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Intel SSD DC P5800X 800GB Review - World's Fastest SSD

Intel's DC P5800X is now available for sale and you can own the world's fastest PCIe SSD if you are willing to spend some cash.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Wed, Jun 23 2021 9:20 AM CDT   |   Updated Wed, Jun 23 2021 5:25 PM CDT
Rating: 100%Manufacturer: Intel (SSDPF21Q800GB01)

Introduction & Drive Details

Intel announced they would not be continuing their Optane retail drives for consumer consumption a short time ago. This announcement left many enthusiasts disappointed because if you want the best of the best, then you need the goodness of pure Optane. You can still buy retail Optane 905p SSDs here and there, and while still much faster than any NAND-based SSD, the Optane 905p is no longer the pinnacle of Optane SSD performance. The new pinnacle of Optane powered PCIe SSD performance comes in the form of Intel's newest Optane SSD, the DC P5800X.

Intel's newest pure Optane SSD, the Intel DC P5800X, is 2nd Gen Optane goodness that is roughly twice as powerful as its retail Optane 905p or Enterprise DC P4800X SSDs. Everything about the DC P5800X is new and improved. The newest Optane powered SSD features a proprietary Intel PCIe Gen4 x4 controller managing a 2nd Gen Optane memory array. With its new Gen4 interface and second Gen Optane memory, the DC P5800X does random IO's in the millions, and we've even reached sequential speeds of over 7,400 MB/s.

With record-breaking performance like the DC P5800X has on tap, it's easy to imagine the collective disappointment felt by workstation users and enthusiasts alike when Intel announced they would not continue offering retail Optane SSDs. Well, as luck would have it, a salvation of sorts brewed up inside big blue (via storage enthusiast advocate employees in the right places) that convinced the tech giant to offer a compromise enabling non-enterprise customers to obtain their Optane fix.

That compromise? Instead of limiting access to enterprise clientele as was done with its DC P4800X predecessor, Intel has decided to enable the retail sale of the DC P5800X. DC stands for Data Center, which typically means you can't buy it through normal retail channels, but this time Intel is throwing us enthusiasts and SMB's a bone. That's right. Anyone can buy an Intel SSD DC P5800X if they are inclined to do so. It will cost you a pretty penny, but we feel it's money well spent if you understand what Optane brings to the table.

We feel like anyone willing to cough up the required cash to own a DC P5800X will already understand what Optane can do and how it will fulfill their specific need. After all, most consumers don't typically go around spending 10-15x more per GB of solid state storage unless there is good reason to do so. With this in mind, we will just briefly touch on what Intel Optane SSDs bring to the table.

You can never wear it out. The 800 GB DC P5800X we have on the bench today is rated for 100 drive writes per day. Yes, you read that right, one hundred drive writes per day, which equates to roughly 80 terabytes a day for the 800GB DC P5800X. Optane does not slow down as it fills with data like NAND SSDs do. It is just as fast at 100% full as it is at 0% full. Optane is all about performance where it matters most, and that is QD1-2 random reads, where the DC P5800X is churning out 5 to 10x the performance of the best NAND SSDs.

With any storage product of this magnitude, we like to present our readers with performance data from both Intel and AMD's highest-performing storage platforms. We will even go one step further and demonstrate the absolutely massive performance available for Windows 7 users via Rocket Lake. Okay, let's get this party started and put some actual numbers to the world's fastest PCIe SSD.

Drive Details

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VIEW GALLERY - 59 IMAGES

The 800GB drive we are testing today has a TBW rating of mind-bending proportions. Your eyes are not deceiving you; it has a TBW rating of 146,000 over its 5-year warranty period. By comparison, a typical 1TB SSD has a TBW rating of around 600 to 1,000 over 5-years. Incredible. As we said, you can't wear this thing out.

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The DC P5800X is a U.2 SSD encased in an all-black solid aluminum enclosure that works like a heat sink. Even with the biggest baddest heat sink enclosure, the 25-watt consuming DC P5800X should have at least some airflow directed across it. Being all black like it is makes it look dangerous, but all black also makes it extremely hard to photograph, so we apologize for that.

Jon's Intel Test System Specifications

Jon's AMD Test System Specifications

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Intel SSD DC P5800X 800GB

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Free SSD Software

Intel MAS

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Intel has a newly designed Memory and Storage Tool (Intel MAS) that handles every aspect of Intel SSD maintenance and monitoring you may need, which you can download here.

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If you need to clone, there is freeware for that here.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils

CrystalDiskMark

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Our Intel test bench is doing QD1 random read that is almost off the chart. This is performance where it matters most and exactly where conventional NAND SSDs deliver the least. This is what Optane does for the user experience in a nutshell. Incredible record-setting performance. Additionally, and worth noting is a new lab record for QD1 random writes on Win 10.

Our AMD test bench is delivering near lab record sequential read performance of over 7,400 MB/s which is 200MB/s better than factory specs indicate. AMD does sequential read a little better than Intel for unknown reasons, but Intel overall outperforms AMD by a significant amount in terms of user experience, which we will get to later in the review.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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As always, our main focus is on read performance. Read performance affects user experience 80% of the time for the typical consumer/enthusiast, which is why it is our main focus. Looking at our read scores, we find the DC P5800X scoring more than double the best we've seen from a NAND SSD. Again, performance where it matters most. Even the Gen3 Optane 905p destroys Gen4 NAND SSDs where it matters most. More lab records fall.

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We don't chart max random performance numbers because they are practically irrelevant for consumer usage scenarios. Nevertheless, those random read numbers are undoubtedly lab records for both platforms.

Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO

AS SSD

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As always, our primary focus is read performance. As expected, more lab records fall as the DC P5800X destroys everything in its path where it matters most.

ATTO

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We are looking for two things primarily when evaluating ATTO results. First, we are looking for 50 MB/s read/write at 512 B transfers for Intel and 40 MB/s for AMD. Both platforms deliver. More importantly, we are looking for full read speed at 128K transfers. Again, both platforms deliver. Only Phison and Optane SSDs have been able to accomplish full speed at 128K transfers.

Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates & Gaming

Transfer Rates

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Another lab record was delivered courtesy of our Intel platform. Absolutely dominating performance that we believe can be directly attributed to the DC P5800X's superior low queue depth performance.

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Although AMD takes the win here, it's not a lab record for our AMD platform. On the other side of things, the DC P5800X sets a lab record for our Intel platform.

Game Level Loading

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Lower latency at lower queue depths produces the expected lab records for both platforms. Not by a little bit, but by a lot. Professional gamers take notice. The DC P5800X is the drive you need to stay on top. Well worth the investment as we see it. The 905p is no slouch either, as it also easily lays waste to the flash-based competition.

Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.

The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with user experience. Of the two tests, we feel that the Quick System Drive Test most accurately replicates a typical user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

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Astonishing score served up by Intel. Even Vegeta himself cannot believe how good this score is.

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This particular test writes over 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience.

This is where we feel the rubber meets the road more than anywhere else. This is exactly where Optane has no equal - workloads. Whether they be consumer workloads or enterprise-level workloads, the DC P5800X delivers a user experience that is an order of magnitude better than the best flash-based SSDs have to offer. Incredible record-breaking performance.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

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More record-breaking performance where it matters most. Whether it is AMD or Intel you are looking at, as we measure it, the DC P5800X produces a user experience that is at least twice as good as the best flash-based SSD can deliver. Again, lab records are demolished.

Windows 7

Maxed Out Performance

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Here at TweakTown, we are enthusiasts above all, which is why we decided to give enthusiasts out there that still use Windows 7 some love. All the above benchmarks were run on our 11900K test bench. We were not able to run PCMark 10 storage tests on Windows 7 due to restrictions placed on its usage by UL. So, we used PCMark 8 instead.

This PCMark 8 result has to be the most over-the-top result we've ever seen. The fastest we've ever seen by a flash-based SSD is around 1,200 MB/s storage bandwidth. The DC P5800X churns out a jaw-dropping 3,000 MB/s storage bandwidth. Amazing and without question a world record, let alone a lab record.

Final Thoughts

Gen2 Optane provides a blow your hair back user experience without equal. We didn't think we would get a chance to experience this new level of performance on the consumer side, but somehow things worked out, so we could. Hey, you can, too, if you have a kidney left over from your last GPU purchase. All kidding aside, we are of the opinion that the DC P5800X delivers performance that warrants its asking price for workstation and professional gaming applications. And, if you are that guy that doesn't care what it costs as long as it is the best, this is the SSD for you.

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In the end, it all comes down to user experience. User experience is the true test of any SSD as we see it, and as our chart clearly demonstrates, the Intel SSD DC P5800X delivers the best we've ever seen. There is nothing even close. It is by far the best performing SSD ever made.

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Typically, this is where we take a look back on our results and point out noteworthy performances where our test subject delivers them. However, with the DC P5800X, there is no need to do this, as it clearly demonstrated at every point along the way that it is without equal. If you have the means to acquire one and are of the mind to do so, we believe you won't be disappointed.

Naturally, the world's fastest SSD has earned our highest award.

Pros

  • Random Read
  • Sequential Read
  • Gaming
  • Workloads

Cons

  • None
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Performance

100%

Quality

100%

Features

100%

Value

100%

Overall

100%

The Bottom Line

Do you demand the best of the best? This is the best of the best.

TweakTown award
100%

Intel SSD DC P5800X 800GB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$2381.44$2381.44$2381.44
* Prices last scanned on 8/4/2021 at 6:04 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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