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Intel Optane SSDs: Are they Really Worth it?

The introduction of SSDs has changed the way we access information on our computers these days. SSDs are high-speed and more reliable as they have no moving parts. One of the latest editions to these fast storage drives is the Intel Optane SSDs.

Intel Optane is using an innovative and latest technology known as 3D Crosspoint. However, in these high-density 3D XPoints, only one bit can be stored inside a single memory cell. So, it is obvious that you are going to get very less storage as per its price tag.

However, Intel Optane is suitable for both desktop and laptops motherboards in various sizes and various form factors. But, the price is not low. So, let’s talk some more about Intel Optane and check whether you should go for it or not.

In this article, we are going to discuss Intel Optane Memory and why they are so expensive?

Intel Optane SSDs: All You Need to Know

Basic Specifications of Intel Optane 58 GB Memory

Form FactorM.2 2280
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x2
Memory128Gb 20nm Intel 3D XPoint
Read Speed(Sequential)1450Mbps
Write Speed(Sequential)640Mbps
Read Latency6.75µs
Write Latency18µs

Now that we have gone through some of its basic specifications, we shall understand more about the working of the memory and how it enhances a system’s performance.

What is Intel Optane Memory?

To clearly understand what Optane Memory is, we shall understand computer memory in general first. Your data on the computer is either stored in an HDD(Hard Disk Drive) or an SSD(Solid State Drive). There is always a debate between which one to choose from, an HDD or an SSD. However, SSDs are much faster compared to HDDs.

With the Optane Memory, Intel tries to bridge the gap between the HDD and a SSD. The Optane Memory tries to bring out the best from both of the storage mediums. That is, bringing large capacity of HDDs and faster speed of SSDs.

So instead of adding more RAM to your computer, you can enhance your system’s performance with the Optane Memory.

Basic Requirements

● Windows 10 (64 Bit)

● 7th Gen(or Newer) Intel Core Processor

● Intel 200 Series chipset(Or Newer)

● M.2 Slot

Working of Intel Optane Memory

Now that we have understood how Optane memory makes your computer fast, we shall understand how it does that. So Optane is a type of Nonvolatile Memory(NVM) which means that it can hold data even when the system is turned off.

Understand it this way, for most computer users, they do pretty much the same task. For example, a writer turns his computer on, writes his content, and uploads it. For a gamer, the routine can be, turning on the computer, launching the game, playing it, and then just turning the computer off.

So the Optane memory uses technology that keeps track of the tasks that you frequently do. This includes startup, file search, program launch. The memory remembers this sequence and keeps all the essential programs closer to the processor. So when you launch a frequently used program, you observe less latency.

There’s always this debate that whether you should get the Intel Optane memory with an HDD or an SSD?

Well, whether you have a fast SSD on your computer or a high-capacity HDD, the Optane memory will definitely increase your computer’s performance. However, if you have an HDD installed on your computer, you will see definite results if you install an Intel Optane Memory.

Why Are Intel Optane SSDs So Expensive?

The Intel Optane Memory M10 Series having 64 GB capacity, is priced at INR 15.056 in India, and it has the following technical specifications:

Sequential Bandwidth – 100% Read1450 MB/s
Random Read (8GB Span) (up to)255000 IOPS
Sequential Bandwidth – 100% Write640 MB/s
Random Write (8GB Span) (up to)145000 IOPS
Latency – Read7 µs
Latency – Write18 µs
Form FactorM.2 22 x 80mm
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x2, NVMe

That makes it about USD 200 for an Optane memory. That’s quite expensive, you’d ask? It is quite expensive, and we will try to look for some possible reasons for it.

Why Are Intel Optane SSDs So Expensive?

The very first reason that we can attribute to these Optane memories being so expensive the features that it brings. The read and write speed on this memory is awe-inspiring, and they definitely increase your computer’s performance.

Another reason why it is so expensive is because of its uniqueness. Yup, there is just one manufacturer for Optane memory, and that is Intel. When the product is so unique and proven to have pros for the performance, the company gets a free pass to decide the price cap on it.

Now combine these two reasons, good performance of a product and just a monopoly of a brand making it. There you have a perfect recipe for an expensive product. That is why the Intel Optane SSDs are so expensive.

Should You Consider Buying It?

With all its pros and Intel marketing, it like a game-changer in the computer industry; you have to consider some points. First of all, it is very good if your system has an HDD and you want to increase its performance. It doesn’t enhance the performance of systems with SSDs drastically.

Another point to consider is that this is a very good option for heavy users who are into gaming, content creating, editing videos, and stuff like that. For general users who do not do heavy tasks on their system, there is no point in upgrading your system with an Optane Memory.

So that was all about Intel Optane Memory, how it works and how it enhances your computer’s performance. You should definitely add it to your rig if you are a heavy user and your device is compatible with having an Optane Memory.