Samsung’s Z-NAND is okay Optane competitor

With just three times longer latency Samsung’s 983 ZET Z-NAND SSD is a fair spec sheet competitor to Optane SSDs, beating it on most IO measures.

The 983 ZET uses 48-layer 3D NAND organised in SLC (1 bit/cell) mode and Samsung says it has optimised it for higher performance. It comes in 480GB and 960GB capacities.

Product briefs for the 983 ZET (Z-NAND Enterprise Technology) SSD show less than 0.03ms latency. That’s <30 µs, compared to less than 10 µs latency for the Optane DC P4800X. They show it as faster than Optane at all IOs except random writes but suffering on the endurance front.

Samsung 983 ZET SSD with heat sink removed

The ‘up to’ performance numbers (with Optane DC P4800X numbers in brackets) are;

  • Random read/write IOPS – 750,000/75,000 (550,000/500,000)
  • Sequential read/write – 3.4/3.0 GB/sec (2.4/2.0 GB/sec)

Optane’s random read/write numbers are similar whereas the 983 ZET drive is ten times slower at random reads than writes. At random reads and all sequential IO the 983 ZET is faster than Intel’s Optane SSD.

The 480GB 983 lasts for 8.5 DWPD (7.44PB written) for 5 years, with the 960GB version enduring 10 DWPD (17.52 PB written.) But Intel’s P4800X can sustain up to 60 DWPD; far more.

Samsung’s 983 supports AES 256-bit encryption, has capacitor-backed power loss protection for its DRAM cache, and comes as a HHHL add-in card (AIC.) 

Both drives use the NVMe interface operating across PCIe gen 3 x 4 lane and have 5 year warranties.

A 480GB version will cost $999.99 with $1,999.99 needed for the 960GB version. A 750GB DC P4800X Optane costs $3,223.42 on making the 983ZET substantially less expensive.

Blocks & Files wonders if Samsung is considering producing a Z-NAND NVDIMM.