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Question 16GB Optane NVMe w/ SATA SSD?

jrichrds

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
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I have a system that came with 16GB Optane NVMe and I've put in a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SATA SSD that I already had. Has anyone done this just because they had the spare parts on hand? Am i better off using the Optane for caching, or is it pointless?

I know the Optane NVMe itself will have better read speeds and random read performance than the SATA SSD, but worse write speed performance. I thought Optane is a read-only cache when enabled, but I noticed the write speeds drop to Optane levels as well when running CrystalDiskMark.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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I have a system that came with 16GB Optane NVMe and I've put in a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SATA SSD that I already had. Has anyone done this just because they had the spare parts on hand? Am i better off using the Optane for caching, or is it pointless?

I know the Optane NVMe itself will have better read speeds and random read performance than the SATA SSD, but worse write speed performance. I thought Optane is a read-only cache when enabled, but I noticed the write speeds drop to Optane levels as well when running CrystalDiskMark.
yes use it to cache the ssd, you cant install anything to a 16gb drive anyway to small and slow.
 

NewMaxx

Senior member
Aug 11, 2007
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Optane has excellent latency and great low queue depth performance, both most important for consumer usage. It's likely still worth using even for a SATA SSD but by all means optional.
 
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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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As others said use it to cache for now, and later when NVMe's drop grab a bigger one, and recycle the 500gb to game folder drive.
It wont be super noticeably faster, but it will be faster because optane has a lot better latency, and access times.
 

jrichrds

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,530
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Optane has excellent latency and great low queue depth performance, both most important for consumer usage. It's likely still worth using even for a SATA SSD but by all means optional.
The read benefits are undeniable, but I'm wondering if it's really slowing down writes (takes the sequential write benchmark score of the SATA SSD from 550MB/s to 150MB/s when Optane is enabled) as the Optane's write speeds are slow - I assume because it was never meant to speed up writes, but just didn't expect it to affect write speeds at all as it's meant as a read cache.
 

NewMaxx

Senior member
Aug 11, 2007
218
18
81
Yes, it has slower sequential writes. I have similar setups around here and what I do is manual tiering (Storage Spaces) where I limit the size of the write cache so it's still an improvement for small writes but doesn't hinder large writes. If that makes sense. Although typically if it's your OS drive and only drive, you won't be doing sustained writes at any high speed, but I digress. Optane would be better used for a HDD of course. Unfortunately with how Optane works, I don't think you can exclusively use it as a read cache, at least not as configured via BIOS. But if it's your OS drive that would be the primary way of coupling it - otherwise you'd have to use caching software like PrimoCache.
 
Last edited:

00Logic

Junior Member
Oct 29, 2016
5
1
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You might try modding the registry to add a RAM write back write cache to the Optane.

In:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\SCSI\Disk&Ven?????\Device Parameters\Disk

Add the a new DWORD (32-bit) value named:
UserWriteCacheSetting
and modify it with a decimal value of 1

If the Intel caching software has a write through policy (which I assume it has due to your low write speed, also add the a new DWORD (32-bit) value named:
CacheIsPowerProtected
and modify it with a decimal value of 1

If the Intel caching software has a write through policy you don't have to worry about data corruption from a blackout as the cached data is written to both drives and the 860 EVO will still have its much faster cache set to write through.

Also as those little optane drives normally come in notebooks (your sys?) that have battery backup power, you might try the
CacheIsPowerProtected
reg mod on the Evo too, but benchmark it as not all SSDs like the setting.

NB:
These settings may be in Device Manager, called
'Enable write caching'
and
'Disable write cache buffer flushing.

They may also be in Intel's RST app.
Check both and if so; make the settings match, then check/change the reg for the above settings to make sure they took.

NBB:
Reboot/s reqd to be sure the settings will be used by the system before benchmarks.
 

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