• expired

Intel Optane Memory 32GB M.2 PCIe 2280 $43.63 + $9 Delivery @ Kogan


Saw this on pricehipster
$85 at umart and $89 at mwave

TweakTown Review

Tech Specs: Performance

Sequential Read (up to)
1350 MB/s
Sequential Write (up to)
290 MB/s
Random Read (8GB Span) (up to)
240000 IOPS
Random Read (100% Span)
Random Write (8GB Span) (up to)
65000 IOPS
Random Write (100% Span)
Latency - Read
7 µs
Latency - Write
18 µs
Power - Active
3.5 Watts
Power - Idle
1 Watt

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  • Wow a revival of a old tech. I remember having this awhile back (7yrs) on my Samsung laptop, where a 32gb ssd mini sata or m2 (forgot which interface) was in the laptop acting as a cache to speed up regular HDDs.

    • Optane is new SSD tech.

      • Kinda kinda. For most workloads it isn't hugely advantageous over NAND. Small random IO it's amazing, but otherwise it's a bit even. The fact it's proprietary tech is going to keep cost up which may be a problem. Of course yet to be seen.

        Octane also has an interesting application in non volatile ram! So a computer can completely power down, without having to flush and store what's in ram =) could be really cool for say a tablet that's often 'off'!

        • Linus Tech Tips tested using Optane as RAM in a very recent video. The result was not great.

          The problem with this Optane caching tech is that it has an identity problem. Who was it made for? Somebody who is too tight to buy an SSD and wants to save a bit of money. Except you needed the latest gen motherboard and CPU (Kaby lake) at the time it released. What tight arse would have the latest motherboard and CPU and be too cheap to buy an SSD? Every non-Celeron laptop has an SSD as standard already. I just can't picture someone who buys the latest rig but can't afford an SSD. Or someone who can't afford an SSD but upgrading to Kaby lake just to save a few bucks and not need the SSD.

        • For everyone bashing the bejesus out of this poor memory. This is particularly amazing for caching small/random files (4k RW).

          See pretty picture: https://images.anandtech.com/doci/12748/rr-s-mx500-1000-win....

          Optane is PLENTY legit for caching an SSD! Probably overkill, but legit.

          I can't find throughput data for a properly decent SSD (an NVMe drive) but here is IOPS: https://img.purch.com/r/711x457/aHR0cDovL21lZGlhLmJlc3RvZm1p...

          At QD1 the optane pulls about 75,000, and even a P600 NMVe only manages about 15/20,000 (a 960 pro gets about 15,000 too).

          TLDR: Got too much money? Throw an optane cache in any system for added funsies!

          edit: This is about Optane as a cache, not RAM. Optane is not quite as fast as DRAM…only really good for 'novel applications' currently.

        • @incipient:

          This is particularly amazing for caching small/random files (4k RW).

          I'm sure it could be. I just don't know how big a market there is for that use case. You'll run into it a lot if you deal with small files. But I don't know if that's a common enough use case to go out and buy hardware specifically for that purpose.

          Optane is PLENTY legit for caching an SSD! Probably overkill, but legit.

          Could work. Probably not going to be a huge performance gain since SSD is already plenty fast. But Optane caching was marketed as an alternative to SSD for the money-conscious, and not a product aimed at the enthusiast. Makes no sense as a cost saving measure to buy both SSD and Optane.

          Optane will be good when it is cheap enough to replace an SSD. Right now they have 59 and 118GB SSDs using Optane. When these are big enough to compete with an SSD, and priced similarly, I'll be all over them. Until then, a caching solution isn't going to beat an SSD. And please, don't use the 'it's cheaper than SSD' argument. SSDs are not expensive anymore. They just aren't. The amount you save isn't big.

    • You can also use a ram disk for that purpose and will be even faster.


        Well said but RAM would not keep your data after a restart. Anyway it looks very expensive for those rookie numbers.

    • yep, then ssd prices dropped and it was more convenient to just add an ssd as the boot and main program drive ….the slot on my mb never got used … i went straight to ssd as c: drive

    • So PCIe SSD is old tech?.

  • these things are in a really awkward position due to needing the right motherboard which is costly, which if you wanted to save on ram it nulls the price saving.

    • It's not so much a RAM thing, it's more a traditional cache. The idea is that this thing CRUSHES even the best of SSDs at 4k QD1 workloads. Does it actually mean anything in reality? Probably not =P and as you say, rarely worth the extra cost.

      Would be kinda neat if they added these as BGA packages directly into some motherboards however. Just a small, cheap. 16GB chip.

    • You can buy Optane as an SSD, except it's expensive and comes in only two sizes: 59GB, and 118GB, both of which are not very adequate in 2018. Just who was it made for is the question.

  • Not entirely sure what these are could someone explain to me please, is it ram or storage? haha

    • It's meant to be a cache, so Windows figures out what small files are used 95% of the time (or what files really bottleneck the OS) and store them on this super fast memory. The idea being this drastically increases responsiveness.

    • It's SSD caching. The idea is that it has faster access speeds, but with a limited amount of storage, you don't actually use it as traditional storage but simply allow the storage driver to manage it for you.

      It fills up with files and programs you frequently access automatically so that anything that is cached is access quickly.

      Anything not in Optane memory is still accessed through your slower hard drives. This is mainly for people who don't want to pay up a larger amount of money for SSD's…. and some other niche crowds who need very low latency storage.

      • so theoretically you could set this optane cache as your (windows) swap file and benefit? That is; can you assign it a drive letter as in a ram disk situation, sorry don't have a Kaby Lake system … but I am looking at upgrading

        • It's basically a beefed up version of the older Intel RST tech.

          The storage is completely transparent to the user, you install the Optane software and completely sit back while it automatically learns what you are doing on a daily basis and caches the files for you.

          Note that the Optane storage will not show in file explorer. And if you decide to remove the Optane module, you must actually unpair (unlink) in the software otherwise you might not be able to boot.

    • Think of it like an SSHD. Which is an HDD that has a small amount (8GB or so) of SSD in it used as a cache to speed up data you access most frequently.

      This will turn any HDD into an SSHD, but you'll have 32GB instead of the usual 8GB and it will be much faster at caching than the SSHD.

      But it won't out perform an SSD, and if you can afford one, you're better off getting on of those.

  • Those write speeds are worse than SATA.

    • I'm guessing the purpose of these drives is for the faster read speeds, and not so much write speeds. Read processes would be utilised much more than write?

      • Well you need to be able to write onto them before you can read off it. And if it writes slower than an SSD, what are you paying so much money per GB for? If you only do one thing on your PC, and it never needs to cache anything else, I can see it. In which case I'd recommend the Optane SSD over this. But if you use it like a normal person, it will constantly learn from you and keep rewriting the cache based on your activity. Write speed will matter here.

        Yeah it can read faster than a SATA3 SSD, but not faster than an nVme SSD, and even those are cheaper per GB than this Optane.

        Even if you're tight, you can get a 120GB SATA3 SSD for around these prices, and you will get better all around performance.

        • I think this is supposed to have faster random read performance than an SSD - so good for caching. That said, I thought random read times were mostly a function of the CAS timing of the memory, and the controller of the drive.

          It seems to me that you'd be better off putting the extra money into RAM.

        • It's a cache, who cares what the write speeds are …

        • @Diji1:

          Hmm. I must be misunderstanding what a cache does then, if you read off it but never write to it.

          What I'm saying is, why does it cost so much if its speeds are not even impressive? I was honestly expecting it to be a typo.

        • @lostn: While I agree that this particular product doesn't make any sense for most people, there are a few things worth pointing out:

          • Sequential read/write, especially quoted by manufacturers, isn't a good way to measure how fast a storage device is. For example, Samsung 960 EVO is quoting 1,900 MB/s sequential write, but once the SLC cache is exhausted, it's true TLC sequential write is around 300MB/s. So honestly, the true sequential write for Samsung TLC 3D NAND is still 300MB/s.
          • Random read/write is something most people can actually feel the difference. What makes SSDs feel much faster than hard drives is actually the random read/write NOT the sequential read/write. Traditional hard disks really struggle with random read/write.
          • Random read/write on this Optane Memory 32GB is faster than SSDs, especially at low queue depth (for general public, that matters). While it doesn't make sense to use this with SSD, SSD with this still performed faster in Linus Tech Tip video. Agree that the minimal improvement doesn't justify using this with SSD.
          • Optane memory (3D XPoint memory) based PCI-e NVMe SSDs are available from intel at 280GB and 480GB capacity and they are much faster than Samsung's m2 NVMe SSDs in real life usage due to the impressive random read/write.
          • 3D XPoint memory has a much higher endurance rating than MLC or TLC NAND.

          Honestly, other than the crazy price Intel put on, 3D XPoint memory SSDs make more sense than the marketing trick Samsung's doing with their NVMe m.2 SSDs, where the random read/write improvement is nothing like the hyped up SLC cache sequential read/write. I don't think quoting "cache" performance on SSDs is right. At least these 3D XPoint solutions don't use that dirty trick.

        • @netsurfer: normal 3d nand was just a way to make cheap nand with reasonable endurance for typical uses.

          xpoint takes things to a whole new level ….. developed by intel and crucial also had a finger in it so they will also be releasing xpoint ………

          doesn’t mean the end of normal 3d where we are seeing 2tb for $450 now …. just another product with a different price to give consumers more options if they want more speed and durability.

        • @garage sale: Agreed. For most people (including me), SSD is more than enough. Intel is charging way too much for 3D XPoint based solutions. Micron still haven't released their equivalent products.

          The current trend for NAND is moving towards QLC with TLC now the mainstream. That's a bit worrying for me (my experience with TLC is mixed - and that is being nice). So, NAND SSD makers are going to increase the storage size by lower the performance. I do hope Samsung continue to offer MLC based SSD products. The way NVMe SSDs are advertised, it is honestly cheating.

          3D XPoint based solutions don't make sense to general consumers, but performance isn't the reason. Price is.

  • These are interesting. I have a 16GB Optane module with a really old 500GB HDD in a NUC. It's only useful for certain situations. If you don't need the storage space, a straight SSD is probably more suitable. This lets you have a large capacity drive (or in my case, make use of an old spare HDD) and give if SSD-like performance. The algorithm seems to work pretty well.

    If you already have Windows 10 installed, and your motherboard is NOT configured already for Optane you will have to re-install windows!

  • Coincidence. I was looking at the 16GB version for $22 on Joybuy today.


  • Intel has been flogging this crap for ages and no-one is buying.

    Intel has promoted a lot of crap technology over the years that went nowhere.

  • This kind of technology feels like it is for non ssd users who may want a very tiny amount of their data quickly accessed like maybe an OS but surely 32gb is not enough for an OS and then maybe some other files or programs?

    • you can get bigger than 32gb but the price of 250gb and 500gb is low enough that people have moved on…..

      we might see the concept come up again in newer mother boards and architectures that make it faster than sata ssd for people looking at new MBs but want to keep old ssd sata drives due to,investment.

      i wouldn’t ditch my 1 tb ssd if i got. new MB but i would consider adding some cache if i got a performance or durability boost

  • I have a ASUS Maximus VII Ranger (which currently has a free M2 slot) and a Core i7 4790K. But from what I gather, this won't work on my PC, as the CPU isn't Kaby Lake or newer. Is that the correct assumption here?

  • Actually went to buy one of these the other day…. NOTE: I THINK The cheap version as linked above has a longer length (~110mm) compared to the standard 80mm. The 80mm which I assume is the new m2 standard is ~90 from Kogan, and umart etc.

    • I believe there is only a size physical size for Optane Memory modules. Should all be 80mm.

  • Notes:

    1) Will only work with Kaby Lake or newer (and even then there's motherboard restrictions - the SATA port and the M.2 port both have to come from the Intel controller)
    2) Will only accelerate SATA drives (not if you have have 2 M.2 ports and want to accelerate one with another)
    3) Tricky to configure and you will likely need to re-install Windows (has to be UEFI, GPT, motherboard configured correctly before Windows was installed)
    4) Works wonders with HDDs. Very little performance boost over modern SSD
    5) Not sure what happens if there is a device failure (Optane, the HDD, or the motherboard) - they get linked together so things may get messy if you move devices (for recovery for example) without properly unlinking them first
    6) Can only accelerate 1 drive (not too much of an issue)
    7) My personal opinion is that the 'Optane Memory' thing is dead tech so definitely don't pay RRP for it. It's a nice idea but low adoption I think will mean it won't be continued in this format.



  • Best way to accelerate a machine where the user isn't smart enough to manage data over 2 drives..

    Whack in a 2TB disk and a 32GB Optane SSD, OS and Apps are fast and the user still only sees a single drive.

  • so this is expired now and i cant use it on anything pre kaby ….