AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

The Destroyer is an extremely long test replicating the access patterns of very IO-intensive desktop usage. A detailed breakdown can be found in this article. Like real-world usage, the drives do get the occasional break that allows for some background garbage collection and flushing caches, but those idle times are limited to 25ms so that it doesn't take all week to run the test. These AnandTech Storage Bench (ATSB) tests do not involve running the actual applications that generated the workloads, so the scores are relatively insensitive to changes in CPU performance and RAM from our new testbed, but the jump to a newer version of Windows and the newer storage drivers can have an impact.

We quantify performance on this test by reporting the drive's average data throughput, the average latency of the I/O operations, and the total energy used by the drive over the course of the test.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Data Rate)

The average data rates from the Intel Optane SSD 800p on The Destroyer are comparable to some of the faster flash-based SSDs we've tested, but the 800p isn't as fast as the Samsung 960 PRO. Intel's VROC clearly doesn't help performance on this kind of test, and instead it just adds overhead.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Latency)

The average and 99th percentile latency scores of the Optane SSD 800p on The Destroyer are good, but don't beat the best flash-based SSDs and are far higher than the Optane 900p. Intel VROC seems to improve latency some even though it was detrimental to the average data rate.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (Average Write Latency)

The average read latency of the 800p is more than twice as high as that of the 900p, and is higher than the Samsung 960 PRO. VROC RAID-0 adds a few more microseconds of read latency. The average write latency of the 800p is far worse than the 900p or high-end flash based SSDs, but VROC greatly improves the write latencies and the four-drive RAID-0 is comparable to the Optane SSD 900p.

ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Read Latency)ATSB - The Destroyer (99th Percentile Write Latency)

Intel's VROC helps significantly with the 99th percentile read and write latencies, taking the 800p from not quite high-end to beating a single 900p.

ATSB - The Destroyer (Power)

The energy usage of the Optane SSD 800p over the course of The Destroyer is far lower than that of any flash-based SSD. The 800p completes the test fairly quickly, and unlike the 900p it keeps power consumption reasonably low throughout the test. The low-end flash based SSDs can take more than twice as long to complete the test while drawing more power than the 800p.

Introduction AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy
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  • boeush - Thursday, March 8, 2018 - link

    P.S. please pardon the "autocorrect"-induced typos... (in the year 2018, still wishing Anandtech would find a way to let us edit our posts...)
  • Calin - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Unfortunately, if you already have a computer supporting only 32 GB of RAM, the 200$ for an Intel 800p is peanuts compared to what you would have to pay for a system that supports more than 128GB of RAM - both in costs of mainboard, CPU and especially RAM. I'd venture a guess of a $5,000 entry price (you might pay less for refurbished). It might very possibly be worth it, but it's still a $5k against a $200 investment
  • The_Assimilator - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Entry-level Intel Xeon + 1U motherboard with 8x DIMM slots = ~$600
    8x 32GB modules for 256GB RAM total = ~$3,200

    So not quite $5k, but still a lot more than $200 :)
  • mkaibear - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link a new case, plus a new PSU, plus a UPS...
  • boeush - Saturday, March 10, 2018 - link

    Yes, I did mention a lot of $$$...

    But that's the point: how badly do you really need the extreme random access performance to begin with - above and beyond what a good 1 TB SSD can deliver? Will you even be able to detect the difference? Most workloads are not of such a 'pure' synthetic-like nature, and any decent self-respecting OS will anyway cache your 'hot' files in RAM automatically for you (assuming you have sufficient RAM).

    So really, to benefit from such Optane drives (at a cost 4x the equivalent-sized NAND SSD) you'd need to have a very exotic corner-case of a workload - and if you're really into such super-exotic special cases, then likely for you performance trumps cost (and you aren't going to worry so much about +/- a few $thousand here or there...)
  • jjj - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Yeah not impressive at all. They can't reach mainstream price points with higher capacity and that leads to less than stellar perf and a very limiting capacity.
    To some extent, the conversation should also include investing more in DRAM when building a system but that's hard to quantify.
    Intel/Micron need the second gen and decent yields, would be nice if that arrives next year- just saying, it's not like they are providing much info on their plans. Gen 2 was initially scheduled for early 2017 but nobody is talking about roadmaps anymore.
  • jjj - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Just to add something, NAND prices are coming down some and perf per $ is getting better as more folks join the higher perf party. It's not gonna be trivial to compete with NAND in consumer.
  • CheapSushi - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    Hardware "enthusiasts" have sure become jaded, cynical, grumpy assholes.
  • Reflex - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    No shit. I think people are confusing their anger at Intel with whether or not this is a good tech advancement. I am wondering if they even are looking at the article I saw. The vast majority of the charts showed Optane products in the lead, power consumption lower, latency lower, etc. Only a few places showed it behind, most around scenarios that are not typical.

    It is fair to point out its not worth 3x the cost. I'm building a system now, not going with Optane at this price. It is fair to point out that the capacity is not there yet. That is another part of why I'm not using it. Those are valid criticisms. They are also things that are likely to be remedied very soon.

    What is not fair is to bash it incessantly for reasons imagined in their own minds (OMG IT DOES NOT HIT THE NUMBERS IN A PAPER ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IN ITS FIRST GEN PRODUCTS!), or ignore the fact that we finally have a potentially great storage alternative to NAND which has a number of limitations we have run up against. This is a great thing.
  • Adramtech - Saturday, March 10, 2018 - link

    Agreed, Reflex. In 2 years Optane Gen 2 is likely going to look a lot better and impress. Criticizing Gen 1 tech is ridiculous.

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