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Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X 750GB Review - In the Flesh

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel

Introduction and Specifications

Back in April, we finally got our mitts on some actual 3D XPoint to test, but there was a catch. We had to do so remotely. The initial round of XPoint testing done (by all review sites) on a set of machines located on the Intel campus. Intel had their reasons for this unorthodox review method, but we were satisfied that everything was done above board. Intel even went as far as walking me over to the very server that we would be remoting into for testing. Despite this, there were still a few skeptics out there, and today we can put all of that to bed.

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This is a 750GB Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X - in the flesh and this time on *our* turf. I'll be putting it through the same initial round of tests we conducted remotely back in April. I intend to follow up at a later date with additional testing depth, as well as evaluating kernel response times across Windows and Linux (IRQ, Polling, Hybrid Polling, etc), but for now, we're here to confirm the results on our own testbed as well as evaluate if the higher capacity point takes any sort of hit to performance. We may actually see a performance increase in some areas as Intel has had several months to further tune the P4800X.

This video is for the earlier 375GB model launch, but all points apply here
(except that the 900P has now already launched)

Specifications:

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The baseline specs remain the same as they were back in April with a few significant notable exceptions:

The endurance figure for the 375GB capacity has nearly doubled to 20.5 PBW (PetaBytes Written), with the 750GB capacity logically following suit at 41 PBW. These figures are based on a 30 DWPD (Drive Write Per Day) rating spanned across a 5-year period. The original product brief is located here, but do note that it may be out of date.

We now have official sequential throughput ratings: 2.0 GB/s writes and 2.4 GB/s reads.

We also have been provided detailed QoS figures and those will be noted as we cover the results throughout the review.

Read on for our review of the 750GB P4800X!

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Want to know what makes the P4800X so fast? Check out our article on how 3D XPoint works!


November 9, 2017 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

the endurance and performance are impressive, and those prices are impressively high too!

Is it possible to get optane drives with slower speeds and same endurance? I mean, it seems like it would be cheaper and I'd be ok with SSD speeds we have now, just that endurance is really nice. I would literallly never replace the drive due to endurance.

November 10, 2017 | 01:46 AM - Posted by extide

Why would making it slower make it cheaper?

November 10, 2017 | 02:01 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

They make Optane drives that are significantly cheaper at a slightly reduced endurance. They are called 900P.

November 11, 2017 | 02:24 PM - Posted by Ipoopwhenifart (not verified)

Those are significantly cheaper as compared to the new optane drives but are still WAY more expensive than sata ssds.
I think the idea is if the optane drive is much slower and still really good endurance that because it is slower it would mean even cheaper pricing.
Think about it, the faster devices are faster because hardware is more expensive to drive those devices faster.

November 11, 2017 | 02:24 PM - Posted by Ipoopwhenifart (not verified)

Those are significantly cheaper as compared to the new optane drives but are still WAY more expensive than sata ssds.
I think the idea is if the optane drive is much slower and still really good endurance that because it is slower it would mean even cheaper pricing.
Think about it, the faster devices are faster because hardware is more expensive to drive those devices faster.

November 9, 2017 | 03:59 PM - Posted by Mr.Gold (not verified)

Any real world testing ?

Like is this worth using in compile servers and workstation ?

If this save me 10 minutes a day in compile time, I would buy it.

But IOPS numbers doesn't say much...

November 10, 2017 | 02:04 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It really is workload dependent, and as we've found in our other research on Optane, it varies wildly by application. No specific real-world test would give you your answer unless we just happened to test your exact application on your exact hardware configuration. That said, we did note significant performance increases in similar applications - they are documented in this white paper.

Further, you should be able to monitor storage activity for your particular workload on your particular platform. If access times are totaling 10+ minutes for what you are doing, there's a good chance Optane will bring that number down significantly.

November 11, 2017 | 11:09 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Many thanks again, Allyn.

It's very gratifying to see Optane graduate
from questionable promises to production devices.

November 21, 2017 | 06:04 PM - Posted by Mark Calamari (not verified)

Guys trust me. Intel is making leaps and bound progress in making Optane win. I work for them. This is just the beginning. Prod Spec will only get better from here. End of 2018 there will be a Optane memory product along with storage.

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