Inside the box there is plenty of protection for the drive as it sits snugly surrounded by dense foam. Also in the box is a shorter length PCIe bracket to use the drive in more compact cases, along with a combined installation instruction/warranty booklet.
We didn’t want to upset the thermal properties of the drive too much so we only removed the rear plate from the drive. With the backplate off you can see 14 of the 28 packages of 3D XPoint memory the 480GB Optane uses. The other side of the PCB has the remainder of the NAND and the Intel SLL3D 7-channel controller.
The Intel Toolbox SSD management utility is a pretty comprehensive tool for looking after your SSD. The home screen displays information about the drive, how the capacity is being used, its health and estimated life remaining.
There are seven buttons on the right hand side of the utility main screen. These are for Intel’s SSD Optimiser, two drive diagnostic scans, one quick / the other full, secure erase, firmware updates, a system tuner and a page for system information.