If you like fast storage, namely SSDs then you’ve probably heard of Intel’s Optane SSDs. At launch, Intel offered 16GB and 32GB Optane drives for 36 and 60 USD, repectively. Now Intel has launched two new Optane 800P SSDs, aimed primarily at consumers at a cheap(ish) price.
Those of you who haven’t heard of Intel Optane SSDs or don’t know what they are, lets revise. Intel Optane is a fast SSD-like storage that is faster than SSDs but slower than system RAM. Intel developed it in collaboration with Micron, and hasn’t exactly specified the details. However, what we do know is that Optane has some noteworthy advantages, the major ones being significantly improved endurance and steady-state performance. Unlike NAND based SSDs, Optane doesn’t suffer performance degradation over time.
It’s been nearly three years since Intel and Micron first announced 3D XPoint memory, which Intel has dubbed Optane. The Optane 900p drives are insanely fast as well as expensive, far from affordable for a regular consumer. These new Optane 800p are supposed to make up for that.
The Optane M.2 SSDs are limited to either 58GB or 118GB, but offer read speeds of up to 1,450MB/s and write speeds of 640MB/s. The read latency is a mere 7 microseconds, while the write latency 18 microseconds.
Intel claims that the Optane 800P drives are ideal as a standalone SSD in a dual drive setup, or as part of a RAID configuration. Laptops are also being targeted, with Intel highlighting the low power states of the Optane drives.
Now that’s all well and good, but how cheap or should I say how affordable really are these Optane 800p SSDs. Not very. That’s not really a surprise given Intel’s reputation, but whatever. The 58 GB 800P costs $129, where as the larger 118 GB version is $199.
The top-end 250 GB Samsung 960 EVO SSD costs just $120 and the 500GB version $236. Granted the Optane drives are blazing fast, but I doubt consumers (or I) would shell out 100+ bucks for a 58 GB drive. Not when you can get Samsung’s respected M.2 SSDs at a much more reliable price.
SSD prices are falling with the introduction of TLC NAND and their rising popularity. Looks like Intel will have to either reduce the prices if they want their “System Accelerators” to accelerate at all or put them in pre-assembled PCs.