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BHarr8
New Contributor III
1,425 Views

I have a question about official and unoffical Optane support.

Optane caching software officially supports the 16GB and 32GB drives but anyone that has tried it knows that the 800P and 900P Optane drives are also supported.

The 800P in particular seem to be the perfect Optane cache drive. I cache a large SATA drive to a 800P in my travel laptop and the speed blows the 16GB and 32GB models away.

Does Intel have an official statement about why their best Optane solution is not listed as supported?

Look at the performance numbers from my laptop, why is Intel intentionally hiding this from potential customers?

In particular the 4KQ1T1 speed (what a regular user actually feels) is far better than all NAND based NVMe drives (why I chose this option).

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19 Replies
idata
Community Manager
270 Views

Hello nosirrahx,

 

 

Thanks for posting your questions in the Optane community.

 

First off, your feedback about a higher capacity Optane memory module will be passed on to the engineering team in charge of this. Thank you very much.

 

 

We have had reports of using the 800P and 900P as memory caching for system acceleration. However, this is not the function this 2 devices were created for.

 

 

As you may know, the Optane family uses a technology different from the NAND cell, it is call 3D Xrospoint. This technology is way faster and has a better endurance than the NAND technology. In the following link you will find a summary of the 3D Xrospoint technology:

 

 

https://newsroom.intel.com/press-kits/introducing-intel-optane-technology-bringing-3d-xpoint-memory-...

 

 

Regarding your question on why the 800P and 900P are not validated or supported for memory caching is because both devices were not designed or tested by Intel to work in this application, they were designed and tested to work as a high performance SSD, mainly as your primary SSD. Because of their technology they do not need any extra acceleration.

 

 

The Optane modules of 32 GB and 16 GB were built and tested to provide a performance boost to HDDs not to work as storage devices.

 

 

Hope this information helps to clarify your questions.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Juan N.
BHarr8
New Contributor III
270 Views

"Regarding your question on why the 800P and 900P are not validated or supported for memory caching is because both devices were not designed or tested by Intel to work in this application, they were designed and tested to work as a high performance SSD, mainly as your primary SSD"

But this is the big issue. The 58GB 800P is not suitable as a primary drive but as a cache drive it is perfect. The 118 GB Optane drive is just barely suitable as a primary drive but in a world with super cheap 256GB SATA and NVME SSDs this is a hard sell.

Its been impossible to promote Optane due to seemingly useless Optane products like the 58GB 800P, some huge tech channels have more or less reviewed it with this conclusion.

I love Optane and would love to see it catch on but its hard to recommend it when the way I use it is not even officially supported.

For example if you were to build 2 high end laptops, one with a 2TB 860 EVO cached to a 58GB Optane and the other with a 2TB 970 EVO the Optane enhanced model would both outperform the 970 and be more than $100 cheaper.

3 of the last 4 systems I have built use an unsupported Optane configuration. I even bought a laptop with Optane support, took the 16GB module out and replaced it with a 58GB one. The difference is night and day AND I gained the ability to pin apps and folders.

idata
Community Manager
270 Views

Hello nosirrahx,

 

 

To clarify, when I refer to primary SSD I refer as the primary boot SSD (at least for the 58GB version) since the Optane technology is faster than the NAND technology for booting is very fast.

 

 

We really appreciate your feedback I will share this with the engineering team. We have had several customers do the same feedback as you.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Juan N.
idata
Community Manager
270 Views

Hello nosirrahx,

 

 

I would like to know if you have any additional feedback to provide about this situation.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Juan N.
kathampy
New Contributor I
270 Views

Can you confirm that the 900p / 905p actually works for acceleration? I imagine the 800p will work because it can be plugged into a remappable PCH M.2 slot. But the 900p / 905p are typically plugged into the CPU PCIe lanes directly.

I have a 900p as my boot drive, but I want to add another large capacity 905p to accelerate my secondary data drive.

BHarr8
New Contributor III
270 Views

800P:

 

800P.jpg

 

900P:

900P.jpg

kathampy
New Contributor I
270 Views

How is the 900p connected? Is it a U.2. drive connected to a PCH M.2 slot?

BHarr8
New Contributor III
270 Views

U.2 -> M.2 converter.

 

This is on the Z370 Taichi so you could check the ports listed in the screen shot above but it should not matter. Unless you are using VROC CPU lanes are not critical.

kathampy
New Contributor I
270 Views

Mine is the x4 PCIe AIC so I can only connect it to CPU lanes. I also have a SATA SSD raid array and multiple USB 3 cameras which saturate the PCH x4 lanes completely. The Optane drive is slow it down further, so I can only use the CPU lanes for this.

 

Have you tested if the 900p was detected for acceleration when connected to the CPU lanes?

BHarr8
New Contributor III
270 Views

Z370 boards only have 16 CPU lanes, the rest is all PCH magic.

 

That card will work in any PCIe slow of 4X or greater. As far as your system is concerned it is just a NVMe SSD.

kathampy
New Contributor I
270 Views

RST does not detect my 900p for acceleration. It just shows like a regular NVMe SSD. The Optane Acceleration documentation specifically says it needs to be connected to PCH. I want to test if this is actually true, just like they said the 800p / 900p are not supported.

BHarr8
New Contributor III
270 Views

You have to meet a LOT of requirements to accelerate:

 

SATA drive attached to Intel controller

Optane drive connected to Intel controller

CPU generation supports Optane acceleration

Chipset generation supports Optane acceleration

BIOS version supports Optane acceleration

 

What motherboard, CPU and BIOS version are you running?

kathampy
New Contributor I
270 Views

EVGA X299 Dark / i9-9900X

So everything is Optane ready except that the 900p is plugged into a CPU PCIe x16 slot and not the PCH.

The board has a PCH PCIe x4 PCH slot too but it's not Optane ready - only the PCH M.2 slots are.

I can't use that PCIe x4 to M.2 adapter because the GPU blocks the M.2 slots.

PPree2
Beginner
270 Views

I have just bought the 480gb 900p pciex4 card and it will cache a hard drive also, but it took about a hr to enable? I am using Intel Optane Software 16.8.0.1000

 

qQsEnHo.jpg

 

JOCon6
Beginner
270 Views

I just want to add that my 800p worked great to boost my 4TB HDD for about 7 months. Now it will no longer recognize it as a Intel Memory drive. Only thing I can do now is format the drive and use as a basic SSD which stinks. I 'm back to using my old 32gb Intel optane memory.

 

I did everything by the way even resorting to fresh install of EVERYTHING, remapping, changing setting in the BIOS just to reset it any bad mapping, clearing CMOS, different version of RST or Optane software, "clean all" in diskpart, actually did a clean all on every disk in my system just to make sure no conflict.

 

See attached

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYTaTTFqBoQ&feature=youtu.be

kathampy
New Contributor I
270 Views

Was it after a driver update? You can still use it to create a Tiered Storage Space in Windows which is officially supported and won’t suddenly disappear.

JOCon6
Beginner
270 Views

I didn't do any sort of update just noticed one day that it was working slower (MY HDD) on loads. Just got a new 800 P and same thing.

PPree2
Beginner
270 Views

Yeah, I dont think the latest drivers/software works with the 800/900p drives, so I suggest you download an earlier drivers/software version and see if that works. My Intel Optane Software version is 16.8.0.1000 and works fine with my 900p drive, Also if you have the intel automatic updating software, uninstall it.

 

This is the dl to the version I am using https://drivers.softpedia.com/get/MOTHERBOARD/Intel/Intel-Optane-Memory-UI-Driver-16-8-0-1000.shtml Hope it works.

kathampy
New Contributor I
270 Views

I can confirm that the Optane 900p works as a cache drive on the latest v17 drivers when connected to the PCH.

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