Intel’s axed Optane biz spurts out mixed bag of new SSDs
Only one of the two new 3D XPoint-based drives offer a performance improvement
From the rotting corpse that is Intel's axed Optane memory business come a pair of new 3D XPoint-based SSDs for servers and workstations. Only one of them seems like an upgrade from drives released two years ago.
The semiconductor giant didn't even bother announcing the new Intel Optane SSD DC P5810X Series, instead leaving their discovery to those trolling the company's labyrinthine Ark product database.
Intel did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
The new P5810X Series launched sometime in the fourth quarter. Without an explanation from Intel, it's hard to discern why the company has released the two drives, given that it recorded a $559 million inventory impairment associated with its July decision to shut down the Optane business.
The two fresh Optane products are both PCie 4.0 NVMe drives, one with a 400GB capacity and the other an 800GB capacity. Compared with their P5800X predecessors from 2020, they offer a mixed bag in terms of performance and power, based on a comparison of public specifications.
The 800GB P5810X, for instance, offers 1.5 million I/O operations per second (IOPS) for random reads, 1.27 million IOPS for random writes, a sequential read bandwidth of up to 7,200 MB/s, a sequential write bandwidth of up to 5400 MB/s, an idle power of 4.6 watts, and an active power of 24 watts.
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That doesn't seem impressive at all when you consider 2020's 800GB P5800X offered a faster I/O performance for writes of 1.35 million IOPS, a higher sequential write bandwidth of up to 6100 MB/s, and the same I/O performance and sequential bandwidth for reads. The power consumption is less too, with an idle power of 4.2 watts and an active power of 18 watts.
At least the 400GB P5810X offers an upgrade for write I/O performance and bandwidth from its P5800X predecessor. The new 400GB drive offers 1.5 million IOPS for reads, 1.38 million IOPS for writes, a sequential read bandwidth of up to 7200 MB/s, a sequential write bandwidth of up to 6000 MB/s, an idle power of 3.8 watts, and an active power of 24 watts.
By contrast, the 400GB P5800X has a slower I/O performance for writes of 1.15 million IOPS, a lower sequential bandwidth of writes of 4800 MB/s, and the same I/O performance and sequential bandwidth for reads. The 2020 drive has a lower active power of 14 watts but the same idle power of 3.8 watts.
Optane SSDs have stood out for their speed as well as their incredibly high endurance compared to competing products. In the case of the new P5810X SSDs, they have an endurance rating of 100 drive writes per day (DWPD) and a warranty for five years. Kioxia's new CM7 Series PCIe 5.0 SSDs, by contrast, have 1 DWPD for five years.
For anyone who has enjoyed the high endurance and strong I/O performance of Intel's Optane SSDs, perhaps these new models will serve as a nice final hurrah. But with only one of the models seeming to offer an upgrade and Intel's Optane business now gone, it's hard to get excited about this release.