Intel Announces a Hybrid Optane M.2 SSD

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by AlphaAtlas, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    While products with Intel's 3D Xpoint memory tend to be insanely fast storage devices, Optane SSDs are pretty pricey when compared to their flash counterparts. 900P drives are still going for about $1/GB online, while the smaller cache drives have even worse price/storage ratios. But at CES this year, Intel unveiled the "Optane Memory H10" SSD that combines 3D Xpoint with QLC NAND. Theoretically, that means buyers could get the best of the Optane and flash storage worlds, as Intel's QLC SSDs are some of the cheapest NVMe SSDs on the market, while even a small Optane cache would help offset some of their issues with write speeds and durability. However, Intel hasn't announced pricing or availability dates for the drives yet.

    Add responsiveness and capacity to your computer with the intelligent combination of Intel Optane memory and Intel QLC 3D NAND Storage in one M.2 form factor.
     
  2. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Hoping this doesn't need software to be fully activated. I recall earlier optane stuff needing an application in Windows to fully enable it.
     
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  3. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    This could be cool, but I've generally been disappointed with all caching schemes that involve a faster and a slower storage tech.

    Will be interesting to see how it performs.

    Is optane still a Skylake+ exclusive?
     
  4. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise [H]ard|Gawd

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    Really interested in benches on one of these.
     
  5. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    Two controllers, will show as two drives and need PCIe port bifurcation to do even that. The magic will happen in Intel's terrible driver/software.
     
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  6. jnemesh

    jnemesh [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nah, my Samsung Pro 970 works just fine, thanks...and I have 1TB of storage on it. Zero use for Intel's crap.
     
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  7. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Limp Gawd

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    Personally speaking optane is a bust until they can replace RAM modules using persistent memory that is as fast as volitile.
     
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  8. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise [H]ard|Gawd

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    It won't be as fast in the near future, but we're getting there. HOLD MY BEER...
     
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  9. DNMock

    DNMock Limp Gawd

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    This reminds me of a fat girl banging on the door screaming "why won't you sleep with me!" (fun fact, that happened to me in my college years!)

    As in it reeks of B.O., cheetos, and desperation on intels part.
     
  10. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise [H]ard|Gawd

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    I believe the response is "allllrighty then". Thanks for sharing!

    Anyway, the idea of having slow secondary storage (QLC) cached by very high speed (optane) is not inherently a bad idea. We'll see if the implementation is up to snuff, but it is not actually a poor design. As many using optane caches in this forum have noted, it really works pretty well.
     
  11. Brahmzy

    Brahmzy [H]ardness Supreme

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    900p/905ps are still ridiculous fast.Optane as storage freakin rocks and Samsung cannot touch them for low-qd random read performance. They are untouchable. I've got 3 and I dig 'em.
     
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  12. DF-1

    DF-1 2[H]4U

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    hey ive got an idea! lets put some real fucking trash in with a few diamonds, the end product will be just like the latter.
     
  13. craigdt

    craigdt Gawd

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    I wanted to mess with a 32gb Optane module.

    Installed the Intel RST drivers and apparently it removed my boot drive.

    Had to dick around in the bios and turn off some Intel Optane option in the bios to get my machine to boot.

    That being said, I'm scared to try it again. :ROFLMAO:
     
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  14. RealBeast

    RealBeast Gawd

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    You mean other than stuff like DRAM cache in a Samsung 970 Pro or EVO for example, right?

    I've never found IRST implementations worth the effort though.
     
  15. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Barf.

     
  16. Sikkyu

    Sikkyu I Question Reality

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    its called DLC, its a feature :)
     
  17. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

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    Which was crap and I never could get to work. I fired up Primocache, told it to use the Optane as dedicated L2 and it sped up boot times even with my M2 SSD (y)
     
  18. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

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    Optane is awesome if you just ignore Intel's crap software and use something competent like Primocache.

    BTW - the server version of Primocache is even more amazing, especially given its price vs. their competitors. Easily 1/2 if not 2/3 cheaper than other solutions and again, I just threw in an old SSD I had (I think it was 3 not even 6) and the difference was astonishing. If I can find a cheap optane module that will fit I can't wait to see how much better it will perform still.

    Optane is awesome if you just ditch Intel's software.
     
  19. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    I used a 16GB Optane in my other halfs AMD FX6300 rig as a dedicated Pagefile Cache drive. Worked fine.

    However, we recently got a 500GB EVO 970 for a bargain before Xmas and that took over in the slot as the main system SSD. So the Optane now sits in its box. It only cost £18 so no great hit.
     
  20. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    I prefer to get my DLC from STEAM, not intel ;P

     
  21. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Your description seems to suggest you got it working...? I am confused...

     
  22. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

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    Another vote for Primocache. I think the people disregarding Optane aren't really understanding it's strengths and best usage scenarios. It definitely works wonders when implemented correctly.
     
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  23. capnstabn

    capnstabn Limp Gawd

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    The z390 board I have has Optane support, and I think z370 does as well.
     
  24. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, so the part I don't quite understand is how this works. Optane caching with o e of those small 16-32GB optane modules is Intel only, right? What about the bigger Optane SSD models? You know, like the 905p? Would they work in an AMD system?

    And what would happen if you stuck one of those small m2 optane modules in an AMD system? Would they just show up as a small drive or would they not show up at all?
     
  25. zerogg

    zerogg Limp Gawd

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    I picked up Primocache after reading about it in the forums here. It made a noticeable difference for me as well, even in my system with a nvme ssd for the OS. Would love to see what it would do with Optane as well.
     
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  26. Mega6

    Mega6 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hybrid bastardization no thanks. The OS fits fine on my small pure SSD.
     
  27. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

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    I got Optane to "work" by NOT using the crappy Intel software, and instead using Primocache. Luckily Optane drives show up as just another drive letter even without Intel's extremely crappy software, so you don't need it at all.

    Primocache is only $30 for workstations and $120 for a server - which is damn cheap for server caching indeed! You can use it for free for 30 days so don't take my word for it, toss an old SSD in and if you have any normal hard drives cache 'em to the old SSD - it will be night and day.

    Primocache spanks the crap out of Microsoft's built in Windows disk cache (which isn't hard; it's always sucked ass). Aside from using RAM as L1 disk cache, PrimoCache also lets you specify any volume as L2 cache - I told it to use all of the optane for L2 cache and boy howdy - even my Samsung M2 SSD is noticeably snappier when mucking around with stuff. And I only have the home jobber 64GB M2 Optane. I'd love to find a larger PCI Express Optane and really do some testing with it on some of my servers where I'm just not going to upgrade to SSD, but will get as good or better than SSD performance in many cases just by using PrimoCache and some fast L2 storage.

    For $80 the 64GB Optane and Primocache is a pretty neat combo. If you are pure SSD it may not be as dramatic, but I have a few 4TB drives with some older games I don't play as often but now they run just about as fast as the stuff thats on my M2 Evo Pro SSD. I don't have to worry about moving stuff around if I decide to play an older game for a bit and want decent performance.
     
  28. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

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    Sure. With 3rd party caching software like Primocache, anyway. Optane just shows up as a drive letter. Well, until you dedicate it in Primocache as L2 cache - then Primocache claims it :)

    I don't think they will work. Or at least Intel doesn't want you to believe they will. You're supposed to have particular chipsets and a specific M2 slot - it only works on one of the two M2 slots in my motherboard, for example. A friend has an AMD build - I may have to pop the Optane out of my rig and see if it shows up in his. If it does then it would work with Primocache too.

    EDIT: Up higher someone was using Optane in an AMD system just fine. Figures more Intel FUD. Obviously their crap software won't run on an AMD system but that's fine - Primocache is a far better solution anyway!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  29. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

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    It's not bastardization; it's just replacing the crap disk caching software MS bundles with Windows with something far better, more versatile and more configurable.

    Optane has less latency than your SSD. I'd wager you would see a noticeable difference even with your SSD. Optane modules are cheap and Primocache is free for 30 days. If you buy your Optane from a reputable store like Microcenter, if it doesn't make a noticeable enough difference for you, you can always return the Optane.

    I was skeptical, but pleasantly surprised at the results. You've got nothing to loose but a potential speed upgrade :)
     
  30. GNUse_the_force

    GNUse_the_force Limp Gawd

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    you do lose e-peen if you run an intel product.

    /s
     
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  31. Mega6

    Mega6 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I get it, It's just not the kind of crossover technology that I care to invest in. I have separate pure SSD / Platter drives and I am good.
     
  32. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

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    Ignorance is bliss :cool:

    If you have more than 8 GB of RAM, download the trial and make a couple gigabyte cache - even that can make a significant difference just in mucking around in Windows. I have 32 GB of RAM and dedicate half of it to cache with the optane at first, but the lower latency Optane must be significant because I reduced the amount of RAM cache and even though I had less cache overall, things felt even snappier.

    It's not the same as going from spinning rust to SSD, but it is noticeable that after using for a while, if you turn it off (say the trial expiring ;)) all the sudden it will be really noticeable.
     
  33. Mega6

    Mega6 [H]ard|Gawd

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    yes

    edit: there is not enough difference in performance to really care in my case and probably a lot others if they set their system up right. But I'm sure you'll have a reason to buy this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019