News Intel Kills Off All Optane-Only SSDs for Consumers, No Replacements Planned

thestryker

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I was hoping that with the double density we'd see some drives hit the consumer space with a more reasonable price point. If this is the way they end up going for the future it's very disappointing as they weren't crippled by the nature of the tech like nand is (mixed/random io).
 

spongiemaster

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I was hoping that with the double density we'd see some drives hit the consumer space with a more reasonable price point. If this is the way they end up going for the future it's very disappointing as they weren't crippled by the nature of the tech like nand is (mixed/random io).
Completely agree. Was hoping the new generation would bring more reasonable pricing. This is really disappointing.
 
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CerianK

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As with any potentially disruptive technology, you have to look to see who stands to be affected in both the short and long-term (both positively and negatively). At that point you can speculate what the future might hold.

For example, one could speculate that if a major producer of a status quo technology (e.g. Samsung flash) would be negatively affected by a new superior competitive technology (e.g. Intel Optane), they might be willing to assist their competitor in other areas (e.g. CPU production) that they don't necessarily directly compete in (e.g. phones vs PCs), in exchange for a relaxation of the introduction of said disruptive technology in the directly competitive space. (e.g. This might also have an effect of how fast Intel decides to proceed on transfer of their flash business to SK Hynix, a flash competitor of Samsung).

Such alliances, when they actually exist (i.e. not pure speculation, as in the above example), do not always benefit consumers in the short-term, but often these technologies get cross-licensed at some point so that they become more pervasive and cheaper at the consumer level where we all can benefit. Optane is some good stuff, so I hope that is sooner than later.
 
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2Be_or_Not2Be

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Very disappointed! Intel is burning what little goodwill I had left for them, consumer-wise.

Now I can only hope that Micron will actually stop sitting on their hands and release some 2nd gen 3DXpoint products. Sadly, they didn't get into consumer-space much with 1st gen, so my hope is barely a flicker.
 

TechLurker

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Now I can only hope that Micron will actually stop sitting on their hands and release some 2nd gen 3DXpoint products. Sadly, they didn't get into consumer-space much with 1st gen, so my hope is barely a flicker.
Last I recall, they were only interested in licensing it; but one can hope they start putting out a few drives (and RAM) themselves to fill this niche, and encourage greater adoption (esp. by AMD and ARM), as well as getting a reliable partner to make their own versions. Crucial maybe? Competing with themselves in effect? Or at least Western Digital? Maybe Kioxia (ex-Toshiba), they could use a new high-end product to get back in the game.
 

Jim90

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Very expensive technology, way out of the price bracket for the average consumer, though yes, QD1 speeds certainly a welcome step in the right direction. I wish more research was done on improving low QD speeds and random speeds rather than all those marketing sequential bullcrap headlines....again, the average consumer, unfortunately, won't be set up to see these e.g. source/dest imbalance.
 
As with any potentially disruptive technology, you have to look to see who stands to be affected in both the short and long-term (both positively and negatively). At that point you can speculate what the future might hold.

For example, one could speculate that if a major producer of a status quo technology (e.g. Samsung flash) would be negatively affected by a new superior competitive technology (e.g. Intel Optane), they might be willing to assist their competitor in other areas (e.g. CPU production) that they don't necessarily directly compete in (e.g. phones vs PCs), in exchange for a relaxation of the introduction of said disruptive technology in the directly competitive space. (e.g. This might also have an effect of how fast Intel decides to proceed on transfer of their flash business to SK Hynix, a flash competitor of Samsung).

Such alliances, when they actually exist (i.e. not pure speculation, as in the above example), do not always benefit consumers in the short-term, but often these technologies get cross-licensed at some point so that they become more pervasive and cheaper at the consumer level where we all can benefit. Optane is some good stuff, so I hope that is sooner than later.
My guess would be that intel saw DirectStorage and nvidia/AMD direct memory access and just figured that optane wouldn't be enough to compete against that for much longer which is why they keep the fab for a few years still, with intel's own XE graphics and their CPU cores getting more load and store instructions they will probably get close enough to optane speeds.
 

CerianK

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My guess would be that intel saw DirectStorage and nvidia/AMD direct memory access...
I was specifically referring to 3D XPoint based Optane SSDs as replacement for NAND flash (which Intel is selling off) SSDs in terms of speed and endurance. They will still have the option to open the door back up for consumer Optane SSDs in the future, if they choose.

Optane DRAM is a different story, but I don't think Intel has any plans to enter the consumer mass-market soon. That would be a shame, as we might guess that someone like Apple wouldn't mind fitting it into a cost-no-object, instant-on, zero-power hibernate design, for example. I haven't researched it to see if anyone has announced anything similar.
 

GenericUser

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Intel sold off the part of their business that handles producing these a few months ago? If so, wasn't this a predictable side effect?
 

spongiemaster

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My guess would be that intel saw DirectStorage and nvidia/AMD direct memory access and just figured that optane wouldn't be enough to compete against that for much longer which is why they keep the fab for a few years still, with intel's own XE graphics and their CPU cores getting more load and store instructions they will probably get close enough to optane speeds.
I don't really see how Optane and these technologies are competing products. Direct Storage/RTX IO have pretty targetted use cases which reduce bottlenecks between storage and the GPU. Outside of that, which for consumers is pretty much everything but gaming, these don't serve any purpose, while Optane is purely general use case faster storage for a more responsive system. If anything, Optane and these technologies are complementary. Direct Storage and RTX I/O won't magically improve the performance of an older system with slow storage. They're designed to take advantage of the latest and fastest NVME storage devices and basically require them. So the faster the storage, the better these new technologies will perform which would put the new generation of Optane at the top of the performance heap.
 
I don't really see how Optane and these technologies are competing products.
Optane makes the optane drive byte addressable and heavily reduces I/O on the optane drive while directstorage makes compatible nvme drives byte addressable and heavily reduces I/O on the nvme drive.
It's the same thing, what kind of data you read and where it ends up at shouldn't make any difference but if directstorage is a GPU specific thing then as I said the new XE should be more than enough to bring the data right to the CPU cores.

As I said it's just a guess, based on the timing and on how similar they seem, to me at least.
Direct Storage and RTX I/O won't magically improve the performance of an older system with slow storage.
An older system will also not be compatible with optane, you need at least kabylake.
 
Optane drives were pretty much never a viable product for the consumer market anyway, given their high pricing relative to the performance they provide. For the vast majority of use-cases, the difference in performance between an Optane drive and an NVMe, or even SATA SSD tends to be negligible, and most would be hard-pressed to notice much of a real-world performance benefit. At over 10 times the cost of those other drives, the price difference is certainly noticeable though, and anyone without either a limitless budget or some specific niche professional workload is probably better off putting the money toward a higher-capacity SSD, or toward some other part of their system.
 

mwrmwr

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I'm not techie enough to know all the differences between SSDs, but about a year ago I installed a 1 TB SSD from Crucial, for $110, into my Acer laptop. The difference was amazing. I suspect a faster type of SSD, for much more money, wouldn't show nearly the same improvement.
 

spongiemaster

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Optane makes the optane drive byte addressable and heavily reduces I/O on the optane drive while directstorage makes compatible nvme drives byte addressable and heavily reduces I/O on the nvme drive.
Uhh...what?

It's the same thing, what kind of data you read and where it ends up at shouldn't make any difference but if directstorage is a GPU specific thing then as I said the new XE should be more than enough to bring the data right to the CPU cores.
The whole point of RTX I/O is to eliminate the CPU from the equation and let the GPU communicate directly with the storage device. That doesn't eliminate the need for fast storage. It's the exact opposite, it increases the need for fast storage, and the faster the storage is, the more benefits you'll get from RTX I/O.

An older system will also not be compatible with optane, you need at least kabylake.
As seen with the new consoles, PCIE-4 is a basic requirement for these technologies to work. That eliminates every Intel desktop ever sold and all but the 2 most recent AMD chipsets (4 and 5 series). So, old is a very relative term here. That wasn't my point though. I was focusing on storage speed. Even if you have a brand new 5000 series AMD system, if you put a mechanical hard drive in it, DS and RTXIO will both be useless. These technologies require fast storage and gen2 Optane drives would be ideal for them.
 
The whole point of RTX I/O is to eliminate the CPU from the equation and let the GPU communicate directly with the storage device. That doesn't eliminate the need for fast storage. It's the exact opposite, it increases the need for fast storage, and the faster the storage is, the more benefits you'll get from RTX I/O.
Yeah and optane has the exact same point, reduce the CPU usage as much as possible.
Optane is fast because of this, because it skips the software/CPU overhead, having two different technologies at the same time reducing the same thing, the CPU overhead, will not improve the speed any more.

https://www.intel.la/content/www/xl/es/architecture-and-technology/optane-technology/balancing-bandwidth-and-latency-article-brief.html

Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory can be accessed directly from applications without involving the operating system storage stack, so the software overhead is removed.
 

spongiemaster

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Yeah and optane has the exact same point, reduce the CPU usage as much as possible.
Optane is fast because of this, because it skips the software/CPU overhead, having two different technologies at the same time reducing the same thing, the CPU overhead, will not improve the speed any more.

https://www.intel.la/content/www/xl/es/architecture-and-technology/optane-technology/balancing-bandwidth-and-latency-article-brief.html
Optane DC persistent memory are ram like memory modules that have never been compatible with consumer platforms. Those are not the optane SSD's that are being discussed here and serve a different purpose.

https://www.newegg.com/p/0RN-0020-000M5?item=0RN-0020-000M5&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-memory+(desktop+memory)-_-0RN-0020-000M5&gclid=CjwKCAiAxp-ABhALEiwAXm6Iycl2MDqmTPp3ExglefmvQqJ3KJtAmALFBqPgBDtNCtBgedlNdDXS3hoCLpEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
 

spongiemaster

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And that is (a small) part of the Optane problem.
Same name for 2 different concepts and use cases.
How so? Optane persistent memory has never been a consumer facing product. Anyone building Xeon systems with them should not be struggling with understanding the difference between DRAM and an SSD. What consumer would accidently drop 2 grand on a optane dimm thinking it was a hard drive replacement?
 

USAFRet

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How so? Optane persistent memory has never been a consumer facing product. Anyone building Xeon systems with them should not be struggling with understanding the difference between DRAM and an SSD. What consumer would accidently drop 2 grand on a optane dimm thinking it was a hard drive replacement?
And the 16 and 32GB Optane devices were advertised as "RAM". Yes, this was actual text from several major system manufacturers, seen in consumer laptops.
Then the 900 and 905 actual SSD things, also "Optane".

But in a motherboard spec sheet, what does "Optane Ready" mean when talking about an M.2 port.
You and I know the diff. Many do not.

Just call them two different things.
 

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