…’borrowed’ from our most recent giveaway system 🙂

Intel just sent over a note that they have officially launched the 1.5TB capacity for the Optane SSD 905P (for both HHHL and U.2 form factors). We'd been expecting this for a while now, considering we had tested a full system incorporating the U.2 version of this very capacity two months ago. That system has now been given away, but I borrowed the SSD while Ken was tearing down the system for his review. With the product now officially launched, I thought it appropriate to take a quick look at this higher capacity part, both inside and out.



7 packages on one side of a single PCB. This is unexpected for a U.2 SSD since there is usually some sort of folded-over PCB sandwich, which doubles the available area for packages. Odd finding a single PCB here given the large 1.5TB capacity combined with XPoint dies only holding 16GB each.

7 more packages along with the now standard XPoint controller. No DRAM necessary because, well, XPoint can easily pull double duty in that respect. Alright, so we have 1.5TB spread across only 14 packages. Throughout every Intel SSD we have ever laid our hands on for review, we've never seen *any* product (NAND or 3D XPoint) stack more than 4 dies per package. Had Intel stuck with that limit here, we would only have a maximum raw media capacity of 896GB. This is a 1.5TB SSD, so the only possible answer here is that we apparently have the first 8-die-per-package SSD to come out of Intel.


We were not expecting any groundbreaking results here when compared to the previous 905P, so I'll quickly step through some comparative results just to make sure nothing has changed. Detail of our testing process is available here.

The random workload performance was identical to the 960GB capacity. Within 0.1% anyway.

The story was similar with sequential performance.

…and again, identical performance in our mixed workload test.

Pricing and Conclusion

Pricing is listed as 'currently unavailable' for this new capacity, but an early number we saw in passing was $2199, which comes to $1.47/GB, which is a bit on the high side compared with lower capacity models we have previously tested.

The same exact performance we're used to seeing out of the SSD 905P line, just now expanded to a higher capacity point. The identical results reinforce one point that I'd like to make – it's probably time for Intel to update the Optane controller to handle greater throughputs, because it is clearly not the media speeds that is the limiting factor. While Optane dominates in random performance, the controller holds it back when compared with some of the faster NAND-based SSDs to beat it in sequential performance.


Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
How product was obtained: The product was part of a Falcon Northwest Tiki system that came in for review.
What happens to product after review: This particular SSD went back into the source system and was then part of a giveaway.
Company involvement: Intel had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
PC Perspective Compensation: Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff was paid or compensated in any way by Intel for this review.
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Consulting Disclosure: Intel is not a current client of Shrout Research for products or services related to this review.