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Intel Optane Memory 32GB Review


The Intel Optane Memory drive we were sent for review was an engineering sample so didn’t arrive with any retail packaging.

Built on a M.2 2280 single-sided format, the first thing that strikes you looking at the module is just how little space the components take up on the PCB. This is mainly due to the size of the new Intel controller (labelled AHT50W06) which, compared a normal NVMe controller, is tiny at just 7mm square. Compared to the usual M.2 drive, the Optane Memory module layout looks positively sparse. The 32GB module uses two 128Gb 20nm 3D XPoint memory packages, each containing a single die.

The labels on the front and back of the PCB contain a copper layer to aid in cooling and it’s interesting to see that the labels are only big enough to cover just the memory chips; the controller is left uncovered.

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