Intel Optane Memory H10 - Our Summary And Verdict
Performance Summary: The Intel Optane Memory H10 performed well throughout our entire battery of tests. There are often trade-offs to make with data / storage caching solutions such as this, and we were expecting some weirdness with the H10 due to it essentially being two SSDs on a single M.2 stick, with only two PCIe lanes dedicated to each controller. However, even under worst-case conditions, the Optane Memory H10 is a snappy drive, that only gets better when its Optane Memory cache is enabled.
The traditional benchmarks don’t always show the Optane Memory H10 in the best light, but did demonstrate its aptitude with 4K reads at low queue depths and in the trace-based PCMark tests. Application load times with simultaneous workloads running, however, clearly showed where the Optane Memory cache can shine. Although its specifications may not seem to stand-out in light of some higher-end SSDs, the nature of Optane Memory and the shared configuration of the H10 make it a good solution for multi-taskers or those that leave background processes running, which may whack the storage subsystem on occasion.
As mentioned, the Intel Optane Memory H10 isn’t destined for retail shelves; it is an OEM solution that will be sold in system built by Intel’s partners. As such, Intel hasn’t disclosed direct pricing for the drives or for the systems it targets. We’re told, however, that the Optane Memory H10 (16GB + 256GB) drive will likely find its way into systems in the $799-$949 price range. The 32GB + 512GB version we tested will be in system in the $949 - $1,499 range, and the top-end 32GB + 1TB drive is reserved for more premium $1,499 (and higher) priced systems.
Considering that most of the Ultrabooks and small form factor / AIO systems that Optane Memory H10 targets have only a single M.2 slot, and many OEMs source drives from multiple vendors (and you may not know what you’re going to get when buying a system), the Optane Memory H10 makes a lot of sense and is easy to recommend. In real-world use cases, the drive is snappy and responsive, it “just works” in the background with minimal user interaction, and it’ll help minimize slows due to contention on the storage setup. The Optane Memory H10 may not be an ideal solution for everyone, but for most consumer workloads, the drive will offer plenty of performance and provide a solid user experience, thanks to the inherent performance benefits of its Optane Memory cache and companion NVMe SSD.