Intel has quietly begun shipping its Optane SSD DC P5810X drives, which could be its last storage device based on the 3D XPoint memory. The new SSDs offer extremely high performance and ultimate durability at 100 drive writes per day (DWPD). Still, they are hardly different from the original Optane SSD DC P5800X-series products. So, what would you expect from the deceased Optane division?
Intel's Optane SSD DC P5810X series currently includes 400GB and 800GB models that come in a 2.5-inch U.2 form factor with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. The drives sport performance figures up to 7200 MBps sequential read speed as well as up to 5400 MBps (800GB SKU) or 6000 MBps (400GB SKU) sequential write speed (such speeds make these drives one of the best SSDs today). As for random read/write performance, the drives are capable of up to 1.5M/1.38M IOPS at a five µs read/write latency.
The main selling point of these drives is, of course, their endurance rating of 100 DWPD, something that conventional 3D NAND-based products cannot offer, which is why Kioxia has XL-NAND and Samsung has Z-NAND (and which still cannot match the endurance of Intel's Optane DC).
Intel's Optane SSD DC P5810X line belongs to the codenamed Alder Stream family of drives, which already includes P5800X-series products, so it is logical to expect the new products to use similar controllers and 3D XPoint memory media. Meanwhile, the new P5810X drives have a considerably higher active power rating than their P5810X brethren, which on the one hand, means that they can sustain high temperatures for prolonged periods (yet they are not going higher than 70°C), but on the other hand indicates their lower their economic efficiency.
We do not know how exactly Intel plans to position the new P5810X SSDs against existing P5800X drives. Intel has barely ever publicly talked about its Optane SSD DC P5810X drives. We only know about them because these devices (along with their Optane SSD DC P5811X counterparts in ruler form factor) passed NVMe interoperability tests early this year at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (the main validator of NVMe-compliant SSDs and controllers).
Perhaps the most important thing about the Optane SSD DC P5810X and Optane SSD DC P5811X is that these are probably the last 3D XPoint drives ever launched by Intel, as the company officially killed its Optane business earlier this year. We have no idea how long Intel plans to ship its 3D XPoint-based products, though we are sure that the company does not intend to produce 3D XPoint devices with a PCIe Gen5 interface.