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Intel Optane Memory 32GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 24, 2017 4:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 100%Manufacturer: Intel

Jon's Consumer PCIe SSD Intel Z270 Review Test System - Specifications

 

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We want to give Corsair many thanks for providing the awesome white colored memory kit for our test system. As you can see, it complements the ASRock Taichi motherboard's color scheme quite nicely.

 

 

 

Test system provided by Intel - Specifications

 

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  • Motherboard: ASUS PRIME B250-PRO
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7500
  • Cooler: Intel inbox air cooler
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 - 2400
  • Video Card: Onboard Video
  • Case: InWin Mid-Tower
  • Power Supply: 550 Watt Modular
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit

 

We would like to thank ASRock, Crucial, Intel, Corsair, RamCity, IN WIN, and Seasonic for making our test system possible.

 

 

System settings: Cstates and Speed stepping are both disabled in our systems BIOS. Windows High-Performance power plan is enabled. Windows write caching is enabled, and Windows buffer flushing is disabled. We are utilizing Windows 10 Pro 64-bit OS (Build 14393) for all of our testing except for our MOP (Maxed-Out Performance) benchmarks where we switch to Windows Server 2012 R2 64-bit.

 

Intel sent along some benchmarks to test Optane Memory's responsiveness when launching programs and web browsers. We are not going to run those because we don't feel that those benchmarks show us anything meaningful than cannot be discerned adequately from our typical benchmarks. Intel's Optane Memory module is the most responsive SSD we've ever tested, and we feel that our testing will demonstrate this better than any of those types of tests will. We firmly believe that the ultimate evaluation for any storage device the user experience we get while running the device as our OS disk and that's one of the ways we will be testing Optane Memory today.

 

 

Enabling Optane Memory

 

Step one for enabling Optane memory is to download the latest Intel RST Driver with Optane Memory support. You can grab it here.

 

We are using Optane Memory to accelerate a 1TB WD Black mechanical HDD for low-cost, high-capacity storage and amazing system responsiveness.

 

After installing, open the Optane Memory control panel.

 

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Click "Enable."

 

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Click "Yes."

 

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The Optane software begins the two-step process of enabling Optane Memory as a caching device for our mechanical HDD.

 

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A restart is required after enabling Optane Memory.

 

 

Boot Speed (Restart to Desktop) - Videos

 

1TB WD Black mechanical HDD without Optane Memory on the system provided by Intel:

 

Restart time to desktop = 50 seconds. You can take the kids to school in the time it takes to boot a mechanical HDD.

 

1TB WD Black mechanical HDD + Optane Memory on the system provided by Intel:

 

Restart time to desktop = 14 seconds. Blazing fast with Optane Memory + HDD.

 

Optane Memory running as our OS Disk on TweakTown's Z270 SSD testing system:

 

Restart time to desktop = 10.5 seconds. Warp speed, Mr. Sulu.

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