First Optane storage announced at CES in the low form of 16 GB and 32GB units to be used as cache, not primarily storage. It is anticipated that Optanes will gradually grow in densities and capacities over the next few years.
3D Xpoint is the technology that bases Optane. Memory cells sit in three-dimensional mesh. Intel and Micron cooperated together on the development of the technology. The first 16G and 32 GB storage will work only on PCs with Kaby Lake chips. New Optanes are exclusive to Kaby Lake and will not on PCs with older Intel chips like Skylake or Broadwell or on PCs with AMD chips.
Intel will eventually ship large-capacity Optane SSDs, replacing conventional SSDs and DRAM. Optane will also ship as a DRAM replacement that could plug into DIMM slots. Optane memory will be denser and retain data in comparison to DRAM, which deletes data once a PC is turned off. Intel claims Optane could be up to 10 times faster than conventional SSDs, making gaming, PC booting and productivity applications much much faster. However, no real world tests have been completed as of yet.
The large-capacity Optane SSDs will most likely be installed in servers before coming PCs. Facebook and IBM are already testing large-capacity SSDs in servers. Low-capacity Optane storage will ship in the second quarter of this year. The storage will initially go into sockets on motherboards. Eventually large capacity Optane storage will plug into m.2 slots or 2.5-inch slots.
3 Laptops that will have Optane
Lenovo’s ThinkPad T570 $909. Will have optional 16 GB PCle M.2 2242-S3 and is available in March even if Optane comes later.
HP’s new and improved Envy Curved All-in-One 34 with Kaby Lake. Will get Optane when updated in spring, and that is all the details we get.
Dell plans to install Optane in some of its Precision laptops and OptiPlex desktops around June. Intel’s new “tall” NUC systems — the NUC7i3BNH with 7th Generation Core i3, NUC7i5BNH with Core i5, and the NUC7i7BNH with Core i7 — will support Optane.
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