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Intel Optane SSD is superfast and works as extra RAM
November 6, 2017, 3:23 pm

The new Optane SSD from Intel is finally coming to regular PCs with the Optane SSD 900P. The new drives are superfast, with Intel claiming sequential read speeds up to 2,500 MB/s and sequential write speeds at up to 2,000 MB/s.

If you have not been keeping up with all the latest and greatest in solid-state hard drive (SSD) technology, Optane is Intel’s branding for products that use the company’s 3D XPoint memory, which it claims offers denser storage than DRAM, while still being dramatically faster than a traditional NAND SSD. In other words: it is trying to bridge the gap between the high-speed but low-capacity flash memory your computer uses for RAM, and the high-capacity, but relatively low speed, memory used in SSDs.

Intel says that its Optane chips are so fast they can actually complement the RAM already in your computer for a single, giant pool of memory, and at a dramatically lower cost than, say, buying a couple hundred gigabytes of DRAM.

Intel released smaller M.2 Optane Memory sticks in 16GB and 32GB capacities earlier this year, designed to complement an existing hard drive and offer SSD-like speeds on older platforms. But for a full 3D XPoint-powered SSD, the offerings until now were limited to the Optane DC P4800X, a $1,520 SSD designed primarily for server and enterprise use, not speeding up your gaming PC.

The Optane SSD 900P will be available in two storage capacities: a 280GB model, available in either U.2 or HHL form factor, for $389, and a 480GB version, which only comes in HHL, for $599.

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