Intel fills in the blanks on Optane 905P SSDs

We wrote just a couple days ago about the surprise appearance of Intel Optane 905P 3D XPoint SSDs at Newegg and other online retailers. Newegg's listings were pretty short on technical details, but the blue silicon goliath came forward today with more data about these enthusiast-targeted storage devices. The manufacturer is making versions of the drives with PCIe slot and U.2 connectors. Units in the larger PCIe card format come in capacities up to 960 GB, while the smaller 2.5" U.2 versions top out at 480 GB.

Intel says the Optane 905P drives are a dash faster than their 900P forebears. Sequential read speeds now reach a maximum of 2600 MB/s and write speeds go as fast as 2200 MB/s. 3D XPoint drives get to flex their muscles against regular SSDs when it comes to high QD1 performance, low latency in mixed workloads, fast random performance, and extended write endurance. The manufacturer claims the drives can perform up to 575,000 4K random read IOPS and 550,000 random write IOPS. While NAND-based drives are typically rated for somewhere between 0.5 and 2 drive writes per day (DWPD), the Optane 905P's rated endurance is considerably higher at 10 DWPD.

Besides dollars and cents, the other price to pay for this level of random I/O performance comes in the form of power consumption. The 960-GB model can draw an eye-popping 16.4 W when performing burst writes and a hefty-for-an-SSD 6 W when sitting idle. The 480-GB model isn't quite so thirsty, drawing up to 12.8 W when furiously writing and 3.3 W at idle. These power consumption figures might explain why the company isn't offering the drives in the popular M.2 form factor for now. For comparison's sake, Intel claims an active power draw of 3.75 W and an idle draw of 8 mW for its smaller, slower 3D XPoint Optane 800P drives. The manufacturer's mainstream, NAND-flash-based 600P 1-TB drive draws a claimed 100 mW under stress and 40 mW at idle.

Intel didn't provide any pricing or availability information, but the Optane 905P drives' brief appearance at Newegg suggests well-heeled buyers will be able to purchase them soon. The company did say Dell will start shipping new systems with Optane 905P drives this week. The manufacturer also says that Akitio will offer a special version of its Node Lite Thunderbolt 3 storage box with the 905P inside. Intel backs its Optane 905P SSDs with a five-year warranty, but specifically says that warranty is void if the drive is used in a "multi-user datacenter environment."

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