Introduction Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB Review
A couple years back Intel and Micron introduced us to 3D XPoint memory at a press conference. The claims made about this new type of memory used in the Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB were eye popping and frankly, at the time, almost unbelievable. By now Optane memory is old news and we all know that a small Optane memory chip can give platter drives new lives and increase system storage speed drastically. Optane is so new it literally exists in its own new category and was expected to run at approximately 3x the price of regular NVMe NAND flash drives. We are pleased to find that instead of the 3x price expected the Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB comes in at a more consumer friendly $0.86 per GB of storage closer to 2x the price of NVMe drives.
So what’s different about Optane drives? Well, Optane drives can deliver up to 7x the read/write of any NAND flash drive at Queue Depth 1 and up to 10x the endurance. So 7 times faster under a heavy workload and lasts 10x as long as a normal NAND flash drive. Essentially unless a regular NAND flash drive costs 10% of the Intel Optane drive the Optane drive actually offers a better long term deal when it comes to longevity. If you are in a mission critical situation where high volume data is coming at your servers and that data is priceless financial or research data these medium capacity drives are probably your best bet for longevity and with the 10x lifespan a better bang for your buck.
Now we mentioned Optane was in a class by itself and while we don’t fully agree with the graphic we are going to throw it out there for your consideration.
Now Optane is obviously a great choice for a professional eSports Gamer but that would narrow the band of customers down to a very limited select group making the financial possibilities of the Optane drive very limited and likely unprofitable. Now the first two tiers of the pyramid we can agree with but the Optane tier should include mission critical applications like medical data, server farms, and other enterprise class applications. Perhaps we will see this expansion into those areas as capacities grow.
One thing you can be sure of is when Intel/Micron gets together and the Brain Pool shakes out a new generation radically new drive you better open your eyes and take notice.
So what is Intel Optane memory exactly, well obviously it’s a closely guarded secret but we believe it’s a type of Phase Change Memory (PCM). As with most types of storage, all the storage consists of it 1 + 0, on and off and PCM would have to stick to that basic immutable law of storage. So at this point, we believe 3D XPoint memory is a very fast form of PCM Intel named Optane with Intel memory and storage controllers, and Intel software with Intel interconnect IP.