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Intel Skylake / Kaby Lake

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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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At this point, I think that it's safe to say that Optane is mostly hype and hot air. Unless you happen to be living in the 90s, and still use a mechanical HDD on your client systems. Then you might see an improvement.

Edit: It sure is slick marketing though, got to hand it to them.

Like their "Centrino" brand, that really meant nothing more than a combination of Intel CPU, chipset, and wireless card, if they can get PHB's onboard with making "Optane" a purchasing requirement, then they can be assured of selling a 7th-gen Core CPU, Intel 200-series chipset, and a vastly-overpriced 16/32GB caching SSD.

While us smarter enthusiasts laugh at Intel, and buy a REAL M.2 PCI-E SSD of 256/512GB for the same price, without the restrictions and limitations.
 
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dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
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At this point, I think that it's safe to say that Optane is mostly hype and hot air. Unless you happen to be living in the 90s, and still use a mechanical HDD on your client systems. Then you might see an improvement.
There are supposedly improvements with SSDs too. I'm stuck in the year 2014 with a large Crucial MX100 with 550 MB/s read speed. Sure, I'd like an M.2 Samsung 960 Pro, but the same size runs $419 (much more if I want to increase my hard drive size). For $44 if I can get closer to Samsung 960 Pro speeds, I'd take the Optane option that costs 10x less even if the performance is still a bit slower.
While us smarter enthusiasts laugh at Intel, and buy a REAL M.2 PCI-E SSD of 256/512GB for the same price, without the restrictions and limitations.
Can you show me one with 1.2 GB/s read speeds for $44? I'll buy it.
 
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Sweepr

Diamond Member
May 12, 2006
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french toast

Senior member
Feb 22, 2017
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Does anyone have any TSMC/Samsung/glofo 7nm specs we can compare? It's interesting that they stopped the chart at q4 17, maybe they don't have all info to make a comparison, or maybe they do and that's the reason?
 

witeken

Diamond Member
Dec 25, 2013
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Does anyone have any TSMC/Samsung/glofo 7nm specs we can compare? It's interesting that they stopped the chart at q4 17, maybe they don't have all info to make a comparison, or maybe they do and that's the reason?
TSMC has metal pitch of 40nm. Intel 10nm is 36nm

TSMC 7nm high-density SRAM cell is slightly smaller than Intel's 10nm, but no one uses high-density SRAM because they suck lol, and TSMC doesn't disclose normal density SRAM size.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
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Intel 600p. Not $44, but not 16Gb either. Now that's funny, ain't it?
1) For $100, I can go from a 512 GB Crucial MX100 to a 256 GB Intel 600p. That is quite a size downgrade for a speed boost.

2) For $183, I can go from a 512 GB Crucial MX100 to a 512 GB Intel 600p. That is doable but is a far cry from the original claim that it is "for the same price" as a $44 Optane drive.

3) For $44, I can have a 512 GB Crucial MX100 that runs at roughly the speed of the 512 GB Intel 600p for the files that I use frequently (Word, Excel, internet browser, Adobe Reader, GIMP, and Windows 10). This Optane + MX100 combo would be at least 3x faster at random access and about 20% slower at sequential reads than the 512 GB 600p, so the speed isn't perfectly comparable.

Why is option 3 a bad idea?
 
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lolfail9001

Golden Member
Sep 9, 2016
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3) For $44, I can have a 512 GB Crucial MX100 that runs at roughly the speed of the 512 GB 600p for the files that I use frequently. This Optane + MX100 combo would be at least 3x faster at random access and about 20% slower at sequential reads than the 512 GB 600p, so the speed isn't perfectly comparable.
Let's put it this way: hybrid HDDs do not work at speed of SSDs that they use for cache. Same story applies to Optane, but exaggerated by SATA->South Bridge switch->CPU->South Bridge switch->PCI-E latency.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,412
737
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Let's put it this way: hybrid HDDs do not work at speed of SSDs that they use for cache. Same story applies to Optane, but exaggerated by SATA->South Bridge switch->CPU->South Bridge switch->PCI-E latency.
This is far from a hybrid HDD. It is fundamentally different. Maybe Intel's claims and benchmarks are bogus; we'll see when we get real reviews next month. But don't confuse this with a hybrid HDD.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,412
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Ultimately, it is the same story, but worse on communication front.
Why would you think that? Intel's software is supposed to get it from whichever drive is faster for the need. Hybrid HDD has just one communication link and often gives you the worst of both worlds. Optane, if it works properly is to give you the best of both worlds.
 

lolfail9001

Golden Member
Sep 9, 2016
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Why would you think that?
Because instead of controller being the bridge between HDD and flash, you have entire chain of controller, south bridge, CPU running the driver, south bridge and another controller. Communication front is objectively worse for that Optane cache setup. And while HDDs may be slow enough, SSDs, even the older ones, are hardly of same kin, aren't they?
Intel's software is supposed to get it from whichever drive is faster for the need.
So is hybrid drive.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,412
737
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So is hybrid drive.
Hybrid drives have:
1) Far slower random access. Optane has dramatically faster random access read speeds. The latency varies a lot on use case, but a typical hybrid latency might be 4 milliseconds if you are lucky. Optane is on the order of 6 to 16 microseconds. This is especially notable in typical consumer usage with low queue depths. The difference here is responsiveness.

2) Far slower sequential reads. A typical hybrid drive is maybe 800 MB/s; Optane is 1200 MB/s for their slowest version (enthusiast versions coming later would likely be higher).

3) One communication link for both drives, meaning no matter how fast the cache is, you are limited to the speed of the communication link. Optane + another drive gives you two links so you can theoretically get data over both at the same time (quasi-RAID).

4) Far too small of cache (often ~8 GB) and cache that isn't adjustable. Optane lets you get as big of a cache as your needs require once Intel releases more models.

5) Cache that is physically linked to the drive. Each time you upgrade your hybrid drive, your cache is gone and you'd need to buy more on your next hybrid drive. Optane lets you upgrade drives and still get the speed boost. Meaning you just buy it once for many computer builds.

6) Upgrades are time-consuming and can be frustrating. Moving your boot drive to a faster drive is not a quick job. Or, you can open the case and pop in an Optane. Which is easier/faster?
 
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imported_bman

Senior member
Jul 29, 2007
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I am quite curious about how Optane will work as a cache for SATA based SSDs and $44 is not a bad price. Though who has a Kabylake system with a Z270 mobo and does not have the NVMe slot populated? A full on Optane SSD 64GB at $140 or 128GB at $275 would make more sense for an OS/Priority app drive.
 

french toast

Senior member
Feb 22, 2017
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TSMC has metal pitch of 40nm. Intel 10nm is 36nm

TSMC 7nm high-density SRAM cell is slightly smaller than Intel's 10nm, but no one uses high-density SRAM because they suck lol, and TSMC doesn't disclose normal density SRAM size.
It's annoying fabs just don't release all the details 18 months out, I understand some of the reasons not to but still.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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KBL-R should have 14nm++, I wonder if SKL-X is coming in 14nm+ or 14nm++
KBL-R and CFL are 14nm++, SKX is 14nm+. I expect a "SKX refresh" on 14nm++, Intel said they're committing to annual product refresh for all its product lines.
 

imported_bman

Senior member
Jul 29, 2007
262
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KBL-R and CFL are 14nm++, SKX is 14nm+. I expect a "SKX refresh" on 14nm++, Intel said they're committing to annual product refresh for all its product lines.
Wonder what that will mean for 14nm++ 6-Core CFL vs 14nm+ 6-Core SKX? I am guessing the additional cache on SKX will win over any frequency advantage. Either way the absurdity of Intel's segmentation will be on full display come this fall with 6-Core mainstream processors and 4-Core HEDT processors.
 

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