512GB Class Performance Testing
Intel provided media with an HP Spectre x360 notebook. HP plans to sell this system with the Optane Memory H10 as an option. The notebook is slim, beautiful, and a pain in the ass to use as a test platform.
Enthusiast desktop systems move enough air to sail a small ship across the ocean. Subcompact notebooks, on the other hand, especially the new ultra-light systems don't have a lot of space to channel airflow past the storage device.
The small space doesn't have much of an impact on the Optane Memory H10, but we do see some thermal throttling on some of the comparison drives. I want to note that a system like this goes to extreme component validation. The comparison products are not part of the official HP Spectre x360 system. We just used other drives from previous product reviews.
The system also has issues with cloning images from Intel NVMe SSDs to non-Intel products. Due to time constraints, we only used Intel NVMe SSDs like the 760p and 660p for comparison.
Sequential Read Performance
We expected to see the Optane Memory H10 to reach 2,400 MB/s, but the caching technology doesn't play well with synthetic tests. We didn't have this issue with the Optane Memory review with the testing on a desktop.
Sequential Write Performance
Similarly, we didn't reach the 1,800 MB/s sequential write speed from the Optane Memory H10 specifications. The drive surpassed 1,200 MB/s in our burst test but fell well short of the performance we measured with the 660p using all four PCIe Express lanes.
Random Read Performance
Random read performance is what makes you PC feel fast, and this is the area where 3D XPoint memory surpasses what's currently possible with flash technology. The two-lane controller from the Optane Memory series doesn't deliver the same performance as the 900P/905P enthusiast products but still delivers impressive random read results. When this data is read from the Optane portion of the drive, the latency is much lower than when read from the flash.
Random Write Performance
The 512GB H10 didn't accelerate the random data writes. We didn't expect to see as much performance loss compared to the H10 configured to write to the QLC portion of the drive.
70% Read Sequential Performance
We didn't see an increase with the H10 reading and writing data alone, but when mixing data, the drive outperforms the others. The 760p with a 4-channel controller shows the potential of outperforming the Optane Memory H10, but the drive enters a thermal throttling state in the confined space of the HP Spectre x360.
70% Read Random Performance
The H10 shows strong random acceleration when mixing reads and writes. This is very similar to the way data passes through your PC when opening applications and running software. This is the quintessential money shot for Optane Memory as a whole and shows the level of performance that is possible when the cache technology works as it should.
As with any cache technology, there are no guarantees to get the perfect mix of data coming from 3D XPoint and flash.