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Intel is discontinuing its 'Core+' CPU/Optane desktop bundles

By midian182 · 10 replies
Jan 16, 2019
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  1. Intel announced Core+ back in April last year. The packages include both the company’s standard Coffee Lake processors and a 16GB Optane Memory stick, which can speed up systems by storing commonly used data in a memory cache so it can be accessed faster. The company says that when Optane is paired with a hard disk (it can also be paired with an SSD), games load up to 4.7 times faster and media loads up to 1.7 times quicker than when using a hard drive alone.

    In its product change notification, spotted by Tom’s Hardware, Intel announced the discontinuation of the Core i7+8700, i5+8400, and i5+8500 models by September 30, assuming supplies are still available. Delivery of orders must be taken no later than December 27. These represent all of the desktop Core+ line.

    Several factors are likely to have contributed to the brand’s demise. In addition to there being little to no savings compared to buying a CPU and Optane Memory separately, NAND prices are continuing to fall, meaning the cost of SSDs has been going down over the last couple of years.

    Back in July, Micron announced it intended to buy Intel’s stake in IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between the two companies. IM Flash is the only producer of 3D XPoint memory, which Intel calls Optane. On Monday, Micron said it would exercise its right to buy out its partner.

    Speaking about Micron’s decision, Intel said: “This was expected and has been part of our planning for some time now.”

    While Optane hasn’t been the success Intel was hoping for, it seems the technology isn’t going away completely. “We have a number of manufacturing options available to us and have been shipping a broad portfolio of Intel Optane technology products for more than a year. We’ll continue to expand our product line and lead the industry with this exciting, new technology,” a spokesperson said, in a statement to PC World.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Wessell Urdata

    Wessell Urdata TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +38

    TechMonger likes this.
  3. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 641   +319

    Well, that was short-lived. Glad to see the market didn't fall for this: OEMs were advertising Optane as system memory (giving you less RAM) or putting this instead of an SSD that can also allocate some space as cache.
    Evernessince and texasrattler like this.
  4. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 571   +204

    that was its biggest issue. most customers not even knowing that the system memory was 8 but stores like Sams Club constantly saying computers come 24gb of memory which is incorrect. 16gb was just optane.

    as far as I know this issue still exists. at least it was in Nov.
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,657   +2,976

    Good. Adding a " +" to the end of the CPU made it seem like the CPU was better when in fact the system simply included optane. Why they could make that marketable is beyond me.
  6. TechMonger

    TechMonger TS Rookie

    As it is not difficult to determine actual RAM, while such typical deception sucks, it doesn't mean that therefore that these "+" should be eliminated, does it? If they are defective, that's another matter. The two I tried out at a store were pretty amazing, and seemingly not costing extra for that 'bump'!
  7. TechMonger

    TechMonger TS Rookie

    Why not, when in fact simply including optane seems to be a big, well, plus! Or am I missing something here...
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,657   +2,976

    Other then the fact that Optane has nothing to do with the CPU? Clearly it's not that big of a plus if they are discontinuing it.

    Yes next time I'm going to call my monitor 4K++ because the graphics card makes it better XD. Both situations make just as much sense.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    Wessell Urdata likes this.
  9. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 641   +319

    I'm celebrating that the market didn't fall for the sale tactic, not that I care about the "+" line. It is not difficult to determine if you actually look for it and not what the paper with the price at the store says or at the manufacturer online store.

    Now, have you tried a system with an NVMe SSD as boot drive or even a regular SATA SSD as system cache for comparison purposes? "Pretty amazing" without reference sounds like the experience when using any SSD as boot drive or system cache.
  10. Bpsti

    Bpsti TS Rookie Posts: 18   +7

    Honestly the real interesting use case for optane is the DDR optane not the SSD stuff. Part of the sales pitch was being able to build systems with way more ram at much cheaper prices using a tiered approach. Say 16gb of ddr4, 32gb of optane ddr and a nvme SSD. The optane ddr is nearly as fast as "real" ddr but is persistent, cheaper (supposedly) and lower power. I still hope to see something like that at some point.

    I think we will need to move to a hybrid approach at some point to feed integrated GPUs. A motherboard with room for a stick of GDDR5, DDR4 and optane (or similar) would be an interesting design.
  11. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,657   +2,976

    The only problem with that is system that use integrated GPUs typically don't have the budget to include an additional tier of storage / Cache. I can see it being useful in ultra thin laptops for professionals that need a ton of RAM but then again with that kind of budget you might as well just add more RAM to the system.

    I've personally yet to see any article explaining the performance benefit other then accelerating games off HDDs. Maybe someone can post some additional uses for this cache drive but in my own work I don't see a use currently.

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