Learn how Intel Optane Memory can be used to balance performance, cost, and storage capacity to differentiate your desktop product lineup by offering your customers storage options that include a good, better, and best configuration choice.

The implementation of the newest technologies and the creation of various service programs are the key elements to differentiating your business and your brand. They create a value proposition or heritage of the way you do business that make your company unique, but adding value to desktop products can be very challenging, particularly when competing against name brands that can sacrifice margin for high volume. While these companies possess the advantages of lower pricing, name recognition, and availability everywhere, they have distinct disadvantages when it comes to how quickly they can deploy computers that use the latest technologies and offer the best price/performance value. Therefore, for resellers that offer their own brand of PC, utilizing technology is a critical factor to differentiating their systems, earning new business and expanding their customer base.

As the clear winner in the slowest device in your PC and the biggest bottleneck to performance, storage has been an area of the greatest need for improvement, that is until the introduction of solid state drives. These products which offer overwhelmingly better performance, significantly lower power consumption, greater potential for larger storage capacity, more flexibility for use on different storage form factors, and are drastically more durable as well as reliable, are changing the landscape of storage used in compute devices. But with all these advantages, SSDs have had a difficult time gaining traction in the desktop market mainly because of the high cost associated with these devices which can be 10x higher than hard disk drives. This doesn’t mean that SSDs aren’t a great choice for some users, but for most people the price per gigabyte difference between HDD and SSD is still simply too large. This has left resellers with only being able to offer their clients the choice of a “good” storage option based on hard disk drives or a “best” storage option based on SSD, until now.

Enter Intel’s Optane Memory module which is a revolutionary class of memory that bridges the gap between DRAM and storage to boost the overall performance of your PC. Intel Optane memory is based on Intel’s 3D Xpoint technology which is a nonvolatile memory and acts as a cache for the hard drive. Cache is not a new concept but Optane memory offers several advantages over traditional cache technologies. Mainly previous cache technologies proved to have too small of capacity, the memory was volatile and extremely costly. Intel Optane memory is a four lane M.2 PCIe 3.0 connection that utilizes 3D Xpoint memory Technology which is 10X faster than traditional NAND and is 10X denser than DRAM. When Intel Optane memory is paired with an HDD the storage performance is improved by 14x.

With overall system performance increasing over 28%, implementing Intel Optane memory with a hard drive solves several problems. First, it gives customers near SSD performance while maintaining the large storage capacity delivered by hard drives all without dramatically increasing the cost. Second, it allows resellers to differentiate their computer from the name brand products which can’t adopt the configuration option as quickly. Third, Intel Optane Memory does not suffer from the same shortage or product constraints that are associated with SSD so the solution is readily available.

Now, there is an important factor to consider when implementing Intel Optane Memory and that is that your system must support the new technology. But, since we are addressing product differentiation it should be no surprise that the main benefit would be for new desktop computers although there is the potential for upgrades as long as the PC meets the system requirements. The main factor to consider is that the motherboard must use an Intel 200 series chipset and that it has an M.2 slot which should not be an issue for boards that use this particular chipset. In addition, you’ll need an Intel 7th Generation or newer Intel Core processor, Intel Rapid Storage Technology 15.5 or newer and Windows 10 64 bit. Any desktop that meets these requirements can benefit from the combination of Intel Optane Memory paired with a hard drive.

With this, resellers can effectively deploy a good, better, best configuration strategy for storage solutions and further differentiate their brand as well as provide their customers with a superior price/performance value.