Discussion Community Questions: Do you use Intel Optane?

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USAFRet

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If it's a game that's not played often, the files are likely to not be in the Optane cache anyway, especially for the lower-capacity units.
^^^ That right there.
It is just a cache.

Benchmarks and 'OMG! Fast boot time!' are poor indicators of actual user facing performance.

If we were talking about a database server, and the cache held the most accessed stored procedures, then sure...the Optane is a good choice paired with a 4TB HDD.
And it was designed for that use case.
 
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epobirs

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I have one system with an Optane device in it, a 32GB cache M.2 stick. This was a board with two M.2 slots and I also put in a 250GB NVMe SSD as the boot and app volume. I was planning to use a 4TB hard drive for storing bulky games and other items that didn't benefit from SSD speed, such as video files. It was only then I learned that the Optane driver only supported caching for boot volumes. This only made sense for budget systems but that same kind of system would make the cost of the cache a questionable choice.

I've read since that the Optane driver has been updated and will now support secondary drives but the system has been boxed up and sitting in a closet for several months. It hasn't felt worth the trouble to try the new driver until a good enough video card is cheap enough to make this my primary gaming PC. In the meantime, a 1TB M.2 SSD is down around $100. Caching a multi-TB hard drive doesn't seem worth the investment any longer.

Having over a thousand games installed at once makes for a warm pleasant feeling but a lesser amount of top speed storage would likely be more genuinely useful. There's a good chance I'll pull out that Optane stick and put in a 1TB SSD in its place, leaving the hard drive for stuff like video files that don't benefit from caching.
 

germanium

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I use Optane Memory 32GB but not for it's intended purpose. It is my boot drive for which I use 3-32GB drives in RAID 0 attached to CPU through the top PCI-E X16 slot using Asrock's ultra quad M.2 add in card. My CPU is Core I9 9900K on an Asus ROG Strix Z390 Gaming motherboard. This setup has astounding performance on the read side but only about twice the performance of a good SATA SSD on writes.

Scores at or near 21,000 on Anvil storage bench mark & up to 594,000 IOPs on Crystal Disc Mark 4K QD 8 Thread 8 benchmark. This outstrips the Optane 905P rated IOP's on reads. It also beats the 905P on sequential read performance by over 60%. Only issues for me is small capacity & slightly higher latency than 905P because of the RAID 0 configuration required to get sufficient capacity. It still has far better read latency than any consumer grade flash based SSD.

My Optane memory setup cost about $250 including the add in card from Asrock. I managed to get the drives on sale for less than $50 each on sale.

I did try the Optane Memory drives for their intended purpose on my girl friends computer but had issues setting it up but did finally get it set up but later put in a Samsung 960 Pro instead as a boot drive. Problem was that the B360 chipset was not supported on any of the drivers available at the time on Intel's website but was supported by the driver on the motherboard CD. I usually always use the intel updated driver but that was a mistake in this case.

I would like to note that I am not interested in the newest high capacity NVME drives as they have much lower longevity in high write situations & are more likely to lose DATA if turned off fore long periods than older NVME drives. This is due to the newer NVME drives using QLC flash as opposed to the older NVME drives that I have used being MLC. The more bits per cell the more sensitive to write cycle damage to the insulating material which causes them to become leaky over time. Combine that with smaller cell sizes & in some cases the loss of a single electron from the cell can change the value causing DATA loss. This is far less likely to happen with MLC.

Early Samsung 840 Evo had this problem & that was with TLC flash. To get around that Samsung released a BIOS that would rewrite the drive on a regular schedule to avoid drive DATA from becoming stale & losing DATA & this would even happen with the drive being in regular use before the BIOS update. When in regular use only small portions of DATA would only be rewritten as a result of DATA changes, without rewriting the whole drive occasionally the drive DATA became stale due to electron leakage. Rewriting the whole drive regularly reduced the amount of time that the DATA had to leak out thus fixing the problem but this also increased the wear on the drive shortening it's life somewhat but it was a good trade off that prevented DATA loss.

I actually understood this concept even before the BIOS update for the 840 Evo & would use a defragging tool (My defrag) that with the monthly system drive option would do essentially the same thing as the BIOS update did for the 840 Evo.

Modern flash based NVME have fewer write cycles available before failure though this is compensated somewhat by larger capacity the need to refresh the DATA is more likely to be of concern with QLC than with TLC such as what was used in the 840 Evo eating more into the already reduced available write cycles of QLC flash.
 
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germanium

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I got the 32gb version for $40 last year to supplement my OEM 1Tb mechanical 5200rpm 2.5in HD. It significantly decrease Windows and common app load time. Its not exactly a plug and play device and a pain in the butt to configure in order to work, you need at least 7th Generation or newer Intel CPU to work. It only work with mechanical hard drive and not already installed SSD. I wanted to keep my 1tb storage space and a 256gb or 512gb SSD is not enough space for my laptop. It does a good job mimicking the performance of a SATA SSD and serve as a temporary fill in until M.2 SSD prices go way down.
Optane Memory does in fact work with SATA SSD's & does improve overall performance in read situations but writes do suffer due to Optane Memory's slower sequential write performance. It is a write through device so you can not write faster than the write speed of the Optane drive which is about 1/2 the speed of SATA SSD drives unless you use the 64GB version which has a slightly greater write speed than SATA drives but is outlandishly priced at around $200. At that price it is better to use the 118GB version of Optane 800P, same price, same performance, 2X the capacity. The 800p can be used for caching just like Optane Memory. Read speed of the 800P is barely faster rated than the 32GB version of Optane memory & the same as the 64GB version. 64GB version write speed rating same as 800p.
 
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barryv88

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Currently no. Also don't plan to.
And there are certain limitations as some features are locked out when using older intel mobos (that are unsupported) and AMD systems. With the switch to Ryzen soon, why really bother?
Then there's the pricing. I'd rather take a high performance NVME with much higher capacity instead.
 

DavidC1

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It very much rubbed me the wrong way when In the Optane AMA, Intel revealed that they are actually encouraging the shady and misleading practice of marketing low-end computers with 4GB RAM and a 16 GB optane SSD as having "20GB memory".
I use the 16GB version with 2TB Seagate.

What they are doing is shady, but the Optane PCIe devices(including the low capacity ones) are actually low latency enough to provide good enough experience for cases where it runs out of RAM and has to page out to storage. They do responsiveness tests where they say its better to get Optane with 4GB memory than HDD with 8GB memory and that's probably where the practice originated from.

Now, I think that requires Optane being your main drive, but if they expand the feature so it can work as RAMDrive I think it'll have a lot of value. On servers the Memory Drive feature for the P4800X allows expanding of memory capacity. Then they won't be so wrong to call it memory because it'll act as slower memory.

The thing Intel needs to focus on is making it do things that NAND devices can't do, because price parity is practically impossible. Things like replacing DRAM buffers on SSDs, and nonvolatile RAM.

The question is how far away is that?

At that price it is better to use the 118GB version of Optane 800P, same price, same performance, 2X the capacity.
Rather than getting the 118GB 800P for $149, I would get the 280GB 900P for $259. It's faster, and it offers more than double the capacity. The 800P is not worth it at all, and the M10 is really only for laptop vendors.

Both prices on Newegg.
 
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I recently had a local company build me a computer. ( I kept saying I would build one to replace my old one but things kept getting in the way.) They put in a 16MB Optane. Right now it is fantastic because it helps load the Win 10 Pro OS quickly and my personal configuration. But I am considering replacing it with a 32MB Optane, especially if I just replace the 16MB one with the 32MB one if the drivers for the 32MB are the same as the 16MB) as I am getting ready to do some intense, large database work. I have two 2TB SATA hard drives in the system that are configured as a RAID 1 array. I may add more hard drives since I have 5 empty slots which could be used for RAID 1 or RAID 5 arrays. Why RAID arrays? A few years ago I had an external Seagate hard drive crash just a little after one year. It cost me around $2600 to get the data recovered because a head had scratched a platter. I recently had the hard drive on my old computer (which had only one hard drive bay) fail by not spinning up. (It was a Seagate Barracuda SATA drive). I had most of the important data backed up but not the OS or program files and the program files data files. That is why I got a new computer. The new computer has WD drives, the same brand I have in my NAS RAID 1.
 
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Rdslw

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I would love to, but I use laptop due to flat space constraint. With NVME m.2 prices/speeds optane is not working well in laptop. Even if its faster/bigger than sata+m.2 ssd with m.2 optane & 2'5 HDD, damage to HDD in laptop makes it not worth it & battery live is horrible.
 
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yes, currently a 280 GB 900P AIC as a boot dive, but I would like to change this to a 380GB 905p M2 to free up the pcie slot - finding these in the UK is proving challenging. bulk storage is nvme m2
 

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