Intel Optane Memory Vs RAM- Which One is Better?

A perfect memory storage device would run very fast, be very durable and keep data without electricity. Simultaneously, memory needs to be cost-effective and sufficiently wide to maintain normal business systems.

Intel quickly developed a new kind of solid-state drive because of the ever-growing data and the requirement to access more of those data. The purpose of Intel Optane Memory is to bridge the gap between RAM and flash.

Compare Intel Optane with regular RAM to grasp the advantages that it gives individuals and companies.

What is Intel Optane Memory?

Optane is the trademarked term of Intel for a new type of high-speed memory module. The name particularly refers to the memory itself but is not a single format, but mostly a specialized M.2 card, which can only be supported by Intel 7th-gen Core CPUs (i3, i5, and i7 chips in the 7XXX series).

Intel-Optane-Memory

Optane memory combines 3D NAND manufacturing techniques and different patented technologies to ensure extremely low latency – under 10 microseconds.

What is Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware on a computer, where the operating system (OS), the application programs, and current data are maintained so that the device’s processor may rapidly reach them. RAM is the computer’s primary memory.

Computer-RAM-644x309

Reading and writing are significantly quicker than alternative storage, such as a hard disc (HDD), an SSD, or an optical disc.

Difference between Intel Optane Memory vs RAM

Full complimentary yet distinct services are provided by RAM or Optane memory. RAM is like a supermarket where you can buy all home supplies and grocery products. Still, the memory of Optane is like the often sold things stored close to the billing counter, which makes operations quick and easy with minimum effort. Below are some of the biggest differences between RAM and Intel Optane.

  • The Intel Optane Speed is lower than 30 microseconds while doing more than 30 percent writing and 70 percent reading load parallel with many write operations.
  • Intel Optane is volatile when power is off, and it retains data and information within the memory. Once the machine is switched off, Ram contents are deleted.
  • Intel Optane features an M.2 SSD form factor, whereas RAM has pins along the stick’s side and longitudinal length.
  • Optane memory contains a Cache function, and the 16GB of opt-in memory provides 16GB of cache storage that provides fast access to maximum cache files.
  • Intel Optane Speed provides quicker and fewer delays with the non-volatile characteristics of In-Memory databases.
  • RAM is costly than the memory of Intel’s Optane.

Optane memory can hold more than RAM data, with 16GB and 32GB of capacity, whereas 1GB to 8GB of RAM is accessible.

How do RAM and intel optane Memory function?

By acting as a cache memory, Intel Optane memory aids the HDD.

Cache memory is used to store frequently used applications, and data is accessible considerably faster than on a standard HDD. This Caching function improves data access speed. This Caching function speeds up data access and retrieval from the HDD, decreasing load times for commonly used applications.

The M.2 SSD does not perform as well as the HDD when used with the M.2 SSD since M.2 SSD is roughly ten times quicker than HDD. The performance gain with SSD thus is insignificant compared to HDD. RAMs consist of several condensers requiring charging of power. RAMs store electronic impulses in binary bits of information (1s and 0s).


If the data has to be loaded on the RAM, electricity is charged to the condensers, and electrical signals are stored. The condenser discharges and the information is deleted from the RAM if the data is no longer necessary. The RAM, which can be utilized again, is released by this action.RAMs require continual electrical power, as the condensers must stay charged.

When the computer is shut off, the condensers inside the RAM are downloaded, and the stored data is deleted from the RAM. It makes RAMs volatile. However, the Optane memory requires a continual electric charge to keep data so that even when the computer is shut off, the CPU can access the stored data. Thus, the Optane memory is not volatile.

The performance difference between RAM and Intel Optane Memory 

No, the Memory of Intel Optane is not quicker than RAM. It is quicker than some SSDs but not RAM. RAM is always quicker as it is the first location for temporary files to be saved. When the RAM is complete, the CPU searches for additional routes to save these files. RAM should also function at high rates. They are supposed to be faster than Intel Optane and Storage devices. If it’s not, then what the objective is of RAM.

Pros and Cons of Intel Optane Memory 

Pros (advantage)

  • When utilized together with HDD, the Intel Optane memory can reduce computer boot time.
  • The booting files are saved in the Optane with faster access time than the HDD system. Thus the data is loaded significantly faster, and the machine boots a lot faster.
  • Optane can store frequently accessed applications that enhance loading speeds for such apps.
  • A memory of Optane is significantly less expensive than RAMs and SSDs.
  • Loading times can also improve for games, but make sure you have the RAM and VRAM system to run the game. 
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Cons (disadvantage)

  • When combined with an SSD instead of an HDD, the Intel Optane memory does not enhance its performance. SSDs M.2 is faster than the memory of Optane.
  • Intel Optane memory is available only on and above Intel Corei3 7th Generation PCs. It does not work with CPUs from AMD Ryzen.
  • Only PCs with M.2 motherboards are offered with Optane memory.
  • While the memory of Optane can be RAM/HDD supplementary, it cannot replace either the RAM or the hard disc physically.
  • Even when a computer is inactive, Optane Memory uses about 1 Watt of electricity. This electricity consumption might harm your laptop’s battery life in the long run.

For light users who don’t utilize memory-intensive apps, Intel Optane Memory is a decent alternative. Your computer starts faster and other low-memory apps operate more quickly. Also, you may utilize the Optane memory with your HDD and RAM if you are short of cash and can’t update your RAM.

The Intel Optane Memory can enhance a computer’s performance when a medium user utilizes HDD instead of SSD. The Optane is a terrible option for avid gamers and other heavy memory users. It is also a terrible solution for M.2 SSD PCs since performance increases are not available.


Conclusion 

Only when you use it with your HDD will the optane memory be worth it. Some performance increases you will surely see, and you have to spend less money on it. It also applies to non-serious gamers and users who do not run heavy apps but look for better overall performance and shorter boot and load times.

If you have SSD and adequate RAM on your PC with a strong graphics card and enough VRAM already, Optane’s memory is worth it. Medium to heavy gamers will not see significant performance increases. Finally, I don’t think the memory of Intel Optane is worth it right now.

Stefan Richard is one of the folks who can't have a life without technology, especially Microsoft products. He has more than 12+ experience in Information technology. He worked as IT trainer, network/system administrator and IT Infrastructure manager. Stefan is the co-founder of HecticGeek.

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