Product review

Verification of "Intel® Optane ™ SSD 905P series" breakthrough industry-leading speed and durability by contents creator.

Verification: Vons Pictures

High-speed, high-capacity SSD is always needed by the contents creator who handles large capacity data. Then, thoroughly verify the "Intel® Optane ™ SSD 905P series" boasting the industry's fastest speed using various software such as still images, moving pictures and 3D CG.

"Intel® Optane ™ SSD 905P series" that can read and write large volumes of data at high speed

The "Optane ™ SSD 905P Series" ("Optane SSD 905P Series") is a high-performance SSD mainly employed in workstations, has excellent read / write performance, and has industry leading durability I am proud.

With regard to read / write performance in particular, since the latency (the time from requesting data transfer to the device to the result return) of the read / write performance can be kept to 10 us (one hundred thousandth of a second) or less, The waiting time can be shortened and the overall processing speed can be improved.


Intel® Optane ™ SSD 905P series (Add-in-Card : AIC)

Though the SSD built into the PC has been mainstream so far connected with the SATA interface, the "Optane SSD 905P" adopts PCIe (PCI Express) which realizes faster data transfer. There are two form factors, as 2.5 inch type and AIC shaped like graphic board, but since there is no product compatible with PCIe in the current line of Mac, it can be used Is necessarily a Windows machine.

As applications, games that require high-speed processing of large-volume data and 4K / 8K rich content playback can be cited, but will they also demonstrate its performance in the same way in creative sites that deal with large volumes of data?

Therefore, we asked Vons Pictures, who is engaged in content of various genres such as photo retouching, animation production, 3D CG production, etc., for detailed verification of this SSD. It is 960GB AIC and measures the speed of "Optane SSD 905P" in comparison with it based on the built-in SSD (about 480 MB / s reading / writing speed) normally used by this company.

Speed up loading and saving of large files in Photoshop


Photoshop virtual storage disk setting screen

Let's report from the verification result of the still image. Validation done in Photoshop CC 2018 is the measurement of the time it takes to open and save a big document format PSB file. Measured "Optane SSD 905P" and Crucial's SSD (Crucial MX 500 250 GB) which normally used for Photoshop virtual storage disk, respectively, and checked how much the speed improves.

verification 1): File read in Photoshop (memory allocation: 20.9 GB)

File size Crucial SSD Optane SSD 905P Speed improvement
25.9 GB 3 min 13.3 sec 1 min 21.7 sec 2.37 times
11.0 GB 1 min 19.9 sec 36.0 sec 2.22 times
5.1 GB 15.0 sec 15.0 sec 1.00 times
2.4 GB 10.8 sec 10.8 sec 1.00 times

* Set up two SSDs as virtual storage disk and measure the time from startup of Photoshop to file opening

[Verification machine environment]
CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K 3.70 GHz, Memory: 32 GB, GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, OS: Windows 10 PRO 64bit

Verification 2): Save files in Photoshop (memory allocation: 20.9 GB)

File size Crucial SSD Optane SSD 905P Speed improvement
25.9 GB 3 min 30.9 sec 1 min 27.5 sec 2.41 times
11.0 GB 2 min 36.7 sec 1 min 47.3 sec 1.46 times
5.1 GB 15.3 sec 15.3 sec 1.00 times
2.4 GB 1 min 46.2 sec 1 min 45.7 sec 1.00 times

* The save destination is desktop (SSD of SAMSUNG PM981, M.2 PCI Express x4 connection)

* The storage time of 2.4 GB is longer than 5.1 GB, it’s because of the preview screen is complicated, it seems to be due to the reason such as pre-processing by the CPU becomes longer

Both loading and saving PSB files resulted clearly different between the two SSDs. There is no difference between the two until the file size is about 5 GB, but "Optane SSD 905P" is more advantageous in terms of speed when exceeding 10 GB, and about 2.4 times faster if it exceeds 25 GB.

The above verification is done with the memory capacity used in Photoshop set to 20.9 GB, which is standard setting in VONS Pictures. However, ordinary photographers and contents creator will not assign so much memory to Photoshop so far. So we changed the memory allocation to 10.4 GB and tried the same test in a more general machine environment.

Verification 3): File reading in Photoshop (memory allocation: 10.4 GB)

File size Crucial SSD Optane SSD 905P Speed improvement
25.9 GB 3 min 52.1 sec 1 min 24.0 sec 2.76 times
11.0 GB 1 min 44.7 sec 36.3 sec 2.88 times
5.1 GB 24.0 sec 15.4 sec 1.56 times
2.4 GB 10.6 sec 10.3 sec 1.03 times

The overall trend is similar to the result of verification 1), but the difference in SSD speed becomes larger at 25.9 GB and 11.0 GB, and "Optane SSD 905P" becomes faster even at 5.1 GB. From this, it was found that this SSD has the effect of speed improvement even in a more general machine environment.

In addition to this, we also examined the time taken for filtering Photoshop. Tried a fairly heavy filter, but because there was a verification in a limited time, could not get a result with a significant difference.

Speed up rendering of 3DCG


Maya 2018 screen shot

Let's move on to the verification result of 3DCG. In Maya 2018 (Arnold Renderer, MtoA, Rendered 800,000 polygon material at full HD resolution and checked whether it will speed up compared to SSD (SUMSUNG SM 961 512 GB) which normally used.

The result was about a few seconds in single frame rendering, but it was shortened by 17 minutes in 450 serial number rendering. More polygons will increase, and higher resolution and longer rendering will be more effective.

Verification 4): Full HD rendering at Maya 2018

File size SAMSUNG SSD Optane SSD 905P Speed improvement
Single frame rendering 2 min 34 sec 2 min 28 sec 1.04 times
Serial number rendering 18 hours 49 min 18 hours 32 min 1.02 times

* Set two SSDs to save destination disk

[Verification machine environment]
CPU: Intel Core i7-6850K 3.6 GHz, memory: 128GB, GPU: NVIDIA Quadro M4000 8G, OS: Windows 10 PRO 64bit
[Validation sample material]
Number of polygons: △ 845184 Texture: 4096 x 4096 171 sheets Writing: IBL 1 piece area light 9 pieces
[Rendering setting]
Camera (AA): 5 Diffuse: 2 Specular: 2 Transmission: 1 SSS: 0 Volume Indirect: 0 Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Frame rate: 30 fps Number of frames: 450 frames (15 seconds) AOV: 9 types Format: serial number exr

DPX export from DaVinci realizes 6 times faster


DaVinci Resolve 15 screen shot

Finally it is the verification result of the movie system. Three of the used software are Premiere Pro CC 2018, After Effects CC 2018, Da Vinci Resolve 15. Tried to compare with SSD (Sandisk Ultra II 480 GB) which normally used.

As a matter of fact from the conclusion, DaVinci was the fastest speed among the three software. Verification that 4K RAW data is written to a sequential number DPX file has been improved six times faster than SanDisk's SSD.

On the other hand, speed improvements have been seen in After Effects and Premiere Pro, but only a fairly small improvement has been achieved.

Verification 5): 4K DPX export with DaVinci Resolve 15

SanDisk SSD Optane SSD 905P Speed improvement
28 min 38.9 sec 4 min 45.1 sec 6.03 times

* Read RAW data from each SSD and also set it to the destination disk of DPX

[Verification machine environment]
CPU: Intel Core i7-6900K 3.2 GHz, Memory: 128 GB, GPU: NVIDIA Quadro M4000, OS: Windows 10 PRO 64bit
[Validation sample material]
Format: R3D RAW File resolution: 4096 x 2160 Frame rate: 30 fps Time: 5 minutes

Verification 6): 4K DPX export in After Effects

SanDisk SSD Optane SSD 905P Speed improvement
8 min 23.2 sec 7 min 51.8 sec 1.07 times

[Validation sample material]
Format: R3D RAW File Resolution: 4096 x 2160 Frame Rate: 30 fps Time: 18 s Application Effect: neatvideo reduce noise v 4

Verification 7): Full HD DPX export in Premiere Pro

SanDisk SSD Optane SSD 905P Speed improvement
6 min 39.7 sec 6 min 26.9 sec 1.03 times

[Validation sample material]
Format: Sequence resolution of media mixing (jpg, tif, mov, AE): 1920 x 1080 Frame rate: 30 fps Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds

All the verification contents of the movie are similar to those written to DPX. Why is the result so different by software? In order to clarify the situation, Listened to Mr. Souya Osato of Vons Pictures who verified the movie system.

Software design philosophy impacts on speed-up

──Looking back on the verification of this time, how was it as a whole?

Osato In the verification of retouch system, speeding up by 2.9 times in reading Photoshop files and 2.4 times in writing by maximum. As the retoucher operating a huge PSB file tends to speed up in proportion to the file capacity, I think that "Optane SSD 905P" has merit.

3DCG system does not have a clear difference so far, but this time it was rendering at full HD resolution for 15 seconds, so I think whether there will be more significant difference if the scale and resolution go up.

In comparison, the movie series has a slightly surprising result. I usually work with After Effects, so I also verified with this software first this time. However, I did not get the results I expected, so I tried it with DaVinci, which I usually do not use much. Then, I was surprised that the results are 6 times faster than the SSD I normally use.


Mr. Souya Osato

──Why is there such a difference as I do the same verification?

Osato I think that it is probably a problem involved in software design philosophy. Adobe software such as After Effects has a big part depending on memory, it saves CPU processing result in memory first and then writes it to storage.

On the other hand, DaVinci is optimized for multi-core CPUs, and it processes concurrently and quickly with multiple cores and writes the results to storage immediately. So, like this verification, when I work in an environment called multi-core CPU and high-speed SSD, I think that it will speed up with vigorous momentum.

There are tools that can analyze the storage and CPU movement around that, so let's explain while watching over them. Intel has a tool for developers. When installing the tool called Storage Performance Snapshot on a Windows machine and running the software with it started up, it collects data of storage and CPU. Here is what we got this by reading it with online viewer.

First, let's see a graph when DPX is exported with DaVinci. "CPU utilization" "memory usage rate" "disk throughput (data transfer rate)".

Above graph is the case of "Optane SSD 905P" and below graph is the case of SanDisk SSD.

Device information of DaVinci + Optane SSD 905P


Device information of DaVinci + SanDisk SSD


Osato In case of "Optane SSD 905P", CPU utilization is always close to 100%, you can see that the CPU is fully operational. In addition, the throughput of the disk is very high, from about 1.0 GB / s to 1.5 GB / s, from the beginning to the end of the writing.

On the other hand, SanDisk has a CPU usage rate of about 50% at the highest, and it has a comb teeth state. Throughput is only about 250 MB / s and you can see that the transfer rate is suddenly dropping from the middle.

What can be read from these graphs is that in SanDisk's SSD, the transfer rate becomes a bottleneck, the CPU's wait time increases, the CPU usage rate does not rise so much, and it takes time to finish processing. On the other hand, "Optane SSD 905P" achieves efficient processing without waiting time of CPU because transfer speed is fast and latency is suppressed.

Looking at the memory utilization rate, in either case, it is only about 10%, and you can see that DaVinci is designed to be less dependent on memory.

──Indeed, it is obvious if you try to graph it.

Osato Let's look at a graph when DPX was exported by After Effects. As same as before, the above graph is the case of "Optane SSD 905P" and below graph is the case of SanDisk SSD.

Device information of After Effects + Optane SSD 905P


Device information of After Effects + SanDisk SSD


Osato Unlike DaVinci, there is no big difference in CPU usage. The interesting thing is the throughput of the disk. In either case there is only 50 MB / s writing from the beginning, and the writing is done at a stretch at the end. And, memory use rate is about 25% both, you can see that you are using more memory than DaVinci.

In this verification, a third party noise reduction filter called neatvideo reduce noise is applied. This is a pretty heavy loading filter, but the quality of the finish is so good, therefore I use it a lot. This is actually a program that uses memory, I think that this program also has a big movement to move out the data accumulated in the memory at the end.

──It was a story that Mr. Osato normally uses After Effects, but this verification is a result that DaVinci speeds up. How do you perceive that situation?

Osato Because my job is roughly composed of compositing and VFX work, most of the work is done in After Effects. DaVinci is used only when careful color grading and scenes are very limited.

For me personally, this verification did not serve my work immediately, but the benefits of "Optane SSD 905P" for DaVinci users are enormous, are not they? Work except for DPX export was also fast.

I hope it will be possible to utilize such high-speed SSD even in After Effects. If the program is optimized for multi-core, I think that you can receive the benefits of high-speed SSD like DaVinci.

AfterEffects determines the length of cacheable real-time preview, depending on the size of the memory installed in the machine, and even if you increase the capacity of the disk cache, the real-time preview itself does not become long. If we can replace the role of this memory with a high-speed disk such as "Optane SSD 905P", it seems possible to build a more cost-effective machine.

Is "Optane SSD 905P" ideal for Photoshop virtual storage disks?

Following the verification of the movie system, let's deeply explore the verification of retouching system. It is Mr. Hirotaka Arai of Vons Pictures who will appear on behalf of Mr. Osato. This time he was in charge of verification using Photoshop.

──Photoshop resulted in significantly faster loading and saving of PSB files. Could you please elaborate on this?

Arai "Optane SSD 905P" was set as a virtual storage disk of Photoshop and verified. As you know, a virtual storage disk is a disk that is used instead of memory. When the size of data being worked exceeds the memory allocation of Photoshop, reading and writing of data starts on the side of the virtual storage disk.


Mr. Hirotaka Arai

The four files prepared this time are 2.4 GB, 5.1 GB, 11.0 GB, and 25.9 GB, which are verified by two patterns, that is, the memory capacity allocated to Photoshop is set to 20.9 GB and the memory capacity is set to 10.4 GB.

The result of the verification was that as the file size increased, reading and writing files faster when "Optane SSD 905P" was used. In other words, as the amount of data to be handled is larger, the memory becomes insufficient, so the number of virtual storage disks increases.

It can explain the phenomenon that "Optane SSD 905P" introduces big advantage, when change the memory allocation of Photoshop from 20.9 GB to 10.4 GB. Please look at the graph of Storage Performance Snapshot here.

Device information of Photoshop + Optane SSD 905P


This is a graph when 25.9 GB of file is opened when memory allocation is 20.9 GB, but as the memory usage rate increases steadily after starting, it is flat at a certain point, but from that point on, Writing has begun.

──I see, exactly as Mr. Arai explained. Was the "Optane SSD 905P" effective, other than reading and writing files?

Arai I tried filter work, too, but it did not change very much in terms of speed. Because the CPU handles filter mainly, the speed of the disk does not matter much.

However, if you do more complex things in Photoshop for a long time, the history will gradually accumulate, so if the history of the memory leaves behind, the difference seems to come out. Before saving the file, there are times when we want to go back to the history of 50 or 60, or in some cases about 100, so I think that it will be the case virtual storage disks will impact to performance. There was not time to try, so this time will probably only talk about the possibility of it being so ....

It seems to be just what speeds reading and saving, but since retouching work frequently do reading and saving, I think it is quite practical to increase the speed of storage. Every time you save, it takes 3 or 4 minutes to reduce it to 1 or 2 minutes, so I think work efficiency will be improved very much.

──When using "Optane SSD 905P" as a virtual storage disk, you are concerned about the durability of the disk.

Arai From long ago, it was said that the disks allocated to Photoshop's virtual memory will be broken soon. Because use it for memory and frequently read & write should be happened. I do not want to use expensive discs because their lifespan is short, but I can’t secure the speed unless it is an expensive disc, and that is the intermission.

But when I looked into "Optane SSD 905P", it was a story that durability is many times more than usual. Since it is a disk for use on the server in the first place, it is designed on the assumption of a tremendous amount of reading and writing, and it seems that it is the top class in terms of durability in the industry. Perhaps it might solve the durability problems associated with virtual storage disks.

──The "Optane SSD 905P" which is excellent in durability is suitable for the contents creator in such a meaning, is not it? Thank you very much for detailed verification and explanation.

Coverage / composition: Shuffle Editorial Department
Interview filming: Hiroshi Takezawa


VONS pictures

Vons pictures provides one-stop solution of advertising visual that is shooting, retouch, movie, 3DCG, digital signage, VR, AR.


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