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Intel Optane DC persistent memory starts at $6.57 per GB

by Mark Tyson on 8 April 2019, 10:11

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qad6ie

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Last week Intel launched a cornucopia of hardware at its Data-Centric Innovation Day in Santa Clara, California. HEXUS covered the deluge in two chunks; firstly summarising the 50+ new Intel Xeon processors, and secondly reporting on the launch of Intel Optane DC persistent memory, some other storage solutions, and various networking solutions.

Intel Optane DC persistent memory is the application of 3D XPoint memory technology in the way that it was originally trailed; as a persistent memory pool that exists between DRAM and fixed storage mediums like SSDs. It fits in the DIMM slots in compatible systems. The memory's "unprecedented combination of high-capacity, affordability and persistence" is highly appealing to enterprises where it can deliver "breakthrough restart times for in-memory databases", reduced wait times for fetching large data sets from storage, deliver improved service scalability, and facilitate "unprecedented virtual machine, container, and application density".

Just ahead of the weekend AnandTech spied some retailer listings in the US, so now we know the cost per GB users will have to pay for Intel Optane DC persistent memory modules. As Anton Shilov comments, it is prices very much as expected, "well above regular SSDs, but well below DDR4 RDIMMs/LRDIMMs of the same capacity".

Chart via AnandTech

In the chart above you can see that the best priced modules from ShopBLT are 128GB in capacity and cost $842, which works out at $6.57 per GB. It might sound a lot but high-capacity RDIMMs and LRDIMMs in similar capacities cost thousands of dollars.

From the lack of listings, it looks like 512GB modules are going to arrive a little later than the 128GB and 256GB ones, and the cost per GB looks set to be even more eye-watering. None of the retailers revealed when stocks would ship but Intel has previously mentioned June. Users will have to get together other new components including a 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor to make use of this Intel Optane DC persistent memory.



HEXUS Forums :: 32 Comments

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Hexus
In the chart above you can see that the best priced modules from ShopBLT are 128GB in capacity and cost $842, which works out at $6.57 per GB. It might sound a lot but high-capacity RDIMMs and LRDIMMs in similar capacities cost thousands of dollars.
Intel selling high-end parts at a price that appears to be good value? That cannot be right…
But it's still not RAM and that's why it costs relatively less.

I would be interested in an article on STH in 6/12 months about whether businesses are actually using these because everywhere I look you see Intel going “Look at this, it's amazing, you want it, we forced our partners to install a bunch more DIMM lanes for this feature dramatically increasing board cost, you definitely need it” seems to be more like this (Freeman: Intel, BendyFace Coddlesfart: Customers):

Surely they have to sell it at a decent price to offset the issues, one being that it limits the number of RAM sticks you can have by occupying the slots but without performing as well. I'm not familiar with the data centre environment so please tell me if this is rubbish.

Thinking it might be useful for avoiding ruinous Windows 10 updates without having to hibernate…
philehidiot
Surely they have to sell it at a decent price to offset the issues, one being that it limits the number of RAM sticks you can have by occupying the slots but without performing as well. I'm not familiar with the data centre environment so please tell me if this is rubbish.

Thinking it might be useful for avoiding ruinous Windows 10 updates without having to hibernate…

Server motherboards usually have a crazy amount of dimm slots. From reading around you can partition the storage between a RAM extension and a general storage. So you can extend your RAM amount making your actual DRAM a cache for the Optane sticks. That's basically using it as swap, just fast swap.

The example I read used the managed storage to create a /dev/ block device which was then partitioned, formatted with a filesystem and then mounted. So that's an SSD, just fast.

I'm guessing you can use the managed storage to do something more interesting, if anyone ever comes up with such a thing. But I have to wonder how this all ties in with modern containered and virtualised services where compute and storage is supposed to drift around your personal cloud.
DanceswithUnix
Server motherboards usually have a crazy amount of dimm slots. From reading around you can partition the storage between a RAM extension and a general storage. So you can extend your RAM amount making your actual DRAM a cache for the Optane sticks. That's basically using it as swap, just fast swap.

The example I read used the managed storage to create a /dev/ block device which was then partitioned, formatted with a filesystem and then mounted. So that's an SSD, just fast.

I'm guessing you can use the managed storage to do something more interesting, if anyone ever comes up with such a thing. But I have to wonder how this all ties in with modern containered and virtualised services where compute and storage is supposed to drift around your personal cloud.

That makes sense I suppose… When it comes to my own personal cloud. They can sod right off. It's my data, I'll take responsibly for it thanks so much. I get far more problems from cloud based services not working properly than I've ever had with local data storage. The only thing I use it for is a backup and occasionally transferring data from one PC to another.