We’ve been hearing about Intel’s new memory technology called the 3D XPoint since July 2015. While reports stated that it would be 1,000 times faster than traditional NAND flash at the architectural level, we haven’t really seen anything since its announcement. That changes now, though, as the company finally introduced its first 3D Xpoint drive in the line-up, the DC P4800X.
Intel asserts that the P4800X is roughly five to eight times faster than the leading SSDs on the market, and also allows for 2GB/s random read and write speeds. In terms of pure throughput (speed), the newly unveiled drive is about three times as fast as Intel’s traditional DC P3700 drive which according to GameSpot is a bold claim, since the latter can deliver about 2,800MB/s sequential read and 2,000MB/s sequential write speeds.
The new Xpoint drive also utilizes the PCIe NMVe interface and comes with a new Optane controller. It can push up existing applications in one’s computer and uses about 12-14 watts under a heavy load. That makes it slightly more power-efficient compared to other high-end NAND solutions.
The new Intel 3D Drive is bound for all work and no play
However, before you get too excited about Intel’s latest SSD, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, the DC P4800X is not a drive for long sequential read and write sessions, which is useful in transferring large files. Intel notes that traditional high-end 3D NAND drives perform better at those particular tasks.
Plus, it isn’t aimed at home users but for enterprise use. Digital Trends reports that the chipmaker promised the release of the consumer version later with larger capacities (750GB and 1.5TB) and U.2 form factors. If you have 200-series motherboards and Kaby Lake CPUs though, Intel states that you may still use the P4800X.
However, the 375GB model of the SSD will run you a cool $1,520. That’s about $1000 more than the $300 a 512GB Samsung SM951 costs, so you’ll be paying quite a bit for Intel’s new chip. If that’s not a problem for you, you can get P4800X in PCIe add-in card form factor with a limited early-ship program, per Engadget. Its broad availability is yet to be announced but it should fall sometime in the second half of the year.
What do you think of the new Intel 3D Drive? Is it worth the hefty price? Does it hold the potential to outpace other SSD solutions out in the market today? Voice out your thoughts in the comments section below!