Desktop PC builders excited about the extended endurance and crazy-low latencies of Intel's 3D XPoint storage technology have been limited to drives with a maximum capacity of 480 GB since the release of the Optane 900P SSDs late last year. Good news storage freaks—a couple of models wearing an Optane 905P badge have appeared among the product pages of Newegg and other online retailers. The 905P drives have a flashier design with blue LED illumination and come in a new 960-GB capacity. The listings for these new models show substantially higher prices than their comparable 900P siblings.
Two models appeared at Newegg: a 960-GB unit that fits into a PCIe x4 slot and a 2.5" 480-GB version with a U.2 connector. There's currently no M.2 version to be seen, but there may be good reason for that. Chris Ramseyer at Tom's Hardware points out that the drive controller on Intel's currently-shipping high-capacity Optane drives is too large to fit on a 22-mm-wide M.2 card, and that a seven-channel controller with a smaller footprint is in the works for an M.2 model of the company's datacenter-focused P4801X SSD.
Ramseyer also pointed out images on ASRock's Fatal1ty H370 Performance motherboard product page that suggest Intel will produce 905Ps in the M.2 form factor. Prospective buyers should take note that the images depict the M.2 drives in the M.2-22110 size, which extends 30 mm longer than the far more common M.2-2280 cards.
The Intel Optane 905P Series 960-GB PCIe x4 drive is listed at Newegg at an eye-popping $1602. The 480-GB model from the same series is only listed in the relatively uncommon U.2 form factor for a spendy $658. For comparison's sake, an Intel 900P 480-GB drive in a PCIe x4 form factor comes in at $560. From our observations, U.2 and PCIe x4 card versions of the same drive in the same capacity tend to be priced within a few dollars of one another, suggesting that retailers expect a premium of about $100 for an Optane 905P drive compared to a comparable 900P device.