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The Intel Optane 905P May be the Last SSD Youíll Need

SSDs have gone from being expensive, but very fast to being affordable and very, very fast. The latest Optane 905P SSD is pretty expensive, but so fast itís hard to imagine it going any faster. For now this is the top dog.

It wasnít too long ago that SSDs were too unreliable, too small and certainly too expensive.Now itís hard to imagine buying a computer that doesnít have a SSD as its primary drive. An SSD is perhaps the best quality of life upgrade any computer can get. Ironically. Low end computers like entry-level laptops show the most dramatic benefit from solid-state secondary storage.

The bottom line is that SSDs are now part of the computing mainstream and even cheap SSDs will saturate whatever bandwidth a SATA controller can muster. That doesnít mean there arenít SSDs that can blow your socks off anymore. The Intel Optane 905P is just such a drive and weíve been using it to supercharge our top-tier workstations for some pretty amazing performance improvements.

No SATA, No Sir

Anyone who wants serious speeds in their workstation storage have already learned that SATA is a no-go. Sure, itís still plenty fast for a gaming computerís SSD, but if youíre facing deadlines then every speed improvement you can get will literally put money back in your pocket.

The Optane 905P gives us a choice of three interfaces:M.2 (380GB) AIC (960GB,1.5TB) and U.2 (480GB,1.5TB). Regardless of which form factor you choose, the amount of total bandwidth is plenty.

The 905P promises a theoretical sequential read speed of 2.6 Gigabytes per second. That is basically the fastest number any SSD can claim, but most workloads are mixed. Which is why the random read performance is also of primary concern. Multiple outlets have benched the 905P along this metric and, by and large, itís still the king of the pile at the moment.

Iron Man

So the 905P is almost without a doubt the fastest SSD of its type you can stick in a workstation today, but that doesnít mean much if itís going to burn out in the blink of an eye. SSDs always pse a scary picture when it comes to write endurance. In a professional context in particular you may be writing more data to the drive than consumers or even enthusiast users. First lets get some perspective. The Samsung 1TB 960 EVO is an incredible consumer-grade drive. Itís rated for 400 TBW or terabytes written. Thatís a lot. Itís more likely that the rest of the computer will become obsolete and fail before youíve written 400 terabytes of data to it. Besides, Samsung tends to be conservative with itís ratings. Publications have tested their drives to failure, far exceeding the rating.

So how does the 905P rate. Intel will guarantee it for five years or 17 Petabytes written for the 1TB model!

The bottom line is that we have no doubts about putting the 905P in our best workstations and you will sleep soundly knowing your data is being treated to the best home money can buy.