Intel Optane H10 review : A mix of QLC NAND and Optane Memory

Intel has launched the all-new Intel Optane H10 on April 4th 2019. It is Intel’s first line of Optane memory module that combines the QLC 3D NAND flash found in traditional SSD’s and the Optane memory .

The Optane memory modules were not meant to be used for storage purposes. Instead they are meant to improve the data transfer speeds, as it acts as a cache memory bridge between the RAM and storage (eg HDD).

Intel Optane H10 review image with detailed QLC 3D NAND and optane memory

According to Intel, this new configuration promises to give a new level of performance,reliability and a much larger storage capacity. Optane memory modules usually comes with 16GB and 32GB of storage. But Intel brings a huge change with the new Optane H10. As it combines the QLC 3D NAND flash and Optane memory, the drive has a greater capacity.

The configurations are as follows :

  1. 16GB Intel® Optane™ memory + 256GB Intel® QLC 3D NAND
  2. 32GB Intel® Optane™ memory + 512GB Intel® QLC 3D NAND
  3. 32GB Intel® Optane™ memory + 1TB Intel® QLC 3D NAND

You can read detailed info about the configuration at Intel.com. The review model we got is a 32GB optane+512 GB QLC NAND drive.

The Intel Optane H10 comes in the usual M.2 form factor like all other Optane memory modules and has the PCIe NVMe 3.0 (x4 lanes) Interface.

According to Intel, the Optane H10 has a sequential read speed of up to 2400 MB/s and Sequential write speed of up to 1800 MB/s. Also the Optane H10 can operate at a temperature of around 0 degrees to 70 degree Celsius. It also has a 5 year warranty.

Real World Performance of Intel Optane H10 :

We tested the Intel Optane H10 with the 760p Intel SSD. During our tests, the 760p performed much better when opening apps, rendering files etc. However when we introduced a background task that actively uses a drive like copying files, the 760p almost bottle-necked dramatically. It took more time to load Adobe premiere and open projects etc.

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Meanwhile the H10 showed consistent results with both background tasks running and without them. In fact it surpassed the 760p’s load time and read/write speeds when other background apps using disk usage was running.

The Intel Optane Memory H10 has the least responsiveness compared to SSD’s like the Samsung 970 EVO 500GB , Intel SSD 760P 512GB and Intel SSD 660P.

Benchmarking Results :

We also tested the Intel Optane H10 memory with UL PCMARK 10 – a benchmarking software that simulates real world and synthetic usage. The Optane H10 scored 3,409 on our Whiskey Lake Machine and it beat most of the consumer M.2 cards out there.We also did Random Read and write tests and the device were kept idle for a certain time to avoid thermal throttling.

Our test of Random Read uses very short bursts of operational data issued one by one with no queuing whatsoever. Each burst consists of a total of 32MB of 4KB random reads. Since the test easily fits in the Optane cache part of the drive, the H10 beat almost all the non-Optane traditional NAND-flash SSD drives. Still we found it to be slower than the pure Optane based drives.

According to me, the real area where Optane H10 shines is the read/write speeds and response time during heavy background loads. Thus suitable for heavy users and creators who work simultaneously on more than one software and utilities. To all the other folks out there , H10 is not worth buying considering there are other better options out there.

The Intel Optane H10 is still not available to consumers for buying but it’ll be preinstalled in most OEM’s.

Mohasin K.R

A die-hard tech enthusiast who likes to tinker with gadgets(often resulting in a disaster :)). During his free time, you can find him either reading 📚,playing 🎮or watching 📺. Not much of a social guy, but loves to scroll through his twitter feed 🤳.

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