For the average computer user, waiting a few extra seconds for a PC to boot up or 10 minutes for a file to copy is quite acceptable. But, if you are a technology enthusiast obsessed with PC performance that’s as fast as possible, seconds count.

For a long time SSDs were the “go-to” storage solution for datacentres and PC enthusiasts. While they seemed really fast at first thanks to their use of Flash memory chips, the evolution of non-volatile flash memory and interface technologies has given rise to a new generation of solid-state storage devices that leave those early SSDs in the dust.

Take, for example, Intel’s new Optane SSD 905P – it not only uses Intel’s own 3D Xpoint memory that’s far faster and denser than Flash memory, it also uses the PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 interface. Together, these technologies drive the 905P’s astounding transfer speeds and its impressive storage capacity.

The Optane name first appeared on M.2 SSDs that were designed to cache traditional hard drive data and speed up the systems they were in, using Intel’s 3D Xpoint memory and some smart caching algorithms. The 905P contains this cutting-edge technology as well, but in capacities of up to 960GB, making it perfect for workstations, datacentres and in enthusiast desktops – places where speed and capacity are not just preferred, but required.

How fast is it?

The 905P is blazingly fast thanks to Intel’s 3D Xpoint technology, which combines the speed of DRAM with the capacity of non-volatile flash memory seen in SSDs.

In the early days of development 3D Xpoint technology achieved random 4K read/write 2.4 – 3 times faster than other PCIe AND flash SSDs, and the technology has only improved since then.

Today, the 905P achieves random 4K read/write IOPS (input/output operations per second) of 575 000/550 000 respectively.

In terms of transfer speeds, the drive has a rated sustained sequential read/write bandwidth of 2 600/2 200 MB per second, which means a 6GB file could be written to the drive in under three seconds. This is complemented by the 905P’s read/write latency of less than 10 microseconds.

How reliable is it?

The possibility of an SSD failing is sadly a fact of life, so manufacturers must work hard to ensure that drive failures happen as infrequently as possible. Intel has done some serious work to increase the time between failures, resulting in the highest endurance in any SSD available today.

The 905P has a lifetime endurance rating of 10 Drive Writes Per Day, meaning the drive can be safely filled to capacity and deleted ten times a day for the duration of its warranty period – in this case, that’s 5 years.

As for its “mean time between failures”, you can expect to squeeze 1.6 million hours of work from this drive.

The Intel Optane 905P SSD represents the bleeding edge of storage solutions, especially for workstations where high performance is a baseline requirement. In datacentres the endurance of the drive shines, and for enthusiast gamers that simply must have the best system performance with zero bottlenecks, this is the perfect product.

So, if drive speed matters to you, your next drive should be an Intel Optane 905P. To find out more, or to buy your next drive, visit www.wootware.co.za.