Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Optane 3D Xpoint for Enterprise and Consumer

Optane 3D Xpoint for Enterprise and Consumer

Intel announced more updates on status of their Optane products. I wanted to say launched but then I realized that actually no product is yet available to the public... soon it will be I hope.

1) Enterprise P4800x SSD: Its arguably the fastest SSD in the world depending on which metric you choose. Intel's focus is on low latency... which is important since transactions involving a queue depth of  32 are quite rare. Its also expensive and only shipping in one density and limited quantities to limited customers. It also supports a virtual memory activity where it looks like memory to the server. Still waiting on third party benchmarks but at this point it is fast and shipping somewhere for revenue.

On the downside, the internet is exploding with "it was supposed to be 1000x faster with 1000x endurance!!!!" and "I waiting 18 month for this?!!!!" .

OK its 8-10x faster and the cells last 2-3x as long as NAND. Its still a great drive for certain Enterprise Applications.

2) Intel Optane memory: This was announced to press at same time... but embargoed for a few more days. 16/32GB cache device announced also at CES.

As I mentioned when this came out earlier at CES... caching is a great idea. 95% of the performance at much lower cost... when it works. Intel showed data that when combined with a HDD is improved boot and program loading performance. There is some concern that these metrics were cherry picked but we will see when third party benchmarks comes out (THG???? Anandtech???)

The price was good $44-$77, it makes a difference in performance, and Intel is hyping the heck out of it. If PC OEMS push it... it could be a big deal. I am not sure what percentage of chipsets accept it today, but I will try it out ASAP when it comes out (See... Intel even tricked me into buying a Kaby Lake PC with 200 Chipset!).

It it better than more DRAM? or a 256GB SSD? who knows for now.

This just in... Optane, as a NVMe SSD/Cache is not 1000x faster and is not going to change the world like the steam engine, the internet, or the cell phone (SORRY) ... but it appears to be a option for fast performance in some applications ... if you can buy it somewhere.

More to come when it actually appears!

Mark Webb