Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
- Simple, no-frills installation process
- Outstanding performance gains, especially to HDD-equipped systems
- It's the fastest (lowest latency) thing we've ever tested. Period. (yes, again)
- Requires current generation motherboard, preventing upgrades to older systems
- Cost (see below)
- Too small to use as a boot SSD!
- (clearly not its intended purpose, but you can RAID them!)
- Optane Memory 16GB: $44 ($2.75/GB) (Amazon)
- Optane Memory 32GB: $77 ($2.40/GB)
These prices are expensive for the capacity you are getting, but the performance benefits alone more than make up for the cost. Further, since a little gets you a long way in terms of cache performance, even 32GB of it still comes in at less than $100.
I knew XPoint was going to enable all sorts of performance gains to storage systems, but I honestly did not expect Optane Memory to net such large benefits and to do it so well. While previous hybrid/caching technologies have been decent, the outstanding latency of XPoint enables an Optane Memory cache to boost HDD systems to meet or even exceed the performance of NAND-SSD equipped machines! While the intended market is clearly as an upgrade to HDD-only systems, measurable benefits can be seen even when caching a SATA SSD. When paired with a budget SATA SSD, we saw boot times cut in half and coming in nearly a second faster than a NAND-NVMe SSD! Overall I am extremely impressed with the performance benefits and implementation of Optane Memory.
This is an outstanding product. My only wish is that support is added to prior generation chipsets.