Intel Optane Memory H10 Integration Requirements

Intel Optane Memory H10 combines two technologies, Intel Optane Memory which is a 3D Xpoint caching technology with an Intel 660P SSD which is a storage solution using QLC 3D NAND. These two products are fused together on one M.2 PCIe x4 (M-Key) module where the device bifurcates the PCIe x 4 lane into two PCIe x 2 lanes.

Intel-OMH101

Integrating the technology into a PC requires expertise and knowledge so it is not intended to be sold as a standalone add on or aftermarket upgrade. It should only be integrated by VARs after reviewing the detailed information provided by ASI. Proper integration requires an Intel approved chipset, a motherboard with a PCIex4  Gen 3 M.2 slot, the correct motherboard BIOS, and the correct setup of the proper Intel RST driver.

It’s important to note that having a board with a compatible chipset does not mean that the motherboard manufacturer has created the proper firmware or BIOS revisions to support the H10 solution so ASI has compiled a list of Intel Optane Memory H10 motherboards for resellers. The list is made up of those boards that have all the required drivers, firmware, and BIOS versions available from the manufacturer. The Optane Memory H10 MB compatibility list includes ASI’s SKU, manufacturer’s model number, BIOS version and link for downloading the BIOS.

In addition, ASI has created and is providing a step by step how to guide for integrating the Intel Optane Memory H10 solution. This guide along with the motherboard compatibility list and other information on this web site will help provide you with the training and knowledge to integrate the H10 technology.

Compatible Chipsets
The Intel chipsets that officially support H10 are the Z490, W480, H470, Q470, B460, Z390, Q370, H370, B360, B365, and Z370. As noted, just because a board has a compatible chipset does not mean that board is compatible with H10 as it is also dependent upon the MB manufacturer providing a BIOS and firmware that supports H10. In addition, the manufacturer will have to design the board with a PCIe x 4 Gen 3 M.2 slot that supports the M-Key type which all M.2 PCIex4 will support. If any of these are not available the board will not be compatible with H10.

Compatible BIOS/Firmware
Each motherboard manufacturer will need to provide the proper BIOS and firmware updates to support H10. ASI is updating our list but all boards listed have links to download the required BIOS/Firmware.

Intel RST
Intel Rapid Storage Technology or RST is a software tool that helps to manage the systems storage. It works with Intel Optane Memory H10 cache to personalize your experience by remembering the most frequently used tasks for faster access. When data is sent to the drive Intel RST determines if the workload consists of frequently accessed data in which case it is stored in the Intel Optane Memory H10 cache or if it is not accessed frequently it is stored in the SSD portion of the drive.

Operating System
The Intel Optane Memory H10 is supported by Windows 10 64 bit RS5 (1809) or 19H1 (1903) so the proper operating system version and set up is also part of the equation.

Intel Optane Memory H10 Compatibility Guide

# Item Intel H10 Requirement
1 Correct Platform Chipset? Z490, W480, H470, Q470, B460, Z390, H370, Q370, B360, B365, Z370
2 Correct Motherboard? Intel H10 supported BIOS installed
3 Got slot? At least one M.2 80mm, PCIe Gen3 x4, M-key
4 Correct OS? Windows 10 64-bit RS5 (1809) or 19H1 (1903)
5 Latest Intel RST? Version 17.9 or above

ASI Intel Optane Memory H10 Motherboard Compatibility List

This list is compiled of motherboards that have an Intel Optane Memory H10 compatible chipset, the proper M.2 slot, and a BIOS version that supports H10. We have reviewed motherboards for both the Intel 10th Generation Processor and the Intel 9th Generation Processor.

Intel 10th Generation Processor Motherboards
Intel 10th Generation Core Processor Motherboards ship with an Intel 400 series chipset. All 400 series chipsets except the H410 support the requirement for a bifurcated M.2 PCIe x4 slot where the slot is divided through BIOS to allow for one PCIex2 for the SSD and one PCIex2 for the Optane cache to support the Optane H10. Also, all ASUS and MSI 400 series MBs have H10 support built in to their native BIOS. Therefore, all ASUS and MSI Intel 10th Generation motherboards with an Intel 400 series chipset except the H410 have native support for the Intel Optane H10 SSD. You still of course will need to install the proper Intel RST driver to setup the H10 and have the proper OS as outlined in this web content.

Intel 9th Generation Processor Motherboards
Compatibility with these motherboards is a little more limited than is the case for Intel 10th Generation Processor motherboards because the Intel Optane H10 was launched after the motherboards so not all boards have the proper chipset and not all boards have BIOS support. While there may be other boards with compatible chipsets, which include the Z390, H370, B360 and newer versions like the B365 that provide H10 support, ASI is only listing boards we have validated for having an H10 BIOS available for download. Other boards that meet the fundamental hardware requirements but do not have a BIOS posted for download are not listed.

Chipset ASI SKU ASUS Minimum BIOS Version Needed
Z390 222099 ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO (WI-FI) 1005
222242 ROG MAXIMUS XI FORMULA 1005
222247 ROG MAXIMUS XI CODE 1005
222808 ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME 1005
222101 ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING 1005
222246 ROG STRIX Z390-H GAMING 1005
222243 ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING 1005
222102 PRIME Z390-A 1005
222100 PRIME Z390-P 2401
223355 PRIME Z390-P-A
222240 TUF Z390-PRO GAMING 2401
222234 TUF Z390M-PRO GAMING (WI-FI) 2401
222103 TUF Z390-PLUS GAMING (WI-FI) 2401
Q370 221737 PRIME Q370M-C/CSM (bulk) 2416
218927 PRIME Q370M-C/CSM
H370 215108 PRIME H370M-PLUS 1402
215027 PRIME H370-A 1402
215018 TUF H370-PRO GAMING (WI-FI) 1402
B360 215110 ROG STRIX B360-H GAMING 2401
216510 ROG STRIX B360-H GAMING/OPTANE 2401
215118 ROG STRIX B360-I GAMING 2401
215126 PRIME B360-PLUS 1402
215127 PRIME B360M-A 2401
219864 PRIME B360M-A/GSI
215627 PRIME B360M-A-A
215128 PRIME B360M-C/CSM 2401
217397 PRIME B360M-C/CSM (bulk)
215122 TUF B360-PLUS GAMING 1402
215121 TUF B360-PRO GAMING (WI-FI) 1402
215124 TUF B360M-E GAMING 2401
215123 TUF B360M-PLUS GAMING 2401
220776 TUF B360M-PLUS GAMING S 2401
Chipset ASI SKU MSI Minimum BIOS Version Needed
Z390 222130 Z390-A PRO 7B98v15
222131 MEG Z390 GODLIKE 7B10v15
222133 MAG Z390 TOMAHAWK 7B18v14
222134 MEG Z390 ACE 7B12v14
222136 MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON AC 7B17v14
222137 MPG Z390 GAMING PLUS 7B51v15
222139 MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON 7B17v14
222140 Z390I GAMING EDGE AC 7C04v14
222141 Z390 GAMING EDGE AC 7B17vA4
222142 MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC 7B50v14
222779 Z390 GAMING PLUS 7B51v15
B360 214416 B360M GAMING PLUS 7B19v15
214432 B360M PRO-VH 7B53v16
214904 B360 GAMING PLUS 7B22v26
214907 B360A-PRO 7B22v26
214913 B360M MORTAR 7B23v15
214920 B360M BAZOOKA 7B24v25
214922 B360M PRO-VDH 7B24vA6
B365 235834 B365M PRO-VDH 7C39v10
236557 B365M PRO-VH 7C31v11

Intel Optane Memory Setup Guidelines

There are two scenarios where integrators can complete the installation of the H10. Both scenarios are outlined below and would completed after the initial steps of selecting an H10 compatible motherboard with the proper chipset, the latest BIOS is installed and the BIOS setup has been done for the H10. The steps below should be done by the system integrator prior to shipping the system.

Flow Item Requirement
1 Pick an Intel H10-supported motherboard Intel® 8th or greater generation with H10 supported BIOS installed
2 Install the H10 M.2 module to the MB Need one M.2 80mm slot with PCIe Gen3 x 4 (M-key)
3 Update the H10 supported BIOS (if necessary; see chart) Check RST Pre-OS revision number/UEFI driver (17.2.xx or above) in BIOS
4 Change BIOS Storage Settings for H10 support
  1. Set Storage Controller to Intel Rapid Storage Technology
  2. Set PCIe M.2 port to « NOT RST Controlled“ ( sometime it says “auto” )
  3. Set the H10 mode on if applicable

Note: Depends on each motherboards setting though, either go through
1&2 or 3 only

Once the above steps have been completed the final setup can be done in either of the two scenarios listed below.

Scenario 1: Microsoft Sysprep Audit Mode (Assuming an approved Chipset, latest BIOS installed & BIOS setup for H10 has been done)

1. ASI PRD or customer operate in the Microsoft Sysprep Audit Mode environment to install Windows 10:

a. Tech installs Intel RST 17.9 driver by running SetupRST.exe; it sets up the system to download and install the Microsoft Store app

i. After the customer boots the system the first time and creates the user account, the Intel Optane app gets installed and prompts you of this with a Windows notification

b. At this point, the reseller or their end-user needs to go through the steps outlined below

i. Follow screenshots to enable the Optane portion of the H10

Once your customer boots up for the first time, sets up their user account and goes through the rest of the Microsoft Win10 OOBE setup, they should see the Intel Optane Memory app either in the Notification area or by clicking the Start button.

H101


Once the app opens, click on the Intel Optane Memory tab (yellow circle) and then click on “Enable Intel Optane Memory” (red circle):

H102


Make sure “Performance Mode” is selected (red circle) then click “Next”

H103


Check off “Erase all data on Intel Optane memory module” and click “Enable”

H104


Then click “Restart” and your system will reboot

H105


After the reboot, go back into the Intel Optane Memory app and check the Optane Memory Status as being enabled (yellow highlight).

H106

H107

That’s it; the Optane Memory caching is setup to increase the performance of the QLC NAND portion of the Intel H10 SSD (the 1TB C: partition).

Scenario 2: Microsoft Windows 10 is installed outside the Microsoft Sysprep Audit Mode Environment (Assuming an approved Chipset, latest BIOS installed & BIOS setup for H10 has been done)

  1. Windows user account & the Microsoft account get created during Windows installation
  2. Install Intel RST 17.9 driver by running SetupRST.exe
  3. The Optane Memory & Storage Management app gets automatically downloaded and installed from the Microsoft Store
  4. Follow screenshots to enable the Optane portion of the H10

H108


Once the app opens, click on the Intel Optane Memory tab (yellow circle) and then click on “Enable Intel Optane Memory” (red circle):

H109


Make sure “Performance Mode” is selected (red circle) then click “Next”

H1010


Check off “Erase all data on Intel Optane memory module” and click “Enable”

H1011


Then click “Restart” and your system will reboot

H1012


After the reboot, go back into the Intel Optane Memory app and check the Optane Memory Status as being enabled (yellow highlight).

H1014