface? All M.2 slot that support this drive are x4 capable. Seems like they are leaving performance on the table....

On a related note, correct me if I'm wrong, but most Z370 motherboards have 20 PCI-E lanes available without going through the chipset's 4 additional lanes. Usually they are assigning 16 lanes to the graphics card and 4 lanes to an M.2 slot. Additional M.2 slots are running through the chipset's lanes. Are existing motherboards capable of assigning 2 CPU lanes to 2 different M.2 slots?

March 8, 2018 | 04:46 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

They likely went with x2 since they already had hardware/controller close to that ready to go (via Optane Memory parts).

Current X299 boards / VMDs can only bifurcate in x4 chunks, but someone can probably make a PCIe switch that can split further.

March 8, 2018 | 09:17 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Re: ASUS Sabertooth X99


Would it make any sense to evaluate these Optane parts on an AMD Threadripper system?

My best guess is that your X99 test system was capable of driving both the M.2 and x16 slots at max speed, so an AMD motherboard should not make much of a difference.

Again, thanks for your consistently excellent reviews!

p.s. Did you ever solve the problems you encountered with your Threadripper system?

March 9, 2018 | 02:18 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

In short, it wouldn't, not if I wanted the lowest and most consistent latencies.

I've been sticking with the X99 platform because 1. If it ain't broke... and 2. I'd rather not re-test 100+ SSDs, not until I've added some workloads to the suite at least.

Re: problems on TR - the problems are still an issue, and are still preventing me from getting results consistent enough to feel comfortable publishing.

March 10, 2018 | 02:49 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Copy that and ... THANKS AGAIN!

March 8, 2018 | 09:24 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)


To clarify, I am still curious if the latter AIC will be bootable when installed in an AMD Threadripper motherboard.

For prosumers and workstation users who now prefer a TR system, this AIC with 4 x Optanes could work.

Nevertheless, you are correct: 4 x Samsung 960 Pro make more sense in such an AIC, for reasons you have already explained in your other reviews.

March 9, 2018 | 02:20 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Yes, it's bootable since the UEFI initializes the array each boot. Consistent performance? that's another story entirely.

March 10, 2018 | 02:54 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Apples-to-apples, perhaps we should wait for M.2 Optanes to be enhanced with support for x4 PCIe lanes each.

Also, there is the 16 GHz clock rate approved for PCIe 4.0:
Intel may be "vectoring" x2 PCIe lanes to a future date
when x2 @ 16G = x4 @ 8G .

March 12, 2018 | 04:42 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

PCIe 4.0 is gopping to be power hungry at least initially. Don't be surprised to see SSDs hang out at 3.0 for a good while after 4.0 is available and shipping on motherboards.

March 10, 2018 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Johnny1981 (not verified)

So I just want to make sure I can use this....I have an Asus Z370E, 8700K, one 1080Ti....with 4 hard drives (3 standard- 2@7200RPM, one 5400RPM) and one SSD boot drive from Crucial. Also, External backup HD from western digital. Will I have any issues if I decide to purchase this?

March 11, 2018 | 09:42 PM - Posted by Tony (not verified)

From what I been told the Intel Optane SSD 800P has to be boot drive.

March 12, 2018 | 04:09 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It doesn't *have* to be a boot drive. Can be used as a fast random access temp drive, etc. All depends on where you want the traits of this particular SSD.

*edit* you may be thinking of Optane Memory (caching), which will only cache the boot drive. 800P can be used this way, by installing the Optane Memory driver, but it's overkill with >32GB of cache.

March 12, 2018 | 04:31 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The Z370E has a pair of M.2 slots, so even if your Crucial SSD is M.2, you should have room. You could put the 800P in the primary M.2 slot to use for boot and shift any other (larger) M.2 SSD to the second M.2 / other SATA port (depending on what it is) for use as a game / other SSD.

March 11, 2018 | 10:19 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Interesting graph:

history of PCIe actual bandwidth
compared to
every 3 years, I/O bandwidth doubles:

March 11, 2018 | 10:23 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Allyn, On behalf of all users,
please accept our sincere appreciation
for your very prompt and professional
answers to all our questions.

March 14, 2018 | 11:23 PM - Posted by Shadowarez

I just got great deal on a i7 7800x and a Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Ultimate,

can I use say a 960 Pro 1 Tb as boot then the 2 118gb optane as a raid cache.

I won't be using high end gpu this will be a sever build with alot of Hdds?

March 15, 2018 | 02:33 PM - Posted by EddieObscurant (not verified)

Any news on Micron's QuantX ?

March 15, 2018 | 07:20 PM - Posted by Shadowarez

Pretty sure that was just vaporware to force intel to release hypetane asap. as there has been zero products from micron with there brand of xpoint.

i was excited to see the dimms they were working on it all looked so good on paper but sadly that will most likely be a pipe dream that will never bear fruit.

you got about as much chance as valve releasing HL3 then micron actually make a product with xpoint at this point.

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