Intel has a new model of their Optane phase change storage unit available.
The 905P is based on NVMe PCI 3.0 x4 host interface, and available in two form factors – HHHL add-in card with LED light (960GB), and 2.5″ U.2 with heatsink on housing (480GB).
The storage capacity is double the previous 900P series. Intel has been developing the phase change technology for many years and their promise of higher capacity has been realized with the new 905P series.
The U.2 480GB 905P launched at $599. The 960GB PCI Express card is back ordered for $1299. We found it amusing that NewEgg calls the 905P a NAND drive in the specs.
Compared to SSD drives, Intel’s phase change is much faster with higher overall throughput. Latency is very low with the hardware. Latency is below 10 microseconds which is much better than the best NAND SSD drives can deliver.
Normal consumer workloads are heavily biased towards 4K random performance (especially read).
Video editing is oneplace the Optane will really show its strength. Adobe Premiere and Avid Composer both are frame accurate non linear editing systems that rely on fast random performance.
Streaming video from the internet does not use the SSD at all, and a high-quality 1080p video file is maybe 5-10 MB/s of bitrate, you can easily pull that off a spinning HDD that was manufactured 20 years ago.
Drive wear is also much better than NAND and the 905P can deliver full capacity writes daily with out problems even with their 5 year warranty.
For gaming, the U.2 format looks like a winner as they can fit drive bays with suitable motherboard support and the proper cables. We expect to see more U.2 drives in the market soon as it moves to take over from SATA and SAS solutions.