Intel Optane SSD 900P Review: The Fastest, Most Responsive SSD Yet

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Intel Optane SSD 900P - Test Setup, IOMeter, And Compression Tests

Our Test Methods: Under each test condition, the SSDs tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a separate drive used for the OS and benchmark installations. Out testbed's motherboard was updated with the latest BIOS available at the time of publication and AHCI mode was enabled for the host drive.

The SSDs were secure erased prior to testing (when applicable), and left blank without partitions for some tests, while others required them to be partitioned and formatted, as is the case with the ATTO, PCMark, and CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates, and screen savers were all disabled before testing and Windows 10 Quiet Hours were enabled. In all test runs, we rebooted the system, ensured all temp and prefetch data was purged, waited several minutes for drive activity to settle and for the system to reach an idle state before invoking a test. Also note that all of the drives features here were tested with their own drivers installed -- not the default Windows 10 NVMe driver.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 and SSD Powered
Processor -

Motherboard -


Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Storage -

Intel Core i7-8700K

Gigabyte Z370 Ultra Gaming
(Z370 Chipset, AHCI Enabled)

Intel HD 630

16GB G.SKILL DDR4-2666

Integrated on board

Corsair Force GT (OS Drive)
Intel Optane SSD 900p (280GB)
Inte SSD 750 (480GB)
Samsung SSD 960 Pro (1TB)
OCZ RD400 (1TB)
OS -

Chipset Drivers -

DirectX -

Benchmarks -
Windows 10 Pro x64

Intel 10.1.1.44, iRST 15.8.1.1007

DirectX 12

IOMeter 1.1
HD Tune v5.70
ATTO v3.05
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark v6.0.0 x64
PCMark Storage Bench 2.0
SiSoftware SANDRA
IOMeter
I/O Subsystem Measurement Tool
As we've noted in previous SSD articles, though IOMeter is clearly a well-respected industry standard drive benchmark, we're not completely comfortable with it for testing SSDs. The fact of the matter is, though our results with IOMeter appear to scale, it is debatable whether or not certain access patterns, as they are presented to and measured on an SSD, actually provide a valid example of real-world performance. The access patterns we tested may not reflect your particular workload, for example. That said, we do think IOMeter is a reliable gauge for relative available throughput with a given storage solution. In addition there are certain higher-end workloads you can place on a drive with IOMeter, that you can't with most other storage benchmark tools available currently.

In the following tables, we're showing two sets of access patterns; a custom Workstation pattern, with an 8K transfer size, consisting of 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and a 4K access pattern with a 4K transfer size, comprised of 67% reads (33% writes) and 100% random access. Queue depths from 1 to 32 were tested, though keep in mind, most consumer workloads usually reside at low queue depths...

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At QD1, the Intel Optane SSD 900P offered the best performance with both access patterns. As the queue depth was increased in the 100% random 4K test, the 900P trailed the Samsung SSD 960 Pro and SSD 750, but it was still near the top of the charts. With the custom 8K access pattern, the Intel Optane SSD 900P led the pack at all queue depths, especially ad QD1.

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If we focus on available bandwidth and latency -- again, at QD1 -- the Intel Optane SSD 900P pulls way ahead of all of the other drives we tested. The Optane 900P offers significantly more bandwidth and the lowest latency while the performance deltas separating it from the other drives are more stark in these tests.

AS SSD Compression Benchmark
Bring Your Translator: http://bit.ly/aRx11n

Next up we ran the Compression Benchmark built-into AS SSD, an SSD specific benchmark being developed by Alex Intelligent Software. This test is interesting because it uses a mix of compressible and non-compressible data and outputs both Read and Write throughput of the drive. We only graphed a small fraction of the data (1% compressible, 50% compressible, and 100% compressible), but the trend is representative of the benchmark’s complete results.

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The compressibility of the data being transferred on these drives has virtually no impact on performance -- the slight variances are due to the margin of error in this benchmark. The Optane SSD 900P put up good numbers here, but landed somewhere in the middle of pack in the Read test. Its Write performance, however, led the pack overall.

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