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Intel Optane SSD 800P 58GB & 118GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Mar 8, 2018 5:30 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Intel

Moderate Workload Model

 

We categorize these tests as indicative of a moderate workload environment.

 

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

 

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.

 

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's consumer guidelines.

 

Steady state testing simulates a drive's performance similar to that of a drive that been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

 

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

 

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Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

 

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The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing.

 

The previous statement applies to flash-based SSDs, not Optane. Typically, there is a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state. Not so with Optane. Scoring is similar no matter how full and hammered with data it may be.

 

Steady-state only applies to flash-based SSDs, not Optane. Look at the Intel 750. This is a perfect example of 3D XPoint's superiority over NAND. The 750 leads the pack when empty but with data on the drive, the 800P delivers a score that is roughly 2.5x better.

 

 

PCMark 7 - System Storage

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.0

 

We will look to Raw System Storage scoring for evaluation because it's done without system stops and, therefore, allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives. When evaluating NVMe SSDs we are looking for a minimum score of 11,000.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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The 800P easily defeats the fastest flash-based SSDs even though it is only a 2-lane SSD.

 

 

PCMark 8 - Storage Test

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.7

 

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games.

 

You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate consumer type workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's performance.

 

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Storage bandwidth really highlights what the 800P can do in a more discernable way than scoring does. What it does is crush flash-based SSDs with only half the amount of PCIe lanes working for it.

 

 

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE Application Performance

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.0.70

 

SYSmark 2014 SE is considered the gold standard for testing system performance because it is an application based benchmark. This test gives us the ultimate in real-world results because it utilizes actual applications running on the system, instead of playing back recorded traces. If you want to know what kind of impact a particular SSD will have on your system's overall performance; this test will show you.

 

Our systems are much more powerful than the calibration system (1000-point baseline) used by BAPCo, so we ran an OCZ TL100 120GB SATA III SSD to establish a comparison point relative to our test systems. We will be running this test going forward and we will add drives to our chart as we test them.

 

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It is important to keep in mind that with SYSmark 2014 SE a few points are a big deal when comparing one drive to another on the same platform.

 

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This lineup is a bit different than the others we've used for our test pool to this point. This is because these are the only SSDs we've run on our Z270 storage testing platform. With all other benchmarks, there is very little difference between our Z170 and Z270 platforms. However, with SYSMark there is a marked difference due to increased CPU performance.

 

10 points is a big deal and the 800P is beating the world's fastest flash-based consumer SSD by up to 26 points in total score and by up to 46 points in responsiveness score. Simply amazing performance coming from the lower capacity 2-lane Optane SSD 800P.

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