Intel Optane Memory With 3D XPoint Review: Easy, Robust PC Acceleration

Intel Optane Memory -- The Verdict

Performance Summary: Intel Optane Memory delivered a dramatic lift on overall system performance in our testing. Boot times, application load time, file searches, and overall system responsiveness were improved significantly. Setting up Intel Optane Memory was also very quick and easy. And once set up, it’s a “set it and forget it” type of solution.

One of the other side benefits of the technology don’t show in the benchmarks. We’ve gotten a little spoiled around here, so powering up our test rig with only a hard drive handling storage duties was a bit of an eye opener. Not only was system responsiveness degraded with only an HDD in the system, but the noise generated by the drive was ever present, as it chunked along during boot-up or when handling background tasks. With Optane Memory enabled, however, hard drive activity drops significantly. When the cached data is accessed on the Optane Memory SSD, the hard drive doesn’t have to do anything, which resulted in a noticeably quieter system and it would likely prolong the life of the hard drive too.

intel optane memory stick m2 2
Intel Optane Memory - Find It At Amazon.Com

16GB and 32GB Intel Optane Memory modules will be available through retailers with MSRPs of $44 and $77, respectively, and will be offered in OEM system builds (and All-In-One system) as well. At their MSRPs, there is an obvious premium for Intel Optane Memory versus NAND-based solid state drives in terms of cost per gigabyte, which will probably make many of you question their value when much larger SSDs are available for only a few dollars more. The short answer is that Intel Optane Memory isn’t ideal for every user. If you’ve got the budget to afford a larger-capacity, high-performance NVMe based SSD, and are familiar with managing multiple drives in Windows, the benefits of Intel Optane Memory and its caching solution won’t be as apparent. Those users will probably be interested in larger-capacity Intel Optane SSDs when they ship at some point in the future, however, due to their expected high-performance at low queue depth. For users on a budget though, that want high-capacity bulk storage and aren’t savvy enough to manage multiple drives, accelerators and the caching solution offered by Intel Optane Memory may make sense.

  • Affordable
  • Significant Performance Improvement
  • Easy To Setup And Configure
  • Price Premium Over NAND
  • Compatibility Limited To Kaby Lake and 200-Series Chipsets

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