Intel Optane Memory H10 Review: Hybrid SSD Storage Acceleration

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Intel Optane Memory H10 - Application Load Times Under Load

For this next set of tests, we're going to do something a little different. One of the Optane Memory H10 drive's main benefits according to Intel is its ability to maintain its relatively high performance, while under multiple, simultaneous workloads (within limits, of course).

In this groups of tests, we tracked Windows 10 boot times (using BootRacer), Microsoft Excel load times while opening a 15MB file, and GIMP load times with an 86MB workload file. To add an additional twist to the load times, however, they were tracked on their own and again with a simultaneous file-copy (of an 18GB video file) taking place in the background. That may seem like a strange workload, but if you've ever had multiple torrents coming down at high speed, or had a particularly fast download from Steam writing to a drive while you're trying to do something else, it can dramatically affect the performance of some SSDs. These tests simulate that scenario.

Also note, that these results are the average of three runs recorded after a reboot and letting the test system reach an idle state, and after five previous test runs to ensure the Optane Memory had detected the workload and cached any necessary data.

Real-World Load Times
Load Times,  Under Load
win10 boot
Before you take a look at these boot times and think, "Wow, that's slow", note that this is the time it took the test system to power-on, boot Windows 10, display the desktop, and finish loading any background apps and processes -- Windows 10 load times on their own were under 10 seconds.

Turns out the Intel SSD 760P was able to edge out the Optane Memory H10 here, most likely due to the 760P's somewhat better sequential performance and not having to load any processes associated with Intel's RST software for Optane Memory caching.

excel load
The Excel load-time tests are more interesting, however. Here, the Optane Memory H10 (when caching was enabled) loaded the Excel file the quickest on its own. But when the file copy was also taking place, it was significantly faster than the other configuration and exhibited the least amount of slow-down.

gimp
Loading a larger file with GIMP showed a dramatic difference between the configurations. The Optane Memory H10 hardly slowed down at all when under load, whereas the SSD 760P took over 7x as long to finish loading the 86MB test file. Disabling the Optane Memory cache also causes a significant slow-down, as you would expect.

Note, that this is a worst case scenario though. Simply repeating this test again without re-booting shows a much smaller slow-down (i.e. a much faster load time) on the non-Optane Memory enabled configurations, but they still finish well behind the Optane Memory H10 when it is firing on all cylinders.

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