Possible Intel Optane DC P4800X specifications leak

As products featuring Intel and Micron's joint venture 3D XPoint storage chips get closer to market, the claims surrounding them seem to have gotten less and less audacious. Intel is reportedly targeting Optane at server platforms and small-capacity cache devices, rather than full-sized SSDs, on the desktop.

We now have a better idea of how an Optane datacenter device might perform, at least. Tom's Hardware reports that several Chinese-language media outlets have obtained performance specifications for the purported P4800X device, a 375GB 3D XPoint PCIe SSD designed for data centers. The P4800X's peak sequential throughput is comparable to NAND NVMe devices, but the device's reported latency and endurance figures are a big step forward from existing SSDs.

Source: Techbang.com

Intel claims 2400 MB/s sequential reads and 2000 MB/s sequential writes for the P4800X, which are competitve but not revolutionary. Intel's current 400 GB P3700 drive achieves sequential speeds up to 2800 MB/s when reading and 2000 MB/s when writing. The 3D XPoint device's reported 550,000 4K read IOPS is another nice improvement, but it's not a huge leap over the 400 GB P3700's 460,000 figure, either.

The 3D XPoint device shines when we examine some other specifications. The 375GB P4800X can reportedly achieve 500,000 4K write IOPS, compared to the P3700's more pedestrian 175,000. The P4800X's reported 10µs latency is half of the older drive's specification, too. The P4800X could also boast 30 drive writes per day of endurance. The P3700 touts a 17 DWPD figure, which is already quite high for a NAND SSD. Intel's previous-generation P3600 was rated for a scant 3 drive write cycles per day.

The P4800X is reportedly run by an Intel controller and firmware. Pricing and availability were not a part of the leaked information, but we suspect Intel will demand a hefty premium for the improved latency and endurance the drives appear to have on tap.

Comments closed
    • NoOne ButMe
    • 3 years ago

    So, cool, and improvement over SSD, but by my math, only about 33000 complete drive writes.(12300000/375)

    Awesome improvement over SSD. Hopefully gen2 can make it not vaporware compared to original promises.

    • DavidC1
    • 3 years ago

    Optane is really only useful for two scenarios.

    1. Caching HDDs. NAND plus HDD could never have expected to perform like an SSD. You need a caching device faster than NAND to get closer to NAND in hybrid setups.
    2. Eventual RAM slots. Purley will do this first in servers. Consumers maybe in 2 to 3 years. DRAM interface is needed to truly show its potential.

    Also their endurance and performance claim will hold, but not all versions. Just like every SSD, CPU, GPUs has different characteristics, so will, Optane. It is likely they are using lower quality version to reduce price on SSD and caching versions compared to DRAM ones.

    Performance wise, the SSD version is actually pretty good. The 4k random write performance is identical to its sequential, meaning it’s limited by the channel or interface. It makes getting it’s 2GB/s transfer far more likely than even 960 PRO is capable of doing.

    It’s just for consumers, you need greater than few times the improvement to notice. You need a radical increase. Like what eventual DRAM versions will offer. A fast SSD is just that. A fast SSD.

    • Generic
    • 3 years ago

    Excuse me if I’m reading over it, but is the long term (power off) stability known for the P4800X?

    • rudimentary_lathe
    • 3 years ago

    Whoa, if true that’s very underwhelming. And check out those power numbers… geesh. Looks like Intel/Micron may have pulled an AMD here and overpromised on the tech. Or maybe this is just the first gen and future generations will get closer to what they’d previously discussed.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    The only spec that matters is the cost per gigabyte.

    We know it’s going to be better than current-gen NAND, but if it costs eleventy-bajillion bucks for one, 99.99999% of the world will just ignore it.

    • psuedonymous
    • 3 years ago

    “The 3D XPoint device shines when we examine some other specifications. The 375GB P4800X can reportedly achieve 500,000 4K write IOPS, compared to the P3700’s more pedestrian 175,000.”

    Remember that 3D Xpoint can achieve those IOPS at very low queue depths, whereas NAND needs high queue depths to really saturate small operations.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      4K QD1 performance is the only real bottleneck for consumers these days.

      Even most low-budget SSD’s have enough sequential and higher queue-depth performance that it’s not really the bottleneck.

    • cmrcmk
    • 3 years ago

    The throughput and IOPS numbers make me think this is using the same controller as the P3700, just with a different firmware and storage. If that’s true, this generation is going to be bottlenecked by a controller that was designed for a slower memory and the next generation will really let xpoint loose, likely saturating the PCIe interface.

    • brucethemoose
    • 3 years ago

    Less than double the endurance of (heavily binned) MLC flash?

    That’s not what Intel/Micron were saying awhile ago… I get the feeling those endurance numbers aren’t even close to what they were hoping for (aka something between DRAM and flash, not something on par with SLC NAND).

      • nico1982
      • 3 years ago

      They have encountered more difficulties than planned for sure. Is the first generation of a completely new technology, after all. I’m inclined to think that they will iterate revisions fast and with tangible improvements each time.

      • Klimax
      • 3 years ago

      Likely difference between prototype and gen 0 mass-production.

      • ChicagoDave
      • 3 years ago

      This is a really big deal…if this isn’t just a prototype/gen1 issue then I don’t see how these can possibly hope to replace DIMMs. RAM usually has orders of magnitude more endurance than NAND since they’re constantly reading/writing. Really hope they can figure out the endurance, otherwise this tech seems firmly in the long term storage/cache category rather than the magical non-volatile RAM we want.

      Disclaimer: I own stock in Micron

    • the
    • 3 years ago

    Kind of mundane specs for this space. I would hope that the that higher capacity models show further improvements. Right now those specs are a bit of a let down.

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      Here’s what makes it interesting: 500,000 4K [i<]random[/i<] iOPS is pretty close to 2000MB/sec, meaning that this thing can come close to going full-speed in random write mode.

        • the
        • 3 years ago

        That is a bright spot, especially if that figure can be obtained at low queue depths. However, the rest isn’t blowing away traditional NAND by any measure.

        Endurance figures are a step forward as expected but not where I’d expect them to be for this technology to be used for NVDIMMs in the future.

        I was hoping for something north of 3 GB/s (and higher capacity units using more channels could hit this figure) for both reads and writes. Granted I was expecting such performance figures at higher queue depths.

    • kcarlile
    • 3 years ago

    just to be pedantic, the 3700 is actually older than the 3600 but has always been and always will be a very niche product with extraordinary endurance and IOPS. The 3600 line is more of a “mainstream” database drive.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    FIRST post pointing out how crappy these drives are because they won’t load your games any faster than a regular SSD.

      • wingless
      • 3 years ago

      As your noted in a response earlier, the 4K random performance is very high. That will load your games fast as heck compared to today’s SSDs.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 3 years ago

        Oh boy, 10s load times rather than 12s load times.

        Definitely worth spending 2-3x as much on an ssd.

        I’ll take a more capacious SATA drive, thank you. Leave that fancy stuff to the pros that can actually benefit from it.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Like NVMe drives compared to SATA drives, I’m not sure it’s going to be that noticeable in real world.

          • MOSFET
          • 3 years ago

          But what about the massive speed increase for our Google searches and Facebook posts?

          Nah, I agree that even us non-regular “power” users won’t be clamoring to put these in our home systems or even home servers. However, I don’t balk at progress in storage. For so much of my computing life, the storage subsystem has been so far behind the rest of the PC that it’s often been my priority over CPU, GPU, audio, etc…

            • Kurlon
            • 3 years ago

            This is screaming for use in tiered storage as top level cache.

        • nico1982
        • 3 years ago

        Those figures are likely at maximum queue depth. Game loading is mostly done at qd 1-4 with the vast amount of ops at qd 1. As pointed by other replies, yes, it will be faster, but still marginally.

        • ColeLT1
        • 3 years ago

        Not much higher than my samsung 960 evo, it is 330,000 iops read and write.

          • Waco
          • 3 years ago

          Those numbers are at QD [maximum allowed by the interface here].

          The Optane drives will likely exceed those numbers are MUCH lower queue depths, which is very useful for many workloads that rely on minimum latency.

          So yes, it will load your games faster. By how much? Time will tell. Somewhere between a really good NVMe RAM drive and a fast consumer SSD.

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