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Intel Optane Memory 32GB Review

The major fly in the ointment with the Optane Memory module is the official restrictions it currently comes with, which will be a limiting factor on its use. It only supports Kaby Lake processors and then only Core i7, i5 and i3 parts. There’s no current support for the latest Celeron and Pentium CPUs and when it comes to chipsets it’s the 200 series or nothing for mainstream boards and HM175, QM175 or CM238 for mobiles. Oh yes, and Windows 10 64-bit only.

There is no doubt that when the Optane Memory module is used as a cache drive with a normal spinning disk the performance gains are impressive. But here’s the conundrum – because it currently only works on a Kaby Lake-based system, you have to ask how many people have bought a Kaby Lake motherboard and a 7th generation CPU and then paired that package with a HDD boot drive rather than a SSD.

Where it probably makes more sense at the present time is a tool for system builders and OEMs. By combining the Optane Memory module with a high capacity HDD, it allows competitively-priced PC builds with fast, high-capacity storage without the costs associated with adding a very large capacity SSD to the feature list.

As a stand-alone drive, while it may not be really big enough to use as a main drive, it’s a tantalising glimpse of the power of the 3D XPoint technology, making the prospect of large capacity drives using the technology very enticing.

The quoted endurance for the 32GB module is 185.5TB which works out around 100GB/day and Intel back the Optane Memory module with a 5 year warranty.

We found the 32GB Optane Memory module for £85.99 (inc VAT) on Overclockers UK HERE 

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Pros

  • Very fast read performance.
  • Adds massive performance improvements to a standard hard disk.

Cons

  • CPU and chipset restrictions.
  • Write performance as a stand-alone drive is disappointing.

KitGuru says: Because of its hardware restrictions, the Intel Optane Memory module will only appeal to a narrow market in the consumer space. It makes more sense as a tool for OEMs and system builders but above all, it’s a glimpse of the huge potential of Intel’s 3D XPoint technology.

Rating: 8.0.

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