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Author Topic: Intel Claims Its Magical New Memory Will Speed Your Computer Up for Cheap  (Read 1498 times)

Bowdon

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http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/03/intel-claims-its-magical-new-memory-will-speed-your-computer-up-for-cheap/

Quote
For a decade now, one of the biggest factors in choosing a computer has been the choice between traditional hard drive and solid state drive. The former is cheap, bulky, and slow. The latter is expensive, light, and fast. There has been zero middle ground. You’ve had to compromise between price and speed. But Intel’s hoping to eradicate that compromise with its new Intel Optane Memory. According to Intel, installing this single memory stick in your computer could supercharge even the slowest hard drive and give you the SSD’s best feature: speed.

Let’s do a quick refresher on what the hell computer memory is to begin with. Random Access Memory (RAM) is one part of a computer’s speed equation. DRAM—those sticks of memory you pop in your computer—stores regularly addressed information and feeds it to the processor. More memory means more data stored means a faster computer. But RAM only stores info as long as the program is open, and it is volatile—which means it forgets everything as soon as you power the computer off. That means it can’t learn your habits to speed up the launch of programs you use the most and it will never affect how quickly your computer boots up.

Non-volatile memory—like the NAND memory at the heart of solid state drives, your iPhone, and any other storage device that doesn’t have a bunch of moving parts in the hard drive—remembers everything when the computer is powered off. Only it’s much slower, and much more expensive. So it’s great for storing all your music photos, and even your operating system, but it is impossible to use in the traditional “computer memory” mode. You’ll never use NAND memory as you would DRAM.

What do you guys think of this? I just noticed someone posted the article on a forum I go to. It sounds interesting. I've never heard of it before. But then I'm not as up to date on hardware as I used to be.

It sounds interesting. Whether it will speed up computers? I'm not sure. What do you guys think?
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HPsauce

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Just sounds like an external cache.  :-X
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Chrysalis

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Its a bit of marketing drivel to justify buying a small drive.

Optane is faster than NAND and has more endurance, but its also very expensive.  Intel have released 2 variants at consumer price points but they are aware they cannot be sold as typical flash storage drives as they so small in capacity so are selling them as caching devices.

In their current forms I think its simply better to spend the money on a ssd.  A typical home user is unlikely to notice the difference between an optane drive and a ssd.  Low end ssd's can be brought for comparable prices but have higher capacities.
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parkdale

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It's the 'Emperors new clothes again'  :lol:... did'nt MSI bundle a "free ssd" to use as a cache drive on some motherboards, to beef up access times from traditional spinning h/d's.
mmmm let me think now....  ::) they were Intel drives as well ;)
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Weaver

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This is readyboost again? Wasn't that what it was called? Vista had a caching module in it for handling a side cache of flash on a stick. And I think you could 'pin' certain read-only files (practically this would mean executables) so that it would use duplicate copies off the flash in preference to the masters on the HD and take them out of the boot process. It worked really well in certain special circumstances for speeding up the boot process as I remember but only if the flash was extremely fast, and most of it wasn't, so a lot of the time it didn't do much at all. I certainly tried it but found it very difficult to get hold of sufficiently high quality sticks back then in the ancient times. The other problem was that optimising placement of files on the HD for boot fetch sequence friendliness removed a lot of the seek time and without that the sequential read rate of decent hard disks was a bit too good back then. It might have been better perhaps with laptops, as their hard disks used to be a bit less performance for various reasons and also flash was good for power saving too. There was even talk of hybrid drives and flash on boards, iirc.
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ejs

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The concept sounds similar to what Intel tried before (with flash memory on motherboards):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Turbo_Memory
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Chrysalis

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on the flip side these are been considered game changers for enterprise use.

375gig variant for a few thousand dollars, much cheaper than 375 gig of ram and because its persistent it will be a game changer for things like heavy database usage, since caching to ram without writing to persistent storage frequently is too risky, but as these are persistent they can be used for significant performance boosts.
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