Intel Optane Memory Tested As Boot Drive, Secondary and RAID 0

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PCMark 8 Storage Test

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PCMark 8 might have come out in 2013, but it is still Futuremark’s most recent version of their industry standard PC benchmarking tool. PCMark 8 allows you to test the performance of all types of PC, from tablets to desktops. With five separate benchmark tests plus battery life testing, PCMark 8 helps you find the devices that offer the perfect combination of efficiency and performance. PCMark 8 is recognized by many as being the complete PC benchmark for home and business. We ran the Storage 2.0 benchmark test suite on PCMark 8 v2.7.613 that came out in April 2016. This is a major update accommodates a change in the latest version of Adobe After Effects and provides better support for NVMe SSDs. The changes affect the workloads in the Adobe Applications benchmark and the Storage 2.0 benchmark. Scores from the new versions of these tests should not be compared with older versions, so just a heads up if you wanted to compare scores.

Version 2.0 of the Storage benchmark includes two changes to the storage playback engine:

  1. Write I/Os sent to the storage device no longer have the Force Unit Access flag enabled. This flag did not usually matter to older storage devices but could lead to reduced performance on some modern NVMe drives.
  2. The playback engine now aligns all I/Os on 4096 byte boundaries. This change improves test compatibility across modern devices.

The primary result of each storage test is the total time elapsed while playing back the trace. The primary result is used to calculate Storage score. The secondary result of the test is bandwidth, which is the total amount of bytes read and written during the test divided by busy time (in other words, the time when the depth of the queue of pending I/O operations was at least 1). The bandwidth result is used to calculate Storage bandwidth, which is reported along with Storage score and we are most interested in this score.

Intel Optane Memory 32GB – Boot Drive:

Intel Optane Memory 32GB – Secondary:

Intel Optane Memory 32GB – RAID 0:

 

Benchmark Results: When it comes to PCMark 8 performance we weren’t able to run it on the boot drive as it didn’t have enough free space with Windows 10 installed, but we got 5,044 points as a secondary drive and 5,087 points in RAID 0.

Benchmark Results: The overall score of 5,036 places the Intel Optane Memory Module 32GB just behind the ADATA XPG SX8000 SSD in the middle of the pack slightly above the entry-level PCIe SSDs like the Intel 600P 512GB and the WD Black PCIe 512GB. While the overall score on PCMark 8 shows all the drives are very close to one another when it comes to performance, when you look closer at the results you’ll see some bigger differences.

For example the Storage 2.0 bandwidth test results shows the total amount of bytes read and written during the test divided by the time the test took. Here you can see that the Intel Optane Memory M.2 PCIe NVMe 32GB drive came in with a score of 55529 MB/s as a secondary drive and then 849.54 as a secondary RAID 0 array! Keep in mind that Futuremark told us it is normal for 3DMark and PCMark scores to vary by up to 3% between runs since there are factors in modern, multitasking operating systems that cannot be completely controlled.

Let’s wrap this review up

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  • vcadsfv

    In the past there was special subpage where you show how drive behave after some seconds-minuts, why today there are no such a data? This was the main reason o watch your ssd review to check if the drive slow 90% after 15seconds. Now your test are simply boring 🙁

  • Carlos Danger

    How were you able to test using an X99 system, when you even said in your original review, “Intel Optane Memory requires an Intel 200-series chipset motherboard with an open M.2 slot that supports this new feature.”

    • ir0nw0lf

      Probably requires a 2xx chipset for the caching functionality but can work as a normal drive on other chipsets?

    • ProBit Support

      In this benchmark set they were not using the drive as “Optane Memory”, they were just using it like a regular M.2 SSD for direct read/write access.