Intel Optane 905P 380GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review The Best


Intel Optane 905P Power Loss Protection

One question we get often is around the Intel Optane 905P and 900P power loss protection. Officially, Intel keeps the spec for its highest-end Optane DC P4800X parts. If you have the budget, and your job depends on it, just get the P4800X. If you are on a tight budget, the lower-end Intel Optane drives are great.

The reason for this is that unlike NAND-based write SSDs, the Intel Optane drives to not have large DRAM caches on-device. Without that DRAM, host writes are acknowledged when data is written to the device media. For Optane, this is a direct write, as they do not need buffering through DRAM like NAND SSDs.

ZFS ZIL SLOG Writing To Common Options
ZFS ZIL SLOG Writing To Common Options

If you want to learn more about this, we did an entire piece on the topic, see Exploring the Best ZFS ZIL SLOG SSD with Intel Optane and NAND.

Being clear, we run all of STH’s databases only on Optane 900P and 905P drives mirrored with ZFS. It is an absolutely awesome pairing and every server we deploy into our hosting cluster has at least two Intel Optane SSDs.

Intel Optane 905P 380GB M.2 Drive Specs

Onto the specs, here are the official figures for the Intel Optane 905P 380GB M.2 NVMe SSD:

  • Capacity: 380GB
  • Media: 3D XPoint
  • Form Factor: M.2 22110 (110mm)
  • Interface: NVMe / PCIe 3.0 x4
  • Warranty: 5-years
  • MTBF: 1.6M Hours
  • Endurance: 6.93PBW
  • UBER: 1 Sector per 10^17 bits read
  • Sequential Write Speed: 2.6GB/s
  • Sequential Read Speed: 2.2GB/s
  • Write IOPS: 575K IOPS
  • Read IOPS: 550K IOPS
  • Read Latency: 10 µs
  • Write Latency: 10 µs
  • Power Active: 9.35W
  • Power Idle: 2.52W

Three are a few specs we wanted to point out. First, the UBER of 10^17 is not exceptional and the MTBF of only 1.6M hours is lower than many drives now rated at 2M+ hours. Since these devices are not hot-swappable, that is something to consider.

Next, these drives use a ton of power. 2.52W at idle is several times what we see many consumer workstation and notebook drives do. Active 9.35W is also much higher than other consumer drives. If you have a laptop, this is not the drive you want to help battery life and it likely will not even fit. Most workstation users will be better off with a NAND SSD with a higher capacity. 380GB is small and if you do not care about heavy write workloads, then consumer NAND SSDs are fine. In fact, if you need a read cache drive in a server (L2ARC in our ZFS example), you are often better off with a consumer drive that has a larger capacity.

If you need heavy write performance, small 4K read/ write performance and have enough power and cooling to spare, the  2.6GB/s and 2.2GB/s and over half a million IOPS is exceptional for M.2 22110 drives.

Intel Optane 905P 380GB M.2 Power Consumption

We wanted to test the power consumption numbers since they are fairly high. Here is what we got on our Extech TrueRMS power meter at the wall by adding the drives and observing the delta:

  • Idle: 2.7W
  • Active 70/30: 9.9W

That is a bit higher than Intel’s spec, but in-line with expectations. We are measuring at the wall not just measuring the device because we want to know the real impact of adding these drives to a server. If you add two to a server, estimate a power budget of around 20W. That is significant in lower-density hosting where you may only have 120W to use per rack U. On a per-drive basis, that is about 18% more power than a Seagate XP400HE30002 NAND SSD that offers less performance and a similar (400GB) capacity.

Next onto performance before we get to our final thoughts.

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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.
intel-optane-905p-380gb-m-2-nvme-ssd-review-the-bestOur Intel Optane 905P 380GB M.2 NVMe SSD review shows why this is the best solution for write-heavy workloads in servers with an empty M.2 22110 slot. At $1.31 per GB it is a good value only if you need the unique properties of 3D XPoint


  1. That’s a lot to digest but some great data.

    So if you’re constrained to 110mm
    And 380GB is enough capacity
    And you need high endurance or fast response times
    And you can swing $500
    And the power and cooling are OK for your machine

    Then it’s a good drive.

    I get it. It’s a niche product. I’m still just ordered 2

  2. Does this give the same kind of uber-high performance when used as a drive for MS-SQL log files? I could also see it potentially being awesome as a MS-SQL tempdb drive

  3. 4 of those in a $60 ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 x Interface Card PCI Express 3.0 in raid 10 and you have a great fast ZIL device.

  4. I assume these drives perform just as well if they are in AMD servers? I’ve not seen much information about doing this type of setup.

  5. Troy – that would be a great use case

    Misha Engel – Perhaps. There is actually a lot of overhead pushing that much NVMe small I/O performance quickly plus RAID 10. Usually, 1 or 2 (mirror) is good enough for most ZIL / SLOG configurations

    Jared Geiger – We tested in Threadripper and EPYC. So long as you are on the same NUMA node, you get the performance you would expect. NUMA node to NUMA node, you see a bit of extra latency.

  6. @Patrick Kennedy: 40Gbs ethernet needs a lot of speed and we need some buffer for the 1+ PB of spinning drives, lucky for us FreeBSD 12.0 is out now with good support for EPYC so we can start to build our multiple ZFS RaidZ3+1hotspare in a 16+3+1 config with EPYC7551P. We need it for large seq. R/W. (video editing and storage).

  7. Igor – pretty close to the point that the form factor is going to be the reason you go M.2. Also, in the server world, a ~10W part as big as an M.2 drive is trivial to cool. In workstations, you will likely want a heatsink as there is a lot less surface area on the M.2 drive than the U.2 drive.

  8. For things like FS journal / ZIL or database logs (WAL, doublewrite / undo log etc.), a device like this might be even more interesting: (sadly no M.2), or using NVDIMM, but I haven’t seen either in the wild, they seem to be hard to procure.

    I think a separate fsync() benchmark would be very interesting, I’d wager the NAND based devices perform a lot worse here, unless they have capacitor protection for the DRAM or simply lie about durable writes:

    Especially for small databases write+fsync performance may be all you (need to) care about.

  9. Optane is simply superiour regarding performance

    What I currently miss are the typical SAS advantages “hot removable/replaceable”, “Dualpath” for HA setups and scaleable to hundreds of disks. Sadly there is no 12G Dualpath SAS disk based on Optane technology. This would be the real storage break-through.

  10. The U.2 drives are better in many ways than the M.2 form factor. NVMeoF applications will take over. Once you can put NVMe on 25GbE the ability to provide HA clustered storage goes up tremendously. The cloud providers are dictating the next directions in storage.

  11. I put one of these in an ASUS Gene XI motherboard in the DIMM.2 riser card paired with a 970 Pro 1TB for sequential read/writes. I’ve test VM startup times, database backup times, game loading, unraring and copying the Windows folder. The 970 Pro only won in the unraring test, all other test were won by the 905P. Those tests plus the fact that endurance is crazy means I’m very happy with the purchase.

  12. Patrick Great Review Congrats !!!

    I currently use an Optane SSD 900P 280GB and a 4x2TB NVMe Storage on ASRock ULTRA QUAD M.2, I would like to upgrade my SSD 900P to 480GB but just saw this, and the SSD 905P seems faster. Can’t decide which one to go, if the 905P 380GB M.2 110 or the 905P 480GB U.2, this one is a bit cheaper and 100GB more…is there any differences in perforamance between them ?

    Thanks a lot, all the best, Sergio!

  13. Geez, what ever happened to the old days when we could buy an AST Ramdisk expansion board, stuff it with DRAM and have a REAL Ramdisk!? The things I’d do to get a PCIe 4.0 version of that old board. Even a a PCIe 3.0 would be acceptable. Any such animals still around?


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