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Intel Optane SSD 905P 960GB AIC NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: May 9, 2018 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 100%Manufacturer: Intel

Final Thoughts

 

 

Performance, where it matters, is what Optane is all about. Flash-based SSDs are simply incapable of delivering performance anywhere near what Optane delivers where it matters most. As we explained, random read at QD1-2 is the most important performance metric in relation to total system performance. The operating region in the consumer space is, for the most part, all random, occurs at QD1-4 and 70-80 percent is read.

 

intel-optane-ssd-905p-960gb-aic-nvme-pcie-review_201

 

As our testing revealed, Optane delivers 5-7x better random read performance at QD1 than flash-based NVMe SSDs. This is exactly where performance matters most, and exactly where flash-based SSDs are at their worst. We have all seen posts where enthusiasts say that they cannot visibly differentiate the user experience delivered by a SATA SSD vs. an NVMe SSD. They are correct, and the reason why this is true goes right back to where performance matters most - 4K QD1 random read performance.

 

Whether it be SATA or NVMe, all flash-based SSDs, for the most part, deliver about the same random read performance at QD1. This is why all flash-based SSDs equipped with similar flash deliver about the same user experience in most use-case scenarios. If you have been paying attention over the years you have noticed that the best flash-based SSDs are only capable of 40-60 MB/s of random read performance at QD1. Contrast that with Optane delivering between 200-375 MB/s of random read performance at QD1.

 

 

Optane technology virtually eliminates the shortcomings associated with flash-based SSDs. Flash-based SSDs cannot sustain peak performance when running sustained workloads. Optane can. Flash-based SSDs get slower as the drive fills up with data. Optane does not. Flash-based SSDs need background drive maintenance and TRIM to maintain performance. Optane does not. The more flash-based SSDs are used, the more bit errors occur - triggering more intense ECC operations which in turn reduce performance. Not so with Optane. 3D XPoint memory media is so fast it doesn't use or need DRAM; which means Optane doesn't have to reload address tables and wear-leveling info into a DRAM cache each time your system boots.

 

Optane SSDs are more reliable and far more enduring than flash-based SSDs as evidenced by Optane's 10-20x better endurance rating. 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.

 

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To sum it all up, Optane SSDs are superior to flash-based SSDs in almost every way with two exceptions. Price per gigabyte of storage and density are where flash-based SSDs have an advantage over Optane. As it stands right now, flash can be packaged at up to 1TB per package. Currently, 3D XPoint tops out at 64GB per package. This is why M.2 Optane SSDs max out at 118GB, and M.2 flash-based SSDs max out at 2TB. These two exceptions matter to some users, but certainly not to dedicated enthusiasts. We want the best, and when only the best will do - Intel's Optane SSD 905P is the only game in town.

 

Intel's Optane SSD 905P is 100% TweakTown recommended.

 

Pros:

 

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

 

Cons:

 

  • Availability

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance100%
Quality100%
Features100%
Value98%
Overall TweakTown Rating100%

The Bottom Line: When only the best will do, there is only one choice - Intel's Optane SSD 905P 960GB.

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