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Intel® Optane™ Memory H10 with Solid State Storage (Intel® Optane™ Memory 32GB + Intel® QLC 3D NAND SSD 1TB, M.2 80mm PCIe 3.0)

All information provided is subject to change at any time, without notice. Intel may make changes to manufacturing life cycle, specifications, and product descriptions at any time, without notice. The information herein is provided "as-is" and Intel does not make any representations or warranties whatsoever regarding accuracy of the information, nor on the product features, availability, functionality, or compatibility of the products listed. Please contact system vendor for more information on specific products or systems.

Intel classifications are for informational purposes only and consist of Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCN) and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers. Any use made of Intel classifications are without recourse to Intel and shall not be construed as a representation or warranty regarding the proper ECCN or HTS. Your company as an importer and/or exporter is responsible for determining the correct classification of your transaction.

Refer to Datasheet for formal definitions of product properties and features.

‡ This feature may not be available on all computing systems. Please check with the system vendor to determine if your system delivers this feature, or reference the system specifications (motherboard, processor, chipset, power supply, HDD, graphics controller, memory, BIOS, drivers, virtual machine monitor-VMM, platform software, and/or operating system) for feature compatibility. Functionality, performance, and other benefits of this feature may vary depending on system configuration.

“Announced” SKUs are not yet available. Please refer to the Launch Date for market availability.

Intel® Rapid Start Technology requires a select Intel® processor, Intel® software and BIOS update, and a Solid-State Drive (SSD) or hybrid drive. Depending on system configuration, your results may vary. Contact your system manufacturer for more information.

Sours: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/189611/intel-optane-memory-h10-with-solid-state-storage-intel-optane-memory-32gb-intel-qlc-3d-nand-ssd-1tb-m-2-80mm-pcie-3-0/specifications.html

Intel Optane H20 1TB OEM M.2 SSD Review

Introduction & Drive Details

Intel's newest iteration of an Optane reinforced SSD is designated H20. The H20, as the name suggests, is the successor to the Intel H10. The H10 found its way into countless OEM PC platforms as a pathway to a better user experience than a stand-alone SSD typically provides. The H10 was, and still is, the storage foundation for a massive number of OEM mobile and desktop systems. Intel's two-in-one SSDs with Optane caching are especially beneficial for delivering an unrivaled user experience on low-power mobile devices like notebooks, tablets, and laptops.

Low power devices, like laptops, are typically at a real disadvantage in terms of user experience or, as Intel calls it, "Performance where it matters most". Low power devices need to strike a balance between power consumption and performance, or as we call it, user experience. Another term we can use is responsiveness. This is where having some Optane on board comes to the rescue because, in the world of non-volatile storage, Optane is the king of responsiveness.

Like its predecessor, the H10, the H20 is a single 2280 PCB SSD composed of an Optane SSD and a NAND SSD in tandem. The H20 provides improvements over the H10 that include a new SSD controller, a new Optane Memory controller, and Intel's newest 144-layer flash. In simplified terms, the H20 is a 32GB Intel Optane Memory SSD in front of a 1TB Intel 670p NAND SSD running on a Gen3x4 interface.

The Intel H20 is an OEM-only SSD. It will not be available over retail channels, so you will not be able to buy one, except in maybe a one-off scenario. With that in mind, the purpose of this review is to provide our readers with some context as to what the H20 has to offer you when you go to buy your next OEM system. When shopping for your next laptop, etc., you will undoubtedly come across Intel Optane + SSD storage configurations.

The H20 is a special SSD that has been optimized for 11th Gen Intel Core and EVO platforms. This hybrid SSD needs a special M.2 port to function as intended. The port must be capable of bifurcating 4x PCIe lanes into 2x2 lanes. Optane takes two lanes, and the NAND takes two lanes. It's very specialized, which is why the drive is intended to be utilized on Intel-based OEM platforms.

The good folks at Intel sent over just such a laptop for our H20 review. The laptop is an HP Spectre with an 11th Gen i7 CPU and a 1TB H20 SSD. This Tiger Lake-based laptop delivers the goods in a big way, and we would have to say it delivers by far the best user experience we've gotten from a mobile device. However, we cannot quantify what the H20 can do if running on a laptop. We don't test SSDs on a laptop for obvious reasons.

It just so happens that we can run the H20 on our newest desktop SSD testing platform. Our newest SSD test rig has at its heart an 11th Gen Core i9 11900K CPU and can provide 2x2 PCIe bifurcation over the Z590 PCH. Perfect for testing the H20 and directly comparing it with the latest SSDs on the market. So, needless to say, we yanked it from the laptop and tested it on our newest platform.

Before we dive into the review, we want to reiterate again what performance where it matters most actually means. Simplify it down to its core, performance where it matters most, or user experience, is most directly a function of 4K random read performance at queue depths of 1-4. The computing world as currently structured is mostly random access in nature. Sequential numbers, while important, are not nearly as important for a good user experience as are random. The single most important performance metric is 4K QD1 random reads. Period.

With all this in mind, let's see what the Intel H20 brings to the table. Does it deliver performance where it matters most?

Drive Details

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Jon's Test System Specifications

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Free SSD Software

Intel MAS/Macrium Reflect

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The H20 relies on Intel's RST driver to function as a single device. It requires version 18.1 or higher to operate as intended. Optane caching is enabled within the RST GUI. There are two modes, performance and pinned. Performance mode is what we are using.

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Intel offers a nice SSD Toolbox to complement its SSDs.

If you need to clone, there is freeware for that here.

Intel Optane H20 1TB OEM M.2 SSD Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils

CrystalDiskMark

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Not surprisingly, the H20 isn't serving up sequential eye candy or random write performance for that matter, but it is, however, delivering the goods in a big way where it matters most. 4K Q1T1 random reads. The H20 serves up 3 to 4x the performance (where it matters most) of the drives in our test pool. This result indicates the H20 will be something special as it relates to gaming and user experience.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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Read performance is what we are primarily looking at when we evaluate an Anvil's benchmark. Despite the huge scoring handicap of such a low 4MB sequential read number, the H20 still manages to deliver a total read score of more than 9K. Aside from the first sequential number on the read portion of the test, the H20 is delivering numbers that cannot be matched by the NAND-only SSDs in our test pool. Once again, performance where it matters most.

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Max random IOPS for the H20 come in at roughly 400K/400K. Not bad at all.

Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO

AS SSD

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AS SSD plays nicely with some SSDs, but the H20 isn't one of them. The Optane part of the drive, for some reason, cannot cache any of the data generated by this particular benchmark.

ATTO

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We are looking for two things primarily when evaluating ATTO results. First, we are looking for 50 MB/s read/write at 512 B transfers. The H20 gives us that and then some. More importantly, we are looking for full read speed at 128K transfers. As fully expected, the H20 isn't serving up anything good sequentially, but it's not intended for that purpose, as we've already explained.

Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates & Gaming

Transfer Rates

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As expected, transfer rates are bottom of the barrel. Our 100GB data block cannot be cached by the H20, which means it's effectively transferring on 2 PCIe lanes instead of 4 like the rest of the SSDs that comprise our test pool.

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We are incurring the same issue when reading our test block to the host. Again, this is not what the H20 is meant to do.

Game Level Loading

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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. Here is where the H20 shines due to its superior random read performance at low queue depths. Performance where it matters most.

Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.

The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with user experience. Of the two tests, we feel that the Quick System Drive Test most accurately replicates a typical user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

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This particular test writes over 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

We weren't expecting the H20 to do this well because of the amount of data this test uses. Yet here it is, delivering some of the best numbers we've seen to date with what could be argued as the most important test of what an SSD is really made of. Impressive.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

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We figured this test would be right up the H20's alley, and indeed it does slice through this set of traces with ease. We expected to see good things here, but we did not expect to see a 4-channel Gen3 QLC SSD beating Samsung's mighty 980 Pro. Wow.

Final Thoughts

The H20 shows us that a little Optane can go a long way when you are seeking a premium user experience. The H20 is all about responsiveness, or performance where it matters most. The H20 is about things like instant on for your mobile devices. It's about long battery life, seamless multitasking, and exceptional performance in real-world usages. You want data security? The H20 is delivers there too with Pyrite 2.0 security. The only real knock against it we have is that it's an OEM-only product.

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We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage testing. The Intel H20 stands tall on our list of the best of the best, clearly demonstrating that it will indeed deliver as advertised.

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As we take a quick look back at our test results, we can point to several places where the Intel H20 shows itself to be something special. The H20 started off right out of the gate with absolutely dominating 4K Q1T1 random read performance as measured by CrystalDiskMark. We got another healthy dose of read performance when we tested it against Anvil's. Then the H20 demonstrated its gaming prowess by delivering a lab record for an M.2 SSD. And to wrap it all up, the H20 clearly demonstrated that it can deliver some of the best overall user experience money can buy.

Pros

  • Responsiveness
  • Gaming
  • Consumer Workloads

Cons

  • Sequential Performance
  • Transfer Rates
  • OEM Only

Performance

90%

Quality

95%

Features

85%

Value

90%

Overall

90%

The Bottom Line

If the H20 is an available option for your OEM system, take it.

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Jon Coulter

Jon Coulter

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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1TB Performance Testing

Comparison Products

You don't just reach into the NVMe SSD box and pull out any drive to compare to Intel's flagship Optane SSD. These drives have to go toe-to-toe with the champ, so we grabbed the powerful new 1TB Samsung 970 Pro and EVO SSDs as well as the other leading flash-based products. We also included the HP EX920 and the RGB Plextor M9Pe, which are two of the more exciting flash-based SSDs on the market. The Optane SSD 905P's biggest challenge comes from Intel's own 480GB 900P and its less-expensive 118GB 800P M.2 SSD.

The Optane SSDs will take some losses early in our tests. Intel's seven-channel controller dedicates one channel to ECC and metadata, which is a slight disadvantage compared to the NAND-based SSDs with eight channels. Most applications respond best to random performance, but some specialty applications buck that trend. For instance, editing 4K video uses sequential data, so simple renders would likely be faster with something like the 970 Pro. Other video-related tasks like effects could go either way. We'll explore those details further in our next Optane review.

Final Fantasy XIV Load Time

We're introducing this new test, which measures load times using Final Fantasy XIV's inbuilt benchmark, to show how some SSDs can load gaming scenes faster than lesser drives. To ensure accuracy, we're presenting an average of five test runs. We expanded our test pool for this test to give you a better understanding of performance with several types of drives.

It's important to understand that these are system-specific tests. We used an Intel Z270 platform and a Core i7-7700K processor running with the all-core enhancement BIOS setting. Over the next few weeks, we'll explore other systems to examine how increased processor core counts impact the results. For now, the results are clear: the Optane SSDs outperform the other products, but not by a large amount.

Sequential Read Performance

To read about our storage tests in-depth, please check out How We Test HDDs And SSDs. We cover four-corner testing on page six of our How We Test guide.

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Most SSD vendors spec their drives with several workers pounding the drive at the same time. We managed to surpass Intel's 2,600 MB/s sequential read spec with a single worker. The Optane 905P accelerated to ~2,700 MB/s at queue depth (QD) 2 and stayed steady throughout our test. The NAND-based drives all reached higher peak throughput numbers, but most of them are slower than the 905P at low queue depths.

Sequential Write Performance

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We also blasted through Intel's 2,200 MB/s sequential write claim. We knocked on the 2,400 MB/s door at QD2, but it still wasn't enough to take down the two Samsung 970 SSDs and the new SanDisk Extreme Pro.

Sustained Sequential Write Performance

The story changes when we move over to sustained sequential writes. The Samsung 970 Pro with MLC flash retains its high level of performance at QD1, but most flash-based drives can't sustain those speeds once the SLC buffer is full.

The Optane 905P doesn't have that problem, but its performance is less consistent than we expected. Both the 900P and 905P reach similar peaks throughout most of this test. The baseline performance is still very high for both drives, and we didn't see any significant performance degradation.

Random Read Performance

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We see more dramatic changes when we move to the random workloads that are a better measure of desktop PC performance. All three 3D XPoint-based drives deliver superior performance at low queue depths. Lower latency typically equates to higher IOPS, so this high performance is largely due to 3D XPoint's superior latency. That's important because latency has a direct impact on responsiveness. The 905P is in a class of its own at QD4 and beyond.

Random Write Performance

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Intel also stepped up its random write game with the new 905P. The 900P and 905P have similar performance at QD1 and QD2, but everything beyond that is a demonstration of the 905P's brute force.

70% Mixed Sequential Workload

We describe our mixed workload testing in detail here and describe our steady state tests here.

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During this test, Intel shuts down all the negative talk about the 9-Series' sequential performance. If you spend $360 to $1,300 on an SSD, hopefully you abuse it with heavy workloads and merciless multitasking. You don't need to hit these drives with extreme workloads, though, to see more performance than the best flash-based SSDs. You just have to use applications that take advantage of what's available. At realistic queue depths, the 900P and 905P are much faster than any other SSD.

70% Mixed Random Workload

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The same trend carries over to mixed random workloads. The Optane SSD 905P takes mixed random performance to new levels. At QD2, the 905P delivers three times more performance than the best flash-based SSDs. As we mentioned in a previous section, this is really about latency and the user experience.

Sequential Steady-State

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Optane drives forgo TRIM because they don't have to clean cells with the latency-killing read, modify, write process before they write new data. That's a massive advantage over other drives. Users with heavy write workloads will experience the most benefit.

Random Steady-State

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The Optane SSD 905P delivers similar performance to the 900P during our steady-state test. We didn't spot any noticeable difference between the two 9-Series drives, but the Optane drives are remarkable compared to other products.

PCMark 8 Real-World Software Performance

For details on our real-world software performance testing, please click here.

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The Intel Optane SSD 905P either matches or leads in every application test, and the 900P isn't far behind. These tests are fairly lightweight and include many applications most of us use every day. Some use these tests to argue that Optane technology doesn't provide enough of a real-world advantage. Operating systems and file systems are designed for hard disk drives, which hinders application performance. As a result, it takes massive improvements in storage technology to see a performance improvement in common applications.

Application Storage Bandwidth

The three Optane SSDs land at the top of the performance list. The new 905P beats the 900P by a small amount, and both 9-Series models hover around twice the throughput of the 8-Series Optane SSD.

PCMark 8 Advanced Workload Performance

To learn how we test advanced workload performance, please click here.

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We use the same applications in this test, but this time we precondition the drives with heavy data writes to force a steady-state condition. The drives run through several degrade and steady-state passes before we slow things down and intersperse five-minute pauses throughout the workload. The idle time allows the NAND-based SSDs to perform cleanup operations that restore their performance. Intel's Optane SSDs don't need the cool-down time because the drives overwrite old data without a latency-inducing erase pass.

Total Service Time

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Service time is the measurement of latency plus disk busy time. The two Optane 9-Series SSDs lead the charge here, but the Samsung 970 drives aren't far behind.

Disk Busy Time

This chart measures disk activity during our tests. As you can see, the 905P only works for a small portion of the test. The drive blasts so much data to the system memory and CPU that it sits idle while the other components process the data. This impacts system power consumption in several ways.

The drive is so fast that it can drop back into a lower power state faster than the other drives. Also, the processor doesn't have to wait for data, so it can process it more effectively. This actually increases overall system power consumption for a brief time. If you measured the power consumption for five minutes, you would see larger spikes as the CPU processes data faster, but those spikes result in lower overall power consumption.


MORE: Best SSDs


MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs


MORE: All SSD Content

Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.
Sours: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-optane-ssd-905p,5600-2.html
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