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Intel Optane SSD 900P 280GB & 480GB AIC NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Nov 20, 2017 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 100%Manufacturer: Intel

Final Thoughts




So, here we are experiencing a "New Normal", and it feels great. Intel's Optane SSD 900P does meet or exceed every claim made by Intel, and 3D XPoint is the reason. 3D XPoint memory media virtually eliminates all the shortcomings of flash. In some ways, it functions more like a traditional spinning HDD. There is no need for TRIM, in fact, it is recommended to disable it. There is no garbage collection because 3D XPoint is write in place. There is no need to secure erase to restore performance. It runs great with the standard NVMe driver. Unlike an HDD or flash-based SSD, the Optane SSD 900P does not slow down as the drive fills up.


Additionally, just as SSDs are an order of magnitude more reliable than mechanical HDDs, Optane SSDs are an order of magnitude more reliable than their flash-based counterparts. The main reason Optane SSDs are much more reliable than flash-based SSDs is due to the superiority of the memory media itself, but there is another reason as well - no DRAM cache. A DRAM cache is potentially another point of failure requiring capacitors to protect against host power-loss.


We really cannot overstate the importance of random read at low queue depths to overall system performance. 4K random reads at QD1 make up the majority of disk activity in the consumer space. This is why Optane is revolutionary. It delivers 5-7x the random read performance of the best flash-based SSDs at 4K QD1. And, if you have been paying attention to that metric over the years, the needle hardly ever moves. We are always stuck at about 50-60 MB/s with the best flash-based SSDs whether they are SATA or NVMe.


In fact, as we pointed out earlier, SATA and flash-based NVMe SSDs deliver about the same user experience because they typically deliver roughly the same random read performance at QD1-QD2. Compare that to the 300-375 MB/s 4K QD1 random read performance served up by the Optane SSD 900P, and the reason why Optane is being heralded as game-changing becomes crystal clear.



In terms of pricing, the Optane SSD 900P will definitely cost you more per gigabyte than a flash-based NVMe SSD, but so will any new ground-breaking technology. The old saying "you get what you pay for" applies here especially well. When you buy Optane, you are getting the very best in every way. Just look at those benchmarks! Optane isn't just slightly faster, its 2-4x faster everywhere it matters. Look at the endurance. 5.1 and 8.7 PETABYTES of endurance is unheard of in the consumer space. We are avowed enthusiasts at TweakTown, and as such we cannot help but feel that the 900P is actually the best storage value going. Because, what other major piece of hardware can you buy in that price range that is the world's best performer? And, not by a little, but by a huge margin.


Because TweakTown tests SSDs with the drive running as our system (OS) disk we are in a relatively unique position to comment on what matters most - actual user experience. As you can imagine, the user experience you get from the 900P is unrivaled. For the first time ever, we found that if you just use the in-box Windows 10 driver it's not a drag on performance and you get the added benefits of ease of installation and significantly faster boots. Booting the 900P on the Windows 10 NVMe driver is the best boot experience we've ever had.


Needless to say, the Intel Optane SSD 900P is 100% TweakTown recommended.




  • Best Performance
  • Best Endurance
  • Premium Components
  • Sleek Design




  • Availability

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Overall TweakTown Rating100%

The Bottom Line: The world's best performing consumer SSD. Enough said.

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