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Optane Performance


Hi All,

At the risk of preaching to the choir...

I've read good reports about Optane memory and I've read a few that suggested it wasn't everything Intel was saying it was. I've read reviews at e-stores that were positive. Some e-store reviews were less than glowing and in practically every case the individual failed to properly read and execute installation instructions or they failed to understand what Optane memory was designed to do.

My extremely simplistic understanding is that Optane memory integrates with your large capacity disk hard drive to give it increased performance similar to a solid state drive at a reduced price. To illustrate this point I downloaded a few drive benchmarks and ran them on my system. I have two identical Western Digital Black SATA III 6Gb/s hard drives. One is integrated with my Optane module and the other is for storage/backup. Nothing scientific or highly technical here; just a couple of benchmarks ran in default mode. See attachments for details.

I think these results indicate that Optane does exactly what it's supposed to do.

Thanks, Intel, for a great product.


My system: i7-7700 on a Gigabyte GA-Z270-HDP3, 16Gb G.Skill DDR4 3200 memory and the two WD HDs.

1 Reply

My personal experience.

So after building my Kabylake Core i3 7100 system, I got everything ready to enable Optane Memory but did not enable it. I just wanted to see the difference. I used the Seagate 2TB HDD for a while. It's not a SSHD.

This post isn't about how much it made my system boot faster or my games/applications load faster. I just want to show you a very interesting scenario why fast storage can make a difference.

Seagate 2TB 7200RPM drive only: There's a flash game I play that takes immense CPU usage in Firefox. CPU utilization goes to 90%+ when the game is playing and it takes ages to load. It makes you question how uncaring the game developer is regarding performance but that's not the point.

You'd think 90%+ CPU usage means its hopeless. However I remembered that on my Core i7 3517U Ultrabook that it wasn't that slow, and it also had Windows 10 installed. I immediately thought it was maybe due to the slow storage and its causing lot of stalled operations on the CPU. Also, Firefox sucks just for this game and Chrome performs better. I normally used Chrome on my laptop. The problem is I have compatibility problems on Chrome. Some servers don't load properly.

Enter Optane Memory. With it enabled, it reduces CPU utilization to less than 15%. That's right. CPU utilization graphs are misleading. My CPU was executing stalled instructions, because the drive was too slow for that game on Firefox. It's still slower than Chrome, but its much faster. It doesn't stop other programs in the background. The reason I suspected CPU stalled instructions likely due to slow I/O is because I read this short while ago: CPU Utilization is Wrong