Intel® Optane™ Persistent Memory
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Will the OS ever be installable on a persistent DIMM

DeckerdSmeckerd
616 Views

I am an average consumer. Server technology is not a part of my life. I do think it would be interesting if there was a way for normal consumers to take advantage of this technology.

I would like to pop into Best Buy or Amazon and buy a DIMM that has my operating system already on it. I use Windows 10 home but I would consider a different version. The DIMM would be large enough to have Windows on it + working memory (maybe it can also use DRAM for things that doesn't need to be persistent) + some extra memory for future updates. Maybe 48GB or 64 GB? The smaller the better to make it cost less.

Granted, most users might not want to pay the extra cost and if it cost too much more, I might not either. It might be worth it though if it added security too. e.g. Only the operating system could access the DIMM, enforced at the bios level or whatever makes sense, making it immune to any interference.

So I go into bios and a choose this DIMM as my boot drive and it is locked to everything else. Or, I choose the DIMM to install my OS and after the install, it is the same result.

After all this, the OS is right next to the CPU and has a direct link to it. Now if it had a direct link to the motherboard chip, both chips could interface with it directly. Maybe simultaneously.

Maybe there should be a special DIMM slot for the OS. Then, as long as the computer can restore itself to a stable state after a power failure, which probably loses the information(electricity) between the persistent memory and the hardware and what is currently inside all the chips, I could just turn the power off and on and the computer would function normally and come right back up. So... some sort of buffer made with persistent memory that holds the instructions that are on the "wire" that gets flushed whenever it gets a "completed message". Maybe that would be slow.

Who knows, I am not a computer chip architect. But, it would be cool if I could buy my OS on a DIMM and just put it in. Any chance of something like this?

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1 Solution
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
591 Views

For an overview, try this definition: https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/storage-vs-memory.

Persistent Memory - Intel's Optane Memory, for example - allows *very* large amounts of data to be held in memory - and even across power failures or system crashes - and avoids the high (time) cost for reading from and and writing to storage media. Here is Intel's introduction to this technology: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/optane-dc-persistent-memory.html.

Hope this helps (lots to read),

...S

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n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
609 Views

I am not sure I see any advantage (at least at this time) to this being a Persistent DIMM. Why not simply make this a M.2 NVMe SSD? It comes with a Windows 10 installation image on it that expands into the remainder of the storage in the SSD as it completes.

...S

DeckerdSmeckerd
600 Views

That is what I will look into doing. Thank you Scott. Maybe I just fundamentally don't understand what use the DIMM is and why it would be good for a consumer like me. Maybe there isn't a good use for them for regular consumers and that is why they don't make them for us. I guess we can already hibernate the computer if we are turning it off on purpose and a battery backup solves the power loss problem.

 

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
592 Views

For an overview, try this definition: https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/storage-vs-memory.

Persistent Memory - Intel's Optane Memory, for example - allows *very* large amounts of data to be held in memory - and even across power failures or system crashes - and avoids the high (time) cost for reading from and and writing to storage media. Here is Intel's introduction to this technology: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/optane-dc-persistent-memory.html.

Hope this helps (lots to read),

...S

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