Review Intel Optane SSD DC P5800X Review: The Fastest SSD Ever Made

domih

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Jan 31, 2020
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Which is the most upsetting the Apple or the INTEL tax?

Even for a PC geek like me $3,724 for 1.6TB is not an option :oops:

For the low-life we are, 2 x Samsung | Corsair | WB in RAID 0 for data and a separate 3rd one for OS bring enough happiness :D

Optane is definitely not for the populace.
 
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domih

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Jan 31, 2020
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Does anything weird happen when your storage is faster than your ram?
Nothing weird like unnatural, your RAM (if involved) just becomes the bottleneck.

The same "weirdness" occurs when you try to run 25, 40, 50 or 100 GbE networking on a low-end PC: the PC system itself (buses, memory, CPU, disks) becomes the bottleneck in comparison to the network throughput and you end up with iperf3 returning something like 15 Gbits/sec because that's the max the PC hardware can do.

I believe these $$$ Optane are good for workstations (e.g. Threadripper) or Servers: matching performance for matching cost. For regular desktops, a "normal" RAID 0 of SSD is preferable, again in terms of matching performance for matching cost.

PCIe 5 with CXL is going to redefine the bottlenecks over the next few years. But again this is for workstations and servers. It will take several years to see something trickle down to "normal" desktops. Necessity being the mother of invention, one will also have to "invent" desktop applications that would significant leverage PCIe 5 with CXL. Gaming is not part of these applications.
 
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Dsplover

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Feb 23, 2020
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I need a low latency/high random device like this.
I’ll just have to settle for 400GB’s though.
 

supremelaw

Distinguished
Dec 24, 2006
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We implement a policy of formatting C: up to a current maximum of 100GB.
When there is unallocated space after formatting C: , we format the remainder
as a dedicated data partition. This policy has worked out very well for decades.

As such, I suggest that Intel expand the appeal of this major Optane improvement
and offer one 128GB and one 256GB PCIe 4.0 U.2 Optane directed to the
workstation and high-performance desktop marketplaces.

And, Intel should be open about its commitment to ramp the speed of these two
smaller drives up to PCIe 5.0, as soon as that standard starts to roll out.

There is much to recommend the simplicity of a single OS drive,
particularly when doing a fresh installation of any modern OS.

This will allow a significant reduction in the MSRP, and the greater demand
should be very "price-elastic".

(A widget is price-elastic when a 5% reduction in price
increases market demand by 10% or more, for example.)

In simple English, the greater demand these smaller drives will generate,
should drive prices downward over time. That trend has been true
historically of many electronic devices e.g. DVD writers.

The lower unit prices will also inspire Prosumers to experiment
with RAID arrays of these newer U.2 Optanes.
 

watzupken

Notable
Mar 16, 2020
489
205
1,070
1
We implement a policy of formatting C: up to a current maximum of 100GB.
When there is unallocated space after formatting C: , we format the remainder
as a dedicated data partition. This policy has worked out very well for decades.

As such, I suggest that Intel expand the appeal of this major Optane improvement
and offer one 128GB and one 256GB PCIe 4.0 U.2 Optane directed to the
workstation and high-performance desktop marketplaces.

And, Intel should be open about its commitment to ramp the speed of these two
smaller drives up to PCIe 5.0, as soon as that standard starts to roll out.

There is much to recommend the simplicity of a single OS drive,
particularly when doing a fresh installation of any modern OS.

This will allow a significant reduction in the MSRP, and the greater demand
should be very "price-elastic".

(A widget is price-elastic when a 5% reduction in price
increases market demand by 10% or more, for example.)

In simple English, the greater demand these smaller drives will generate,
should drive prices downward over time. That trend has been true
historically of many electronic devices e.g. DVD writers.

The lower unit prices will also inspire Prosumers to experiment
with RAID arrays of these newer U.2 Optanes.
I feel they did that at the start, but not gaining much traction in terms of demand. Which is why they pulled Optane from the consumer market. The problem is the price, limited storage options, and high power consumption takes away interest. Now all you find are some left over 16/ 32GB Optane drives more for caching, and they may cost close to some 250/ 256GB drive.
 

2Be_or_Not2Be

Distinguished
Aug 23, 2013
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Sadly, Intel didn't buy the Lehi, UT fab that produces these amazing Optane drives from Micron. Micron, instead of creating a new line (Optane 2nd gen) like Intel did, is selling the fab to TI - who isn't producing Optane. Neither Intel nor Micron apparently wanted to stay in the Optane business. It should have been sold to SK Hynix, TSMC, Samsung, or some other mfg that would work on not only continuing the R&D to make better successive generations, but also bringing the price down. I guess Micron sold Intel's production contract to TI also, so Intel will get the last of the Optane drives. But what a waste of some great performance tech!
 
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InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
$3+K for 1.6 TB?

(Yeah, that's happening!)
The prices may look steep but you need to keep in mind that these things are designed for extreme performance at extreme endurance. Intel's previous generation models had 1/3rd the performance and 1/20th the endurance. If you need the endurance, 6X the price for 20X the endurance and 3X as much performance can be close to 3X as cost-effective.
 
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escksu

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Aug 8, 2019
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Price puts it out of reach most end-users. However, having said that, this drive was never intended for end-users. Its intended for data center and workstations and those who are willing to fork out the money for it.

Its actually not that expensive. This is because when it comes to workstations/servers, software esp. licenses makes up most of the cost, not hardware. Eg, for specialised software, it can easily cost usd100-200k or more. 4k for a 1.6TB drive (say 20k workstation), dont look alot.

My company is using sap thats running on VM. SAP license and maintenance cost over 500k a year. Yet to even include modifications/enhancements that cost easily 100k extra.

So, software is the real killer, not hardware.
 

Joseph_138

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Nov 22, 2016
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Price puts it out of reach most end-users. However, having said that, this drive was never intended for end-users.
"Intel originally launched the P5800X as a pricey data center SSD and didn’t offer it to the consumer market, largely because the company had already killed off its entire line of Optane products for desktop PCs. However, after hearing feedback from storage enthusiasts, Intel reconsidered and made the P5800X available for anyone to purchase. "
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Price puts it out of reach most end-users. However, having said that, this drive was never intended for end-users. Its intended for data center and workstations and those who are willing to fork out the money for it.
People's first hint that this isn't intended for the typical consumer is that it uses an U.2 connector. AFAIK, there are exactly zero consumer motherboards capable of connecting to those without an add-in board to provide U.2 host connectors. Otherwise, you MAY be able to connect it using SATA if Intel bothered to include backward compatibility.
 
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kailuadavideo

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Sep 8, 2018
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I just plugged a 2TB M.2 drive [in an adapter] into a PCI slot on my Asus Sabertooth Z87 and it works! That's off topic but I'm new here.
 

everettfsargent

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People's first hint that this isn't intended for the typical consumer is that it uses an U.2 connector. AFAIK, there are exactly zero consumer motherboards capable of connecting to those without an add-in board to provide U.2 host connectors. Otherwise, you MAY be able to connect it using SATA if Intel bothered to include backward compatibility.
Not that I care one iota but there are U.2 adapters and enclosures that provide a PCIe 4.0 M.2 x4 interface and vice versa (e. g. U.2 to M.2 and M.2 to U.2). After all it is just a connector. They are also rather inexpensive to boot.
 
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everettfsargent

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Until I see four high end 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD in a RAID 0 (as in an x16 PCIe 4.0 add-in card which are not that expensive either) configuration versus the 1.6TB P5800X (hint hint hint), I think I will just ignore even the so-called low end 400GB P5800X. A single extremely high quality 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD is less then 10% the cost of the P5800X on a per TB basis. The lower end 800GB and 400GB are even worse, cost wise, in comparison to 1TB and 500GB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD's.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Not that I care one iota but there are U.2 adapters and enclosures that provide a PCIe 4.0 M.2 x4 interface and vice versa (e. g. U.2 to M.2 and M.2 to U.2). After all it is just a connector. They are also rather inexpensive to boot.
Which is kind of exactly what I had written - no out-of-box compatibility on consumer boards, requires an adapter. Though even server boards don't connect directly to U.2 either, they use cards to connect to bthe ackplanes that drives slot into.

A single extremely high quality 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD is less then 10% the cost of the P5800X on a per TB basis.
You still get less than 1/20th the write endurance though, which I believe is the main selling point of these drives. They are basically an NVDIMM alternative, expect to see high-traffic database servers to get stuffed with dozens of these to meet the combined throughput, storage capacity and availability requirements.
 

everettfsargent

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Which is kind of exactly what I had written - no out-of-box compatibility on consumer boards, requires an adapter. Though even server boards don't connect directly to U.2 either, they use cards to connect to bthe ackplanes that drives slot into.


You still get less than 1/20th the write endurance though, which I believe is the main selling point of these drives. They are basically an NVDIMM alternative, expect to see high-traffic database servers to get stuffed with dozens of these to meet the combined throughput, storage capacity and availability requirements.
You could at least try to tell me something that I don't know already. Oh and I already own two motherboards with two U.2 connectors each (oops only PCIe 3.0) ...
https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?SrchInDesc=U.2&N=100007627&Order=1
But maybe none of those support PCIe 4.0.
 
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escksu

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People's first hint that this isn't intended for the typical consumer is that it uses an U.2 connector. AFAIK, there are exactly zero consumer motherboards capable of connecting to those without an add-in board to provide U.2 host connectors. Otherwise, you MAY be able to connect it using SATA if Intel bothered to include backward compatibility.
U.2 is another version of m.2 using pcie x4. You can get an adapter + cable to connect u.2 drive to m.2 slot.
 

escksu

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Aug 8, 2019
450
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Until I see four high end 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD in a RAID 0 (as in an x16 PCIe 4.0 add-in card which are not that expensive either) configuration versus the 1.6TB P5800X (hint hint hint), I think I will just ignore even the so-called low end 400GB P5800X. A single extremely high quality 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD is less then 10% the cost of the P5800X on a per TB basis. The lower end 800GB and 400GB are even worse, cost wise, in comparison to 1TB and 500GB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD's.
Well, this drive is never intended for end-users in the first place. You cannot compare prices of enterprise hardware with end-user ones.
 

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