When Intel unveiled its Optane memory solution this week, it seemed like an ideal performance pick-me-up for low-end rigs. Its goal is to cache all of your important bits so as to make the PC more responsive, and quicker in general. The fact that Intel itself promotes the current Optane solution at those using mechanical hard drives is additional proof that low-end PCs are being targeted.
However, as we now learn, there is one important caveat to be aware of: while Optane requires a Kaby Lake processor to work, the low-end Celeron and Pentium variants are out-of-luck. Those lowest-end of the low-end CPUs will simply not be able to take advantage of Optane.
It goes without saying that this is a real bummer, and it makes Intel's sell for the current Optane solution a lot more difficult. While Intel is emphasizing the use of Optane on hard drive-based systems, today's SSDs prices are downright affordable at this point. You can score a 240 GB SSD for around $80 USD without much effort these days. And for most users, that's going to be more than enough space and the performance boost compared to a HDD will be enormous.
This reality means that those looking to use Optane will be required to have at least a Core i3 processor, such as the i3-7300, priced at $138 (per 1,000). As it is right now though, Optane isn't actually available on the market, so it could be that real tests will prove that it's still a must-have solution. With that being said, even though Optane won't be available for Celeron and Pentium owners, rest assured that you can always pick up an affordable SSD to meet your storage needs.