When Intel® launched Optane™ Memory it was primarily as an accelerator for traditional hard drives. Through a combination of incredibly fast Optane™-based M.2 hardware and custom drivers and caching software for Windows 10, Optane™ Memory can give a consumer the feeling of NVMe-or-faster storage with the cost-capacity benefit of the larger drive.
The Intel® SSD 545s launched in the summer of 2017 and was the first to use Intel® second-generation 3D TLC flash memory. It offered competitive performance and cost-per-gigabyte to other SATA SSDs on the market but as the development and proliferation of PCI Express NVMe drives has increased, its ability to compete has lessened.
Though originally targeted for hard drives, combining the caching performance of Intel® Optane™ Memory with an SSD is a solution that can offer improved performance in numerous consumer workloads without a significant increase in price. By utilizing 16GB and 32GB Optane™ modules with various capacities of Intel® 545s solid state drives, the competitive landscape of the consumer storage market takes on an interesting twist.