Just a moment ago I was shown a small "+" on an Intel sticker that adorned a laptop supported by the latest Gen 8 CPU. Plus value means that the computer uses Optane Intel memory.
Chipzilla promises that adding Optane memory to your 8th generation i5, i7 or i9 Intel CPU will let you enjoy a faster, smoother and extraordinarily responsive computing experience. But is that really true?
Simply put, Optane is non-volatile memory (it doesn't forget things when you turn it off) which functions like a small solid-state drive. When paired with your traditional hard drive, the Optane module acts as a cache, which indirectly improves the performance of traditional hard drives to approach SSD speeds.
Does that sound too good to be true? Yes, that's what I thought too.
Intel lent me an HP Pavilion-equipped Optane Gaming Laptop to test this mysterious technology.
For gaming laptops, the Pavilion 15-cx0154TX looks more like being in a meeting room than in a LAN party.
Specifications, an i7-8750H runs at 2.2GHz quant and the GeForce GTX 1050 ho-hum will hardly get the juice of a gamer to flow.
Test the laptop with 3D Mark collecting very sad results so I won't even publish it. I will only say, they are bad.
Laptop gaming skills are not the reason why Intel lent me that. It's all about that little "+" after the i7 was written on an Intel sticker that adorned the keyboard. While the laptop has a GTX 1050 that is less impressive than powering visually, it also has an Optane in it.
This laptop is equipped with a traditional 1TB 7200rpm hard drive installed. Somewhere in this run-of-the-mill HDD guts work together with Intel Optane memory sticks.
Optan memory is very similar to a solid-state drive. It even comes in the form factor M.2 for the use of a desktop PC. Using Intel Rapid Storage Technology, Optane memory is paired with a hard drive, so that only the hard drive appears in the file system, Optane memory which only acts as a cache.
For laptops, this technology allows users to enjoy SSD speeds from a single HDD and 2.5 "capacity. Desktop users who do not have the same control of hard drive accommodation as a laptop may not consider Optane important, but it is still a good way to provide 3TB Barracuda in case your PC increases the speed very large.
How much encouragement, hmm?
Now, using Crystal DiskMark, FutureFive 420.7 (Read) SSD PC gaming score and 371.1MB / dt on the 1GB Seq Q32T1 test. 3GB Seagate Barracuda produces 185MB / s writing speed.
The HP 1TB laptop hard drive is a fairly ordinary Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 7200 RPM drive, plus Intel Optane. Using the same Crystal DiskMark test, the Optone-enhanced HP Pavilion HDD scored a whopping 926.8 MB / s.
The write speed of 150.9MB / s is consistent with regular hard drives, indicating that Optane's performance advantage is in reading cache data and not writing it to the HDD.
It doubles the read speed of solid-state drives and is five times faster than the Seagate Barracuda which is fast enough. This is an impressive increase in speed. But keep in mind, the Optane module only caches the most commonly used files, making it more suitable for operating system drives than drives to be accessed for random data.
While I can really recommend the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop, the machine really shows the power of Intel's Optane technology. Providing drive access performance doubles the speed of the SSD and is more than four times faster than a normal HDD, Optane is the recommended boost for your next laptop.