Last Updated on September 14, 2020 by Scott Krager
There is nothing worse than having a computer that is slower than you might like. Imagine spending a lot of money on a computer only to realize that it is becoming slower by the day.
There are surely a lot of things you can do to speed things up but more often than not, the solution is right in front of your eyes, and in most cases, it is the storage.
SSDs are fast but not many people can afford an SSD, and they are still stuck with the slower hard disk drives. In a situation like that, if you do not have the money to upgrade to an SSD, you can opt for something called Intel Optane – A steroid for your hard drive to work faster.
What is Intel Optane?
It was first introduced with z370 motherboards but is also available in z390 counterparts.
It is a system technology that is made to help your system have a faster time than it does on a standard hard disk drive. Optane uses a new memory time called 3D XPoint, and according to Intel, it is much faster than the traditional NAND flash that is used in the SSDs.
Now with the new memory type, the Optane uses what Intel is calling system acceleration. This task is used to make sure that the tasks are completed faster and the applications are loaded faster as well.
However, it important to know that the Optane is not something that is going to replace your DRAM at all. It works in conjunction with it. Optane uses a bunch of different algorithms to work with the DRAM, and remember the most accessed parts of the memory.
This basically means that the more it studies your computer, the faster it becomes in loading those specific programs that you have been using frequently.
Whether it is about games, word processing software solutions, or other software solutions, Optane works really well for all of them and in a wonderful fashion.
It can be bought in either a 16GB module or a 32GB module, and it is used to speed up your traditional hard drives just like the SSD cache would do. According to Intel, the desktop and laptops that are equipped with hard disk drives as primary storage can benefit a lot from secondary Optane drives.
However, Intel has paired Optane with SSD as well and the resultant was the 905P, an insanely fast, and wicked expensive SSD that is breaking the speed barriers.
How Will Optane Affect My PC?
According to Intel, the 8th generation CPU kitted out with the Optane memory chip will perform 2.2 times faster than the same CPU without the Optane memory under the hood. This is for the everyday tasks, and since Optane learns the use pattern of the CPU, it will only get better and better with time – something that most people completely love about Optane.
Can I Use It?
Most of the modern-day laptops available in the market are already coming with the Optane memory installed out of the box, so there is not much to worry about in that department. However, if you are looking to build your own PC, then anything with 7th generation and above processors would be just fine with the right motherboards.
You will, obviously, have to buy the Optane chip separately, but that should not be a problem for most people in the market who are looking for a good experience.
Benefits of Intel Optane
Now comes the really important part, the part where most people would decide if they want to go with Intel Optane or not. Are there any benefits to buying this memory chip? Well, the benefit is certainly there and in this section, we are going to reflect on them.
- Improved Speed: Thanks to Optane technology, the overall speed of your system will increase. Since Optane takes time to actually learn just how frequent your program usage is, it will take time but the speed will improve.
- Faster Boot Times: With Optane, another benefit that you will be getting is going to be faster boot timing. It might not be as fast as the SSD timing, but it will be relatively faster than that on the hard disk drives.
- Cheaper: Another benefit of spending money on Intel Optane is that it is significantly cheaper than the SSD, and it is available easily as well. However, if you are thinking about getting something like the 905P, then, in that case, you are going to have to spend a lot of money since those SSDs are expensive.
Although the benefits of Intel Optane are certainly there, we cannot forget the fact that the technology is still new, and has time to mature. The downsides include the fact that Optane drives are still not offering performance as good as an SSD and that can be an issue for some.
In conclusion, the one thing that you must keep in mind is that the Intel Optane is certainly a good investment. It does not cost a lot of money either and can be purchased easily from online retailers. The good thing is that if you are running an HDD, you will be seeing a noticeable performance boost. However, coupling it with an SSD is not going to do you much good.
Another thing that you must know before you go ahead and purchase the Optane is that it requires an M.2 slot to work because otherwise, it cannot be plugged in any other slot.
If you are wondering if Optane is worth it. If you have a PC with just an HDD and not enough funds to buy an SSD, then in that situation, the Optane is certainly something that you should go for.