Intel's 905P Optane reaches a tempting 1.5TB, but drive prices remain high

The real surprise is that one of them sports the rare U.2 interface.

Intel just introduced its largest Optane-based SSDs yet, but the shocker may be that one comes in the rarely seen U.2 interface.

Intel on Thursday announced its Optane 905P drives with three flavors:

  • A 905P in PCIe add-in card, or if you’re into the nomenclature thing: HHHL (half height, half length) trim. It’ll come in capacities of 960GB and 1.5TB.
  • A 905P M.2 “gumstick” drive in capacities of up to 380GB.
  • A 905P in U.2 in capacities of 1.5TB, 960GB, and 480GB. 

The last drive is probably a surprise to those who don’t read Obscure SSD Quarterly, (Editor's note: not a real media outlet) because it’s only the third U.2 drive to be introduced. Ever. The previous two—the 900P and the 750—were also made by Intel, so it’s a very rare form factor.

U.2 is mostly a renaming of the unfriendly SFF-8639 interface that was aimed at enterprise-class storage and has been kicking around since 2011. The drives, such as the new 905P, run off of PCIe and look like thicker versions of traditional 2.5-inch SATA drives. Drives can be connected to existing M.2 slots on motherboards using an extension cable.

Because they are physically thicker, U.2 drives can accommodate more chips than a standard M.2 drive. U.2 also offers better thermals and moves the heat-sensitive drive controller  away from hotter components. Still, so far no one but Intel has bothered to introduce drives based on U.2.

Optane itself is still on a slow burn, but there are plenty of reasons to prefer it over traditional SSDs. There’s also one big reason not to prefer it: Price-to-capacity ratio.

Intel didn’t release pricing on these new products yet, but the 905P drives are already available in smaller capacities. The 960GB 905P in add-in card  lists for $1,300 on Amazon.com, while the 480GB U.2 drive (with adapter cable) lists at $549. The largest 1.5TB weren’t spotted, but you can imagine they’ll push well north of $1,300.

Why this matters: Intel and Micron's 3D Xpoint technology was hailed as a breakthrough when announced but has admittedly been fighting an uphill battle on its higher cost per GB. While the latest 905P drives don't solve the pricing concerns, it does at least move Optane into a higher capacity.

optane ssd 905p right angle 16x9 Intel

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gordon Mah Ung

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?