Intel has always been a leader in developing tools to improve the performance of our PCs. Founded in 1968, it is one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, with global sales in excess of $60 billion. It is best known for the production of chips, but also produces communication and data processing equipment.

Since 2015, Intel has been working on ultra-fast memory technology that could be a solution to expensive semiconductor hard drives (SSDs). Three years ago, Intel launched its ultra-fast memory cache module, called Intel Optane Memory, to speed up slow hard drives.

So let’s see where Intel’s Optane memory is?

It should be noted that Intel Optane memory is a caching technology and it takes some time for the algorithm to determine which applications you use most often, so it can be stored in memory for quick opening.

HDD vs Intel Optane Memory + HDD

For this review, I’m using my laptop, which is equipped with an Intel Core I5-8300H, a GTX 1050 and 8GB of RAM with a 1TB hard drive and 16GB of Intel Optane memory. With Optane disabled, I recorded read and write speeds of 145.8 MB/s and 124.3 MB/s respectively. When Intel Optane is enabled, the read and write speeds are 931.5 MB/s and 159.9 MB/s respectively. These tests show a significant improvement in reading speed, although writing speed has not increased significantly.

These tests were performed using the Crystal Disk Mark.

The boot time increased significantly after the Intel Optane memory was activated. When Intel’s Optane memory is turned off, it takes about 25 seconds to start, when Optane memory is turned on, it starts in 22 seconds on the first try, but the start time drops to 18 seconds on the second try, and on the fifth try the start time is 13 seconds, and the story has remained the same since.


Intel Optane Memory + HDD vs SSD

These tests were performed on PCs with the same processor and memory, but 1. The system has a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive and 32GB Intel Optane memory, while the 2nd system has a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive and 32GB Intel Optane memory. is equipped with a 120GB WD Green SSD and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive.

In tests conducted by Crystal Disk Mark, the 1. system had read and write speeds of 1125.2 MB/s and 223.4 MB/s, respectively, while the 2. system had read and write speeds of 623.5 MB/s and 290.7 MB/s, respectively. These tests clearly imply that the Intel Optane-based system broke with the SSD in read speed, while the SSD did slightly better in write speed.

In terms of boot time, the system on the SSD boots in 17 seconds, while the system on Intel Optane boots in 28 seconds on the first try, but after the third pass, the boot time dropped to 14 seconds, and the story has remained the same since then.

Final words

Combining an Optane memory module with a traditional hard drive can really improve system performance and in some cases even outperform a cheap SSD, but there are a few points to keep in mind here.

  1. Intel Optane memory is in the M.2 form factor and therefore requires a motherboard that supports M.2 lines. Furthermore, not all Intel chipsets are supported, let alone AMD chipsets. Your chipset must be slightly higher than seventh generation to support it.
  2. Optane memory works with all types of RAM modules, hard drives and graphics cards that fit on an Optane-compatible motherboard.
  3. Intel Optane memory is available in 16 or 32GB configurations. For example, if you have many applications that are used frequently, they may not be useful because cache memory is limited.
  4. System acceleration with Intel Optane memory is only supported on Windows 10 64-bit. Drivers that support and manage this volume are not supported by other operating systems. Try using a different operating system such as . For example, if you install Windows 7, Intel Optane’s memory capacity becomes unusable and may result in data loss.
  5. Although SSDs beat Optane storage in our tests, if you get a few good SSDs like the Samsung Evo or the Crucial MX500, they will outperform Intel’s Optane storage 65% of the time.
  6. If you’re considering pairing your SSD with an Intel Optane Turbocharger module, get it out of your head. Your money would be better spent upgrading your RAM.

Should you buy it?

Absolutely yes, unless you can spend on a high quality SSD with a reasonable capacity. I use it and so far it has been a pleasant experience.

I hope this article will work as planned. Tell us your thoughts on the subject. If there is anything I forgot to mention, or if there is a topic you would like me to cover, please let me know in the comments below.

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