AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

Our Heavy storage benchmark is proportionally more write-heavy than The Destroyer, but much shorter overall. The total writes in the Heavy test aren't enough to fill the drive, so performance never drops down to steady state. This test is far more representative of a power user's day to day usage, and is heavily influenced by the drive's peak performance. The Heavy workload test details can be found here. This test is run twice, once on a freshly erased drive and once after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB - Heavy (Data Rate)

The 118GB Optane SSD 800P is the only cache module large enough to handle the entirety of the Heavy test, with a data rate that is comparable to running the test on the SSD as a standalone drive. The smaller Optane Memory drives do offer significant performance increases over the hard drive, but not enough to bring the average data rate up to the level of a good SATA SSD.

ATSB - Heavy (Average Latency)ATSB - Heavy (99th Percentile Latency)

The 64GB Optane Memory M10 offers similar latency to the 118GB Optane SSD 800P when both are treated as standalone drives. In a caching setup the cache misses have a big impact on average latency and a bigger impact on 99th percentile latency, though even the 32GB cache still outperforms the bare hard drive on both metrics.

ATSB - Heavy (Average Read Latency)ATSB - Heavy (Average Write Latency)

The average read latency scores show a huge disparity between standalone Optane SSDs and the hard drive. The 118GB cache performs almost as well as the standalone Optane drives while the 64GB cache averages a bit worse than the Crucial MX500 SATA SSD and the 32GB cache averages about half the latency of the bare hard drive.

On the write side, the Optane M.2 modules don't perform anywhere near as well as the Optane SSD 900P, and the 32GB module has worse average write latency than the Crucial MX500. In caching configurations, the 118GB Optane SSD 800P has about twice the average write latency of the 900P while the smaller cache configurations are worse off than the SATA SSD.

ATSB - Heavy (99th Percentile Read Latency)ATSB - Heavy (99th Percentile Write Latency)

The 99th percentile read and write latency scores rank about the same as the average latencies, but the impact of an undersized cache is much larger here. With 99th percentile read and write latencies in the tens of milliseconds, the 32GB and 64GB caches won't save you from noticeable stuttering.

SYSmark 2014 SE AnandTech Storage Bench - Light
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  • Flunk - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    For $144 you can get a 256GB M.2 SSD, big enough to use as a boot drive. Even as a cache for a slow hard-drive (which means you also need to buy a hard drive, possibly bumping the cost up to 512GB SSD prices) means this product doesn't make any sense at all. Maybe it made sense when they started development, but it doesn't now.
  • binary visions - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    I'm not sure I understand your comment.

    This product isn't designed for people whose data fits on a boot drive. It's designed to accelerate disk speeds for people who require large data drives.

    E.g. my photos do not even remotely fit on an affordable SSD. I have a 6tb drive I work off of, but I'm frequently working in sets of photos that are <100gb. I suspect an Optane drive would significantly improve my workflow (I don't have a compatible system, but it's something I'm looking into in the future).

    Copying photos back and forth between an SSD for working on them, and back to the spinning platters for storage, is an ugly process at best.
  • qlum - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    However at this point a conventional ssd of a larger size could also be used gor caching and may require less swaoping to the slower hdd.
  • lmcd - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    No. The idea of caching means that the device used as the cache will almost always be close to capacity. Nearly-full MLC and TLC SSD devices perform very poorly compared to their empty numbers. MLC and TLC devices would have 1/2 and 1/3 the size they're listed at when used as caches, which makes the comparison much less favorable.
  • frenchy_2001 - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    I have used SSD caching for HDD for longer than intel has offered it.
    I bought a OCZ Synapse and I've used it for years. It was a 64GB SSD, with 32GB usable
    (overprovisionning allowed better performances while full), supplied with a custom caching software.
    The software did not work great, but I transitioned to intel SMART response SSD caching when I upgraded from an AMD system to a Z68 (and beyond) and this has helped a lot.
    It is fully transparent and I hardly realize it's there, but the few time I had to remove it (I changed to a bigger SSD as cache, maxed to 80GB, or changed the HDD and had to redo the cache system), how slow the HDD alone was surprised me.
    Boot time is less than a minute, game load times are short enough... Basically, even with with caching alone, it gave me most of the benefits of SSD for everyday tasks.

    I fully expects this product to behave similarly, benefits increasing with size.

    This is not really for people building a new computer, this is for people that want to speed up a current one with a big HDD.
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    Maybe optimize your workflow, you would be better buying a 500GB SSD and MOVING your frequent data to that drive. It's the same thing, for the same price and 10x more storage.
  • GTVic - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    He just said that transferring photos to an SSD is not feasible.
  • joenathan - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - link

    His plan still doesn't make sense, what he's just gonna have to hope the Intel software magically knows which of the 6TB of photos he is going to use today? If it's can't cache everything then it's just a gamble. It would be better for him to get a larger SSD and modify his work flow so that it would be feasible to transfer the photos.
  • nevcairiel - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    Initial access will still be slower as the cache is being populated, that is true - but you would have the same initial cost if you manually move files to your "work drive", nevermind all the hassle that comes with that.
  • Arnulf - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - link

    Can't stop laughing at those read/write speeds ... downright pathetic compared to low end NVMe drives ... and to think Optane was touted to perform as a class of its own between flash and DRAM.

    As for your photo predicament - where is the bottleneck of your 100 GB photo editing process? I doubt it's random access. If it is sequential access (throughput) for batch processing all those photos then you will be limited by the HDD in either case (with or without Optane). Besides those horrible sequential transfer rates ... just can't stop laughing :-D

    Just get a large enough NVMe SSD.

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