Intel Optane DC P4801X 100GB SSD (SSDPEL1K100GA01)
Q1. Is this product effectively a VOLATILE RAM M.2 PCIe of 100 GByte capacity?
Q2. If product is completely disconnected from any power sources/computer - is any data completely LOST forever on the device (which is what I want) and/or there is a residual backup on say a HDD?
Q3. Can product be used (when installed in a usb adapter) like a normal flash usb stick BUT of course being VOLATILE?
I have a HP zBook 15 G2 laptop (5 years old) and is already maxed out to 32 GByte RAM. Until such time as to when I can purchase a latest model (with 128 GByte RAM option) I am looking at ways to INCREASE VOLATILE RAM capacity. At present I have successfully used HP ex950 2 TByte PCIe M.2 NON-VOLATILE memory WITH a PCIe to USB adapter and without any software drivers or setup - when I plug in this 2 TByte usb stick I have immediate access to external 2 TByte.
The problem with this is that it is a NON-VOLATILE system and with heavy writing useage (say 1 TeraByte rewrites per day) I will significantly shorten the life of the 2 TByte - hence a VOLATILE equivalent requirement. For what I really want to do, 100 GByte VOLATILE would be perfect.
I appreciate and understand that using the usb interface will be of the order of 100x slower than if mounted in a PCIe slot inside the computer. My computer only has 1 PCIe3 slot which is used by the PCIe BOOT ssd and I cannot create a BOOT PCIe on any PCIe M.2 or even create a BOOT SSD SATA drive (to free up the one only PCIe slot) - despite Google searches/forums no method works (I had extensively tried all sorts of things).
So in summary, IF I install this product into a usb adapter, and plug it in - will I have a usb stick of 100 GByte VOLATILE RAM capacity and would plug and play like a non-volatile FLASH stick. Anything I want to keep would be copied over by me to permanent medium. Because of my dated laptop (which does not "know about Optane") is there an incompatibility issue in the way I wish to use same? Can as per my useage, can product be used without it "trying to cache say a HDD etc"?
Thank you for your reply.
As you requested, we will follow up with you again the next Friday, the 22nd of January 2021, if we do not receive an answer from you.
Please let me know if you would like to schedule a different date for the follow-up.
Intel® Customer Support Technician.
I have had to chance to conduct further tests relating to IDLE behaviour (with product implemented as USB stick) ...
The product still functioned OK when ambient temperature reached 35 degrees C (i.e. not used in air-conditioned environment nor was forced air cooling (eg fan) was used. It is not intended to operate extensively at this temperature. The product did not shutdown.
An important development is that for the first time I attached a heatsink.
Warning - attaching a heat sink, Intel advises, may VOID warranty - Intel does not have a heat sink accessory.
The heat sink does not have a fan nor was it ever externally fan cooled and device still subjected to ambient temperatures (i.e. non airconditioned). The heatsink attached on JAN18 and still attached to present day. The heatsink is actually undersized, being designed for 22x80 PCIe NVME but was what I could easily source.
The product was allowed to thermally adjust to the new product configuration (approximately 8 hours) - actually what happed was that for that time WINDOWS 10 x64 build 20H2 changed the drive letters for the Optane (drive O:\) and a SDHC card (I:\) i.e. swapped the two. I did not realize this for 8 hours - note that File Explorer always showed the correct drive letters but my program to attempt to obtain some SMART data (which really relies on some windows utilities) was obviously misinformed by windows. Consequently every ten minutes, for 8 hours, I was obtaining smart-like data for the SDHC rather than the Optane. Note that IntelMAS.exe does not support getting SMART attributes for USB - hence why i tried writing my own program.
As a side note, although S.M.A.R.T. is an "open architecture" in reality there is a tremendous amount of "closed shop" restrictions - i.e. Intel as a vendor has its own implementation of SMART and cannot fully work well with other vendors and vice versa. I did not realize this at first.
Results re using heatsink (polling every 10 minutes)...
18JAN 16;00 first polled SMART data obtained (with heatsink) bytes written 69,632
20JAN 12,30 first time since any CHANGE in smart data - bytes written 98,304
Heat sink enabled about 44 hours uninterrupted where the SMART data I could obtain DID NOT CHANGE. This was still in IDLE mode (and no files were read/written by me during this time).
Conclusion - heat sinking reduces SMART data changes (in IDLE mode)
From there on the following observations were noted re SMART data CHANGES...
Generally speaking when do:-
Windows 10 "Properties" of my Optane O:\ drive
Plug in another USB stick into some other USB port
Accidently "bump" the computer - sometimes a cheap priced usb stick disconnects
Computer (restart) or (shut-down + start up)
and of course unpredictable behaviour where for instance drive letters are mixed up to 3rd party applications.
In SUMMARY I may have sufficient knowledge and on-hands experience to assess the product in IDLE mode (it helped with all information you supplied) and will essentially stop the study into IDLE behaviour.
Question 1 - Since I cannot use intelmas.exe or for that matter smartctl.exe to obtain SMART data in my implementation - would you be able to supply a "real-life" SMART log (the "works") for both Optane NVME and Optane SSD (i.e. P4801x in both cases). I hope to refine my SMART data retrieval program and it would be nice to know what is possible to do with SMART. I cannot plug the product into the one and only PCIe slot in my machine because Windows 10 now only works with the OS installed on the PCIe (Previously I could run OS off a SATA drive but Windows "yet again" "changed the rules" - similarly I cannot even run Windows PE (pre-installation environment) off a SATA drive. Also, because of very special requirements of PCIe NVME, it is not possible to make your Optane a Windows boot drive - previous attempts by me to do so failed for making one for any PCIe NVME M.2 (ALL google searches saying it could be done etc were incorrect - and 3rd party software (wanting to charge a lot of money) were very reluctant to answer my questions to if their software cannot create a Windows 10 PCIe NVME boot disk that works with my HP zBook, would I get my money back.
I will now very soon start STAGE 2 (STAGE 1 being IDLE behaviour) - background analysis of the Optane (what is actually there etc that is currently hidden (or non-existent as far as Windows 10 is concerned).
STAGE 3 to follow is what happens when I (for the first time) put a file(s) onto Optane and read it.
Should I not reply to you - can you schedule the next follow for say 2 weeks time - this would allow me sufficient time for STAGE 2.
So far your product is performing to my expectations (based on my observations mentioned above) but I really wanted to be sure before it is used in "critical applications" in the non-standard implementation of mine.
Thank you for your reply.
Based on the information you provide us, you continued using your SSD with a USB adapter and modified the heating solution using your product on a custom and not supported configuration.
As mentioned in the Warranty for Intel® SSD Data Center Family article (https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000020953/memory-and-storage/data-center-ss...). The Intel® Warranty does NOT cover:
Any Product which has been modified or operated outside of Intel’s specifications or where the original
identification markings (trademark or serial number) has been removed, altered, or obliterated from the
Product, or where the label or screw on the exterior of the product is removed or broken.
We can not provide you with further support or recommendations because of your current usage, environment, configuration, and modification of your Intel® Optane™ SSD.
We advise you to contact HP* to check compatibility and get OEM assistance with your current environment and configuration.
We will not close this thread, and you can still post and share your findings with the community. If you need assistance related to another Intel® product, please do not hesitate to contact us back by opening a new thread, and please submit a new question. This thread would no longer be going to be monitored by the Intel® technical support.
We hope fellow community members have the knowledge to jump in and help.
Intel® Customer Support Technician.