Report: First Intel 3D XPoint products coming to the desktop

— 10:09 AM on October 17, 2016

Rumor mill claims to have new information about the first round of 3D XPoint "Optane" storage products for the consumer and enthusiast space. According to Benchlife's source, Intel will roll out its Optane Memory 8000p series devices in 16GB and 32GB capacities. Optane is not intended to be primary storage—Intel presents their NAND flash alternative as a sort of intermediary between system memory and storage.

As is the case with flash memory, the higher capacity model offers additional performance, as shown in the table below. Read performance is five to 10% faster on the larger model, and write performance of the 32GB model is about 70% faster than its little brother's. Benchlife says that these initial consumer Optane products will communicate over two lanes of PCIe 3.0 and will come in M.2 2241 and 2280 physical packages.

Specification (Unit) Intel Optane 8000p 16GB Intel Optane 8000p 32GB
Random 4KB Read (up to) (IOPS) 285,000 300,000
Random 4KB Write (up to) (IOPS) 70,000 120,000
Sequential 128KB Read (MBps) 1,400 1,600
Sequential 128KB Write (MBps) 300 500

Those who've been looking for a reason to drop their crusty old Sandy Bridge chips and upgrade to something new might finally have a reason. Benchlife reports that Optane will require Kaby Lake or newer Intel CPUs. Intel will reportedly will be more open-armed with respect to operating systems—64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 will all be supported.

Optane is Intel's trade name for the product of its joint venture with Micron for the production of 3D XPoint non-volatile memory technology. The companies say 3D XPoint will offer a generational leap of non-volatile memory that is denser than DRAM. Compared to NAND flash, 3D XPoint is said to offer substantially higher write endurance and performance potential. TechPowerUp expects Intel 8000p devices to ship before the end of the year.

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