The fastest SSD for gaming, and one big problem..
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The fastest SSD for gaming, and one big problem..

August 26, 2019

3D XPoint Or as Intel prefers to call it, probably for sex appeal reasons, Optane Now we had a hands-on look at this technology back in April, with these tiny, low capacity models that were designed to make a hard drive that they accompany perform more like a traditional SSD. And it worked pretty well. So since then we’ve been itching to get our hands on one of the full fat Optane drives that Intel has been promising for years. And… Get our hands on one we did. But what does the real-world performance of a storage medium whose raw performance is claimed to be up to a thousand times faster than NAND flash look like? Well, let’s find out… After I tell you today’s video is brought to you by be quiet! The Dark Base 700 is extremely versatile and features RGB LED lighting Plus a tempered glass side panel window and more. Check it out at the link below. The Optane 900P is a four lane PCI Express 3.0 card with an all-metal heatsink and… An easily removable backplate that’s full of helpful information about the drive on a sticker. But what’s more interesting is actually what’s underneath. So here we see our first indication that there is more to this card than just a PCI Express to M.2 converter board like you might expect. Then when we flip it over and gently spudge off the heatsink proper, it reveals more of the same. This is absolutely a purpose-built card, and the comparably immense cooler and beefy onboard processor should tell you: This SSD means business. Which is kind of strange considering the Star Citizen promo on the box. Now you can learn more about Optane here. But for now, the TL;DR is this: The exact details of Optane’s arrangement are a trade secret, but the end result is a storage latency of a theoretical thousand times faster than traditional NAND, making it only 10 times slower in that sense than DRAM. So while Intel’s rated sequential read and write speeds don’t even get as fast as a fast SSD, like a Samsung 960 Pro, it handles significantly more operations per second, with seven times the write endurance on this consumer product, And a mind-splitting 34 times the write endurance for the datacentre-oriented Optane P4800X, making the finite lifespans of NAND-based products a concern that we can bury in the past. So the high-end video editors and data scientists out there are salivating right now, because this kind of speed and endurance makes these larger drives amazing for use as scratch disks As for what that means for gamers… Well, Intel says that load times will be significantly reduced and… Ahhhhhh. Suddenly that Star Citizen promo makes more sense because this game recommends a 200 gig SSD. So to test this thing we need a CPU and a platform capable of taking full advantage of it. We chose our X299 bench with a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks Our SSDs, by the way were, secure erased in preparation for testing. In CrystalDiskMark, we see more or less as advertised speeds across our drives. With Optane scoring quite a bit higher on the 4K randoms at a queue depth of 1 than the others, hinting at its capability for much higher responsiveness. Moving on to performance tests, we can see that Optane managed much more consistent latency that edges closer to, but not quite ramdisk levels of responsiveness. This is super impressive. And it’s at this point then that we wondered whether or not Optane would make a difference… for some of the heavy tasks that we deal with around the office, like editing 8K RED video footage in Premiere, or rendering with SolidWorks. But as it turns out… No. No, it does not. SolidWorks finished its I/O test about 4 seconds faster on Optane, So loading or saving would be your primary benefit here. Unless you run out of RAM during a simulation That could be a very different story. And as for Premiere? Well, In a gigantic surprise to no one it is so poorly optimized for this that when we simulated a low memory situation, with a 24 gig ram drive, It just… Choked, no matter which drive we had our swap file or the footage on. So then we secured erase the drives again and copy over our Steam library, to see if we could spot any differences in game load times. Which unfortunately, due to the massive install sizes of many modern games, means that we say goodbye to our ramdisk in our testing from here on out Rebooting between runs, we ended up with well… honestly? Pretty underwhelming results compared to the Samsung 960 Pro The biggest delta between them was only a little over half a second and even our aging Kingston KC400, An old fashioned SATA SSD really doesn’t do poorly here. Though this is another non-surprise to people who pay closer attention to benchmarks than they do to marketing. One last secure erase and an install of Ubuntu later, Our final test is Houdini, a piece of software by SideFX that handles physics simulations for the high-end rendering used by big blockbuster film and game companies. Our test file will be a rendering of a maelstrom that has 1.1 billion particles interacting with each other So just one frame is gonna eat our RAM for breakfast, meaning that our ramdisk, again, is not coming back. As for the rest, well, to generate 8 frames our 960 Pro took over an hour of I/O thrashing, While our octane killed it in just under 29 minutes. As for the KC400, well, we gave it a participation trophy. So then, should you go out and spend $600 on an only 480 gig optane drive? If you’re a normal user, I’m gonna come right out and say… No. Because the chances are pretty slim that you would ever notice a difference compared to a traditional NVMe SSD, and even a SATA one is probably fine for you in most cases. As for heavier workloads, well… Maybe? If you must have the best of the best. But I’m gonna come out and tell you again that you are not going to “feel” a difference, like you did when you went from a hard drive to a conventional SSD. It’s not like that. With that said, if you have a real workload that can benefit from Optane’s versatility as not just hyper-fast storage. Like running many virtual machines off of a single drive. But also its low latency and lower cost compared to system memory, where you can use it as an overflow for your RAM like in our Maelstrom demo, Well then… While the price of entry is steep, the benefits may just outweigh the costs. 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But if it was awesome, get subscribed, hit that like button, or check out the link to where to buy the stuff we featured in the video description. Though, only if your workload, uh, merits it. Also in the description is a link to our merch store, which has cool shirts like this one, and our community forum which you should totally join. [📃dangered wolf]

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  1. I do primarily gaming and just recently got a 900p 480G just as the one shown in this video from a good friend. I have a 1TB Intel 545s that i run windows and a few games i play on and use my 2TB HHD as storage. Would i see faster boots moving my OS to the Optane or leaving it on the SSD along with some game or just leave the OS on the SSD and Optane for select games? Thank you

  2. shows how evil marketing can be. the way that Intel would like to sucker people into buy their shit even just for gaming is pathetic. I feel bad for people who wanna buy a gaming rig and don't know a lot about it

  3. ok so question i want to upgrade my sons xbox1 with external raid enclosure and run 4- 2tb ssd drives IN A RAID 0 CONFIGURATION! BUT is this possible ive seen a video and they say the xbox 1 will only 2 external drives and not 4??? how can i get around this?? or is the person in the video wrong?? GAMERS NITEMARE IN THE TECHNOLOGY OF TODAY???

  4. What thermal paste was on the Optane. Is replacing the factory paste worth it with high temp paste like arctic 5? Negligible or no?

  5. This is literally the only one video talking about professional use of said disk. Difference in cache is humongous. Would love more real render tests. Cheers.

  6. Probably an ideal drive for corporate VDI desktops where high IOPS are very important. But for now very expensive….

  7. Why did you let some idiot videographer convince you to buy red 8k cameras? Dude its fucking youtube and PC videos not a hollywood film destined to rake in 800 million dollars. So stupid.

  8. I’ve been looking for an explanation everywhere as to why nvme drives don’t load games faster than traditional SSD’s. Where is the bottleneck? Can someone please explain this?

  9. You missed the most important aspect of the capabilities of this drive. Once a game is loaded and in cache this drive kills everything else even the Samsung drives are not even close in cached load times.

  10. March 2019 : I am wondering when we could finally hope to see Storage Class Memory (SCM) like 3D X-Point being used as Ramdisk in consumer products at a reasonable price premium (let say 2 to 3 times the price of a PCI Express (PCIe) NVMe Nand flash SSD) instead of being used through the PCI Express bus

    As indicated in the video, a Ramdisk seems to importantly lower access (read/write) latency, and from there, a consumer device with RAM + SCM Ramdisk should feel much more responsive than RAM + PCIe SSD and therefore, it should importantly improve overall User Experience (ex: 8GB DDR-RAM + 512GB SCM Ramdisk)

    Unfortunately, I woild think it is likely still at least to 5 years away (2022 to 2024)…

  11. Samsung EVO PLUS NVME hard drive. Affordable and very speedy. For most uses, this is all you need. The PRO version is only any good for high end users who are making use of that slight increase in speed all the time. Like, they make money from video editing. Otherwise, Samsung EVO PLUS. That will probably be the most affordable super-fast SSD for the rest of 2019.


    Neutron Series ™ NX500 1600GB NVMe PCIe AIC SSD

    There are 3 of these The
    product is in Europe 2.3k € Photo of it

  13. I’m still running a 4X 10,000RPM raptor HD in raid zero with the onboard Tyan Tempest raid. Saturation is the key word when it comes to the largest simulations. 😏🤜🏼🤛🏼

  14. For server's this works great! (using 15) for a online game! So for using in server's, this Optane Mem. works great!

  15. Linus use to be my trusted source for non biased solid trustworthy tech info-for me a low tech guy. I'm now 62 but being in that first 100 subscribers I've been with Linus since he was in the 5th grade. I've went from a Dell over priced poor performing buyer. To the go to guy in the family for building gaming machines for those gamers and workstations for the rest of the family. Being a professional photographer that needs to stay ahead with all my gear including my increasingly challenging editing needs. For the education I've received from you Linus I am eternally grateful. But I must say over these past 2 years I feel more like I'm watching a continuous infomercial at my once clearly trusted Linus. I guess all good things don't last and understand you are running a business and do provide a ton of valuable information. But it would be nice to see the young Linus again. My favorite video so far is the one with your Grandfather . It was easy to see where you received your honesty and integrity from. If he's still with us it would be great to revisit him. Do you remember the aquarium Computers you made a very long time ago?

  16. "Benefit from low latency and lower costs than system memory." So, this is for use case scenarios that would previously utilize a RAM disk. There are very, very few, if any, non-professional uses for a device that costs more than NAND storage, has slower transfer speeds, and heavily reduced latency. There is not a single normal consumer who I can see spending more money for only latency and endurance.

  17. Best bit…that huge ocean liner eating whirlpool….fear rippled my spine at the thought….oh and bottom line…your SATA SSD is just fine anyways.
    PS: Figuratively….there was no ocean liner….next time….can we have it with the ocean liner going in…please!

  18. As I come to think of Linus as computer guy, he then says "Ubantu". It's oǒ'boǒntoō! (Source: ubuntu[dot]com/about) FFS!

  19. M.2 can be installed in pci-e x1-x3 what is difference? I mean using additional devices (like switching or box) for m.2. ok I saw difference inside.

    It is not only vpn it is anonymizer too!

  20. i had one and man it was awesome but i went to itx and realised… no space so sold it for a loss but great drive!

  21. people who bought new GPU every year say they see diff lol. they could buy 2 year old without see diff. game cant run 1000x speed on car is what game is develop lol

  22. i had to re-watch this video cause this card came down in price to 200 and something on amazon and wanted to see if it was worth it

  23. The pads on those audio-technica msr7's are atrocious, the plastic like coating on them disintegrates really easily and I had to just peel off the coating because it was flaking off into my ears. Pity because they sound brilliant.

  24. @ 6:17 – 6:25 can someone explain? Does Linus means that trying to render “that” will damage the RAM and leave it unusable? Meaning that he will have to throw those RAM sticks or RAM disks in the trash

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