Intel Optane Memory Update: Making Hard Drives Perform Like Fast SSDs

Intel Optane Memory Game Load Times And Conclusion

We also tested a couple of games to see how load times were impacted with Intel Optane Memory acceleration. For these tests, we simply installed Steam to the secondary volume and downloaded Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War and Hitman. The, we tracked the time it took from the moment we hit “Play” in the interface, until the game fully loaded and we were presented with “Press Enter (or Space” to Continue” to actually play the game.

Keep in mind, if there are any timed animations or other methods employed in a particular game, which are typically used to mask load times, etc., those will still play, so your mileage may vary...

game load times

With Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War and Hitman, however, there were some clear improvement. Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War in particular loaded much faster, though Hitman showed a relatively large improvement as well.

Intel’s Optane Memory technology works exceedingly well and it is simple to set up and use. If you’ve got a compatible system and a big, slow hard drive you’d like to accelerate, plugging in an Optane Memory device and accelerating the drive could drastically improve your user experience.

There are a few things to carefully consider, however. First is cost. The 64GB Optane Memory drive is currently available for about $150. A 1TB hard drive like the one we accelerated runs about $50. For the combined $200 of the setup we tested, you could score a pretty decent 512GB+ NVMe SSD and simply have a faster drive that doesn’t need to be accelerated – albeit one with lower total capacity. You also wouldn’t have to worry about situations when new data is being accessed and is not accelerated by Optane Memory. Of course, that requires managing multiple volumes and potentially moving some data around manually, but you get the gist. Conversely, if you have a really large, multi-terabyte slower drive that would benefit from acceleration, pairing it with an Optane Memory module would result in a single large volume that would behave much like a massive SSD.

Ultimately, Intel’s Optane Memory technology works as advertised and clearly improves performance and the user experience when enabled. If you’ve got a compatible Intel 7th or 8th-gen based system and want to easily accelerate a slower drive, we recommend giving Optane Memory a look.

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  • Big Performance Boost
  • Easy Setup
  • Transparent To The End User
  • Price Premium For 3D Xpoint
  • Compatible Only With Intel 7th And 8th Gen Systems

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