Pushing Intel Optane Potential: RAID Performance Explored

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InvalidError

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Other PCH devices sharing DMI bandwidth with M.2 slots isn't really an issue since bandwidth is symmetrical and if you are pulling 3GB/s from your M.2 devices, I doubt you are loading much additional data from USB3 and other PCH ports. It is more likely that you are writing to those other devices.

As for "experiencing the boot time", you wouldn't need to do that if you simply put your PC in standby instead of turning it off. If standby increases your annual power bill by $3, it'll take ~50 years to recover your 2x32GB Optane purchase cost from standby power savings. Standby is quicker than reboot and also spares you the trouble of spending many minutes re-opening all the stuff you usually have open all the time.
 

gasaraki

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"Next, get 4 Optane SSDs, put them in this card, and put them in a PCIe x16 slot hooked up directly to the CPU.

http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/product-conten..."


Still just 4X bus to each M.2 so no different than on board M.2 slots.
 

takeshi7

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But it is different because those M.2 slots are bottlenecked by the DMI connection on the PCH. The CPU slots don't have that issue.

 

InvalidError

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The PCH bandwidth is of little importance here as once you set synthetic benchmarks aside and step into more practical matters such as application launch and task completion times, you are left with very little real-world application performance benefits despite the triple Optane setup being four times as fast as the other SSDs, which means negligible net benefits from going even further overboard.

The only time where PCH bandwidth might be a significant bottleneck is when copying files from the RAID array to RAMdisk or a null device. The rest of the time, application processing between accesses is the primary bottleneck.
 

takeshi7

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Considering most of the charts in this article are synthetic measurements and heavy use cases, it would definitely make a big difference in all of those cases. The only ones it wouldn't make a big difference are the load times.
 

grozzie

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I'm sorry but optane is a solution looking for a problem! It only works with Intel's latest gen chip-sets so is no good for older legacy systems or for non-Intel chip-sets. Anyway the charts/benchmarks above mean nothing - you've compared optane RAID against single drive SSD's. What if you were to benchmark RAID SSD's against RAID optane against cost of capacity.
 

gasaraki

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The M.2 slots use the PCI lanes which are connected to the CPU. X99 has 40 lanes, 16x goes to one graphics card and the rest get divided for other devices like M.2 slots. PCI lanes do not go through the "southbridge" (ie chipset). The DMI connection is the one going to the chipset where USB and SATA ports are.
 

genz

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After your glowing review of a tech that only really is faster at one thing (low queue reads), hopelessly small and limited to an extremely low sample of the market due to hardware requirements, I think the Ryzen hate is quite clear now. That was a much much more compelling product. Media sides with power I guess.
 

mavikt

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The future might hold good things for "Optane" (what is the name of the actual memory/technology? Is Optane a Micron TM too?); but what pops into my head now for most users is: diminishing return.
 

USAFRet

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So....$250 for an 82GB boot drive (3 x 32GB RAID 0), that is marginally 'faster' than a current SATA SSD, but only sometimes.
Oh, and only with a very limited number of brand new motherboards.

I'll pass.
Some years from now it will be OK. Not anytime soon, though.
 

derekullo

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When I first heard of Optane i assumed it was a play on the word Octane and that they would release models with a similar gasoline refernced naming scheme

89 Optane faster than an 87 Optane ...

Anyone know how they came up with the name Optane?

Wikipedia doesn't say much about it besides it was made by Intel in mid 2015.
 

InvalidError

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These drives were intended as cache/swap/scratch space as an alternative to building a system with heaps more RAM and a fast SSD in it. From that point of view, 32GB for $70 sounds somewhat reasonable when used as such. As a boot/application drive though, it is horrible bang-per-buck for most uses.

Almost anything has its place. These 16/32GB drives don't really belong in PCs that already have some fast SSDs and plenty of RAM.
 

HERETIC-1

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Nice one Chris,
That 4K-QD1 read is magnificent.
Also does really well in mixed workloads-which I consider to be a weakness in SSD's.

What we need now is much lower manufacturing cost and someone to design a
combination controller so this can be added/used with NAND in a SSD.........
Would certainly put a stop to the current race to the bottom.............................
 

Nintendork

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What they need to do is release a optane-ssd hybrid with 32-64GB of bootable optane for OS.

prefetch and pagefile hurt SSD's life because of the constant writes, that's it's recommended to disable prefetch and move the pagefile to a HDD (which hurts if you don't have enough ram).
 

none12345

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80 gigabytes is a large volume? did we go back in time 15 years?(15 years and 1 week ago i bought a 80 gig hard drive, which wasnt the biggest at the time)

That can barely hold 1 modern game. Cant hold 2. Waste of time! Not to mention the fact of needing 3 m.2 slots, good luck with that. Or the fact you have to use raid 0, meaning 1 fails, and you lose everything.

On top of that it loses in most tests against 1 normal ssd. Tho it does excell at random workloads. I would have liked to see 3 normal ssds in raid 0 for comparison tho.

There might be some edge case where this makes sense...but for the other 99.99999% of us...No.....just.....no....
 

InvalidError

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These drives are intended for use as cache/temp/swap drives, not to install stuff on. This can be useful for people with slower SSDs or even without SSD who want to use RST to cache frequently used code for faster boot and application load time without having to buy a large high-performance SSD. They should also be handy for people who occasionally need a little more RAM than what they have - 16GB of Optane for swap is much cheaper than 16GB of RAM and is 3X as fast the fastest conventional SSDs for that.

Most of the benefits from a fast SSD and more RAM without the need to pay full price for either. If you already have both, then these small Optane M.2 drives are largely pointless. This story was mainly to see how far this impractical absurdity could be pushed.
 
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