Intel Optane Memory 32GB Review
Okay there are a few caveats when it comes to which setup and scenario the Intel Optane Memory can shine the brightest, but if we are simply looking at whether it does its job when paired with the right hardware then it is an undeniable yes. Outstanding. Amazing.
The initial influx of SSDs came with a hefty price tag which meant that, for a lot of people, the idea of replacing our much loved mechanical drives was one that was financially unviable. Most of us ran a small SSD for our OS and used a fat HDD as our data drive, holding our games and photos and the like. As the price of SSDs fell they just about reached a point when we could own 480GB drives and, if we were a little flush with cash, even maybe a 1TB drive. Of course no sooner was that state of affairs reached when the next item on the wishlist appeared in the form of the NVMe M.2 drives. These continue to blow our minds with their performance, but much like the early days of SATA SSDs the pricing is still prohibitive. Sure if you own a company you can easily afford one, but for humble writers and the like they would take a year or so to save up for. So how do we manage to get the speeds of those impressive M.2 drives without requiring living on beans and toast for the foreseeable future?
Enter the Intel Optane Memory 32GB.
If you've been wondering how you'll ever afford a large enough Solid State Drive to let you bin off that mechanical which sits humming away in your case, vibrating the side panels all the time, then the Intel Optane clearly is the perfect stop gap. It is simple to install, requiring just plugging into your M.2 socket and a very quick software setup. Removing it is equally simply done just by reversing that process, detaching it from whichever drive it's currently holding information and removing the hardware. A glance at our graphs shows the benefits you will get. It absolutely transforms both our HDD and SSD into something capable of the speeds of Intels own 905P or even the flagship Samsung 970 Evo.
For those paying attention that is a slow 10TB HDD upgraded to be running at enthusiast M.2 transfer rates for a mere £53 addition of hardware. It doesn't require transferring your data over to a new drive. It doesn't take more than 5 minutes to be up and running. Did we mention it's £53? If you play those online games that has a lot of loading back to menus in between brief bits of gaming intensity then the Optane is such a game changer you'll wonder how you lived without it.
Caveat time. This only works on the 8th Generation of Intel CPUs and their attendant x3xx motherboards. So you've already got to be supremely up to date to make any use of the Optane technology, much less make the best use. This is a bit of a shame as it would be perfect for breathing life into your wheezy old computer or laptop, but it doesn't work on wheezy old ones. However, if you've upgraded your internals but are clinging lovingly to your old storage drives and can't afford a modern M.2 drive then this will give you the performance as if you have on things you use the most, with none of the eye-watering, sleeping on the sofa for a month, price tag. Talking about eyes, it could have done with being black, blue just isnt in keeping with an enthusiast part now is it...?