Intel's Optane memory may not be compatible with Kaby Lake Pentium or Celeron CPUs

William Gayde

Posts: 375   +5
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Intel's new Optane memory promises to help speed up traditional hard drives to near SSD speeds, but it won't be compatible with lower-end Kaby Lake processors. According to the official product requirements page, Optane only works with 7th generation Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs. This is surprising since Optane is partly aimed at the budget conscious consumers who want SSD-like speeds without the high cost associated with SSDs.

Optane works by creating a bridge between fast DRAM and high capacity spinning hard drives which results in faster boot times, game launch times, and a generally more responsive system. It was positioned as a huge speed increase for low-end systems, but it turns out you'll need a new and relatively high end system to use the technology.

The cheapest compatible CPU is the Core i3-7100 which costs around $120. Compared to an unsupported Pentium G4620 build with a 480GB SSD, upgrading to a barebones Optane setup costs nearly the same amount. The i3 is slightly faster and the 16GB Optane module paired with a 1TB HDD would give a larger capacity of high speed storage, but this is still a hard sell for Intel to make.

Intel's decision to only allow Core series processors is a bit counter intuitive. As the platform becomes more mature though, we'll see if the caching software and performance boost is enough to entice the next generation of budget PC builders. Of course, this could just be a marketing error on Intel's part and in that case, everyone would be happy.

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With all of the "exclusive" stuff I've been hearing with Intel, I wouldn't be surprised if this limitation was software, and not hardware based.
Nothing new here. Intel's said from the start that Optane will require a 7th Gen I-series processor.

Celeron and Pentium processors have never has RST(Rapid Storage Technology) which is required to manage the cache.
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With all of the "exclusive" stuff I've been hearing with Intel, I wouldn't be surprised if this limitation was software, and not hardware based.
It's hardware. Intel has a firmware feature called RST that's used to manage data between drives without needing the CPU to spend tons of performance managing it.

Celeron and Pentium CPUs don't have the hardware bits that interface with the RST firmware on your motherboard.
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General Sam

Posts: 63   +14
SSDs are expensive? £90 for a 250GB too much?? (

I don't see the need for this Intel product unless it costs £10 or something which I'm doubting it will. If you need SSD speeds, surely you should be investing in one?


Posts: 65   +7
LOL! but people are complaining about ryzen 1800x. this is the blunder that intel is known for. RUSHING!!!