What is “Intel Optane,” and should one even consider purchasing it? This comprehensive guide will explain the benefits of Intel Optane and help you choose whether or not you require its use.
Intel Optane is a proprietary technology developed by Intel that improves the speed of hard disc drives (HDDs) by storing critical information and using both the CPU and NVM storage.
Over the past decade, every aspect of PC technology has dramatically shifted in the landscape. In addition, central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) usually take up most of the attention. Still, we can’t ignore the fact that storage solutions have also evolved and improved significantly over the past few years.
It’s possible that hard disc drives were the sole feasible option for long-term storage in desktop computers. Still, solid-state drives started pushing them back swiftly when they hit the general market, and they are more accessible now than ever before.
Despite this, there is yet another brand in the storage industry that is frequently disregarded in modern times: Intel Optane. So, what exactly is this technology, what does it do, and should a gamer in 2023 consider purchasing it for their computer?
Please continue reading so that we can provide an answer to that question!
What Exactly Is Intel Optane, Anyway?
Let’s begin with the fundamental question: what exactly is Intel Optane?
In a nutshell, it is a proprietary technology that was first announced by Intel in 2017 and was formerly known as 3D XPoint before being renamed Optane. Its primary objective was to bridge the gap between hard disc drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs).
And how exactly was it going to do that?
Optane, in its most basic form, makes use of the combination of the central processing unit (CPU) and non-volatile memory (NVM) to improve the performance of your hard disc drive (HDD) and optimize your user experience. It does this by keeping track of the files and functions you use most frequently.
Optane may be considered an extended cache that your hard disc drive (HDD) uses. It uses fast memory chips to store vital data that you would need to access quickly, and it does so much more rapidly than the HDD itself can. The final result is that you get the high capacity and low cost of an HDD along with the rapid speeds of an SSD. This is the best of both worlds.
Will Optane Still Be Beneficial In 2023?
If you’re currently putting together a personal gaming computer, you’ll find yourself wondering whether or not it’s worthwhile to invest in Intel Optane.
Optane is a good bridge between hard disc drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs), as noted above; nevertheless, in 2023, gamers do not find it as enticing. Why? The fact that solid-state drives (SSDs) are now far more available than in the past was one of the reasons we discussed in the introduction.
The difference in cost per gigabyte between solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disc drives (HDDs) was far more significant when Intel Optane was initially introduced to the market than it is now. If you wanted to buy a brand-new solid-state drive (SSD) for your gaming rig, you had two options: either you spent a significant amount of money on a high-capacity SSD, or you purchased a smaller SSD for a more reasonable price point and used an HDD to store the majority of your data. Naturally, buying a high-capacity SSD was the more expensive option.
Consequently, many different gaming systems included hybrid storage, meaning that low-capacity SSDs were used for games and other frequently used data. In contrast, higher-capacity HDDs were used for everything else. That being said, it is not hard to understand why people could have been interested in Optane back then; but, given that you can get an SSD with one terabyte of storage for close to one hundred dollars now, it has become mostly irrelevant in a short amount of time.
On the other hand, when we refer to gaming computers as being “obsolete,” we mean this in a definite sense. Optane is still tempting for servers and workstations because combining Optane and an HDD can still be more cost-efficient for meeting these devices’ storage and performance requirements. However, there are still niches that need to be filled by Optane.
And with that, we will get to the conclusion of this essay. When it comes to storage for gaming PCs, the SSD is still the undisputed champion, even though Optane is not even close to being extinct. Unfortunately, despite this, its importance in gaming has tragically been short-lived.
With the preceding information in mind, if you are considering increasing the amount of storage space on your personal computer, we recommend that you take a look at our purchasing guides for solid-state drives (SSD) and hard disc drives (HDD), as they are sure to contain at least one product that is suitable for your requirements. And if portability is a priority for you, then an external solid-state drive (SSD) or external hard disc drive (HDD) would be a better option!