Monday 3 April 2017

Intel Launches Optane Memory M.2 Cache SSDs For Consumer Market

Intel finally unveiled its first Optane product called SSD DC P4800X enterprise drive just a week ago and today it has brought the Optane Memory product which is targeted for the consumers. This product is essentially a low-capacity M.2 NVMe SSD which can only be used as a cache drive in the systems for simple tasks and performance boost.

How does Intel Optane Memory SSD works?

Intel has simply launched two variant of the Optane Memory SSD which makes use of either one or two single die packages of the 3D XPoint which happens to be the non-volatile memory. And this product will be made available only in the 16 GB and 32 GB models. Without going into the fine technical details of the Optane Memory let’s focus on the performance which Intel is proclaiming to be selling point of these device. The Optane Memory drives are of very low capacity which means they can’t be used like the traditional SSDs. The best part about these new drives is that it is designed to be used specifically with the caching capability of its Rapid Storage Technology. Intel has made this technology available way back in 2011 with the Smart Response Technology.

Therefore the Optane Memory is better suited for the 3D Point memory performance which brings a definite flexibility advantage usually missed in the flash memory. Secondly the Optane Memory comes with the NVMe remapping feature which has become a staple feature in the Intel’s Skylake generation 100-series chipsets. Thirdly the Optane Memory caching capability is only limited to the Windows 10 64 bit and that also for the boot volume which might be a bummer for a large number of consumers.

Optane Memory SSDs are expensive 

Intel’s market share has taken a hit by the recent rise in the adoption and popularity of the AMD’s processor and chipsets. Therefore it has envisioned a world where Optane Memory equipped system are running the show which also ends up giving a remarkable performance over the hard drive only system which has become a norm in today’s society.

The pricing for the Optane Memory drive has been kept at $44 for 16GB version while $77 for the 32GB version. Over the years the prices for the flash memory drive has declined rapidly which had made it possible to buy the SSDS for ordinary usage with pretty ease.

Therefore Intel Optane Memory will get a stiff competition for the Flash drive which happens to be first choice of the consumers at the world. Pricing will play a major role in the overall success of the Optane Memory products. Currently buying a 32 GB Optane Memory drive will costs as much as 256 Gb class SSDs while 512 GB class will cost as much as the 25TB hard drive. Intel is hoping that the performance driven Optane Memory will help in creating a niche market for it in upcoming days.

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