Saturday February 11, 2017

Intel 3D XPoint SSD Specs: So-So Transfer Speed, Awesome Random I/O

The specification sheet for the Intel SSD DC P4800X has been released. If you placed any money on Optane crushing read/write speed records, you are going to be poorer. The technology, however, is in no way a disappointment, as 3D XPoint appears to kill it when it comes to I/O operations per second. As someone who tends to manage smaller files across drives, that sounds plenty good to me. I should also point out that Intel’s solution has a warranty covering 7.3 petabytes of writes, while competing solutions may cover only only 0.1PB. I figure that speaks quite a bit on Optane’s endurance.

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آ…this doesn't sound like 1,000 more performance than flash. What gives? The big difference appears to be in latency and the number of I/O operations the Optane drive supports per second. The P4800X can service up to 550,000 read or 500,000 write operations per second. The older Intel SSD can only service 450,000 reads or 175,000 writes per second and falls to just 75,000 writes for the 400GB unit. The Samsung drive clocks in at 380,000 and 360,000 read and write operations per second (falling to 330,000 and 300,000 for the 250GB version). If raw operations per second are what you need, Optane is already looking strong. The latency figuresآ—the time it takes to actually serve a read and write operationآ—also look good: the Intel flash SSD has a 20-microsecond latency for any read or write operation, whereas the 3D XPoint drive cuts this to below 10 microseconds.