Intel Optane devices are becoming an increasingly important segment for Intel. With increasing production and expanding the range of products using 3D XPoint memory, the manufacturer wants to use these solutions more actively in systems of various form factors.
Recall that for consumer platforms the company initially introduced Intel Optane Memory accelerators, made in M.2 format and
In a similar combination of Intel Optane Memory of relatively small capacity (16/32 GB) takes on the role of an intelligent buffer, which stores the most frequently and Used data, and the rest is loaded from the hard disk if necessary. At the initial stage, Intel Optane Memory should be used as part of the boot partition, which is heavily used by the operating system and application software. Part of the data remains on Intel Optane Memory and during the query is quickly read from there, significantly speeding up the process. But if you periodically start games or other capacious applications, the contents of the buffer will be updated and it's likely that the next OS boot will happen from a slow HDD.
This is one of the reasons why the Intel Optane Accelerators Memory after the initial burst of attention in the future caused a rather restrained interest of certain categories of users. In addition, Intel Optane Memory requires a modern platform with M.2 x4 and processors not lower than the Core i3 of the 7th generation. That is, this is definitely not an option for a simple upgrade of the age system. But the owners of new PCs often prefer to use for the system partition SSD. This is simpler, more device selection and no nuances with configuring the drive subsystem.
Obviously rethinking the not-so-favorable starting position of Intel Optane Memory, Intel now offers one more option for using a hybrid bundle. According to the new concept, a separate SSD is used for the system partition, and, for example, a combination of a capacious hard disk and Intel Optane Memory is used to install games. At least in theory, this option looks quite convincing. For games in any case, you need a capacious drive. SSD of a large volume is still not cheap, because the configuration of HDD + Intel Optane here can be a more affordable alternative, not devoid of practical sense. And not only in some budget systems, but also in higher-end platforms.
Intel recently introduced solid-state drives based on 3D Xpoint memory – Intel Optane SSD 800P with increased capacity (58/118 GB) and performance, and in December last year appeared the ultimate device line Intel Optane SSD 900P with a record performance on read / write arbitrary blocks (550 000/500 00 IOPS). If Intel Optane SSD 800P can be considered both in the context of caching devices and in the form of separate drives, then the role of highly productive independent SSDs, of course, is more suitable for Intel Optane SSD 900P.
With the release of mobile chipsets of the Intel 300 series , allowing to use Intel Optane, drives of this type will appear more often and in structure of laptops. Earlier, the processors of the Core 7 / 8th generation of the economical U-line could work with accelerators, but such chips are used in compact notebook models that are often equipped with one SSD of M.2 format. But as part of monoblocks based on 15-watt CPUs, we have already seen Intel Optane Memory during the review of the original Acer Aspire S 24 system.
The launch of the mobile platform with the chips Coffee Lake-H also opens the way for hybrid bundles. In devices based on chips with a TDP of 45 watts, there is potentially a place for both SSD, and for hard disks, and for Intel Optane Memory. Notebooks in such configurations are now being actively announced by various manufacturers.
In order to further allocate platforms with a high-speed drive, Intel will use new designations for them. As we already mentioned, the specially developed logos Core i5 +, Core i7 + and Core i9 + will be used for systems based on the corresponding processors of the Core 8th generation, equipped with Intel Optane 800P, Intel Optane 900P or Intel Optane Memory
The above list of options explains when new logos can not be used. From the list presented, only the last position provokes the question, in fact Core i3 of the 8th generation works in principle with Intel Optane Memory.
As it turned out, the new marking will be available not only to the manufacturers of ready systems. Core i + processors will also appear in retail. As informs resource AKIBA PC, in the Japanese market already appeared boxed versions of processors Core i7 + and Core i5 +, which are completed with module Intel Optane Memory in volume of 16 GB. For such models, the original packaging is used, and the description specifies the presence of an additional accelerator in the kit. As for the cost, the Core i7 + 8700 is offered for about $ 390, the Core i5 + 8500 is about $ 270, and the purchase of the Core i5 + 8400 for the country's sun will cost $ 240.
It's curious whether such kits will appear on our market. If so, and they will be cheaper than the corresponding components separately, this will add enthusiasm to the Intel Optane Memory case. Because the current retail price of Intel Optane Memory of 16 GB (~ $ 55-60) is comparable to that of the basic SSD (2.5 ", SATA, TLC) by 240 GB. And in such an unequal battle, 240 GB is 240 GB. Let's hope that the announced "plus" will be useful not only for the marketing campaign of the manufacturer, but also bring practical benefits to customers.