Now Less Expensive And Easier To Get Than A GPU, Even If It’s OEM Only
Tweaktown recently reviewed Intel’s latest mullet, the H20 1TB M.2 SSD. The H20 is composed of a Optane SSD and a NAND SSD, working together to give you better transfer speeds than just a simple NAND based SSD. The new version incorporates Intel’s current SSD controller, their newest 144-layer flash for large storage, 32GB of Optane and even a DDR4 cache, which will be available in laptops which sport an Intel Optane + SSD storage label.
You won’t be able to pop it out and install it in just any other system, the H20 requires a special type of M.2 port which is capable of bifurcating 4x PCIe lanes into 2×2 lanes. This is because the Optane gets two lanes, the NAND gets the other two and that has an interesting effect on performance. For large writes and sequential reads which access the NAND the performance is significantly lower than a NAND based SSD which gets all four PCIe lanes. However, when you are dealing with low queue depth random reads, the performance of the Optane portion is close to three times faster than the nearest competition’s drive.
For things that matter on a laptop, this drive is better than a first glance at the results make it seem. It will load the Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers benchmark in a mere 6.7 seconds, compared to 7.6 for the SK Hynix Gold SSD which is the next best drive. You won’t necessarily love it in a mobile workstation, however for normal usage when you want instant power on and apps which fire up in no time, this drive is worthy of your consideration.
Optane caching makes another appearance in a two-in-one SSD called H20. The new drive promises a class-leading user experience.