If you have been online shopping for a new computer recently, you might have stumbled upon optane memory unknowingly. It has been marketed as additional RAM to make your computer perform better. Before you buy, we want you to make an informed decision.
RAM vs Optane Memory
RAM (or Random Access Memory) serves as the short term memory of your computer. It takes the data from the long term memory (also known as the hard drive) and feeds them into the CPU for processing. In simple terms, the more RAM you have, the more short term memory you possess. RAM is volatile memory which means it does not remember the data it has in storage when the computer is powered down.
Optane Memory was designed by Intel to get a performance boost from hard drives. Unlike RAM, Optane memory is non-volatile. It can remember your boot settings, favorite programs and files, etc and load them faster for you when you boot. In theory, this is a welcome enhancement, but it should not be marketed as a RAM substitute or replacement. Hard Disk Drives have seen a much larger boost in performance by optane than Solid State Drives. The technology has some promise.
By marketing Optane with RAM (as in the highlighted example above), it appears that they are interchangeable. We want to caution consumers not to be fooled. Optane memory and RAM are not the same thing. Systems with optane tend to be less expensive than those with comparable amounts of RAM.
While optane memory has shown some promise with boosting performance of hard drives, it comes at a cost. Several of our clients that have purchased computers with optane memory have had hard drive failures. Dell has recently acknowledged that failure of the optane memory or hard disk could cause the computer to fail to boot. Trading increased speed for decreased reliability is just not a value proposition that we can recommend. As a result, we would advise consumers to steer clear of optane memory computers until some of the issues get resolved.
A Better Choice Network Solutions is a computer reseller in the Tampa Bay market. We work with consumers and businesses to help them make informed decisions about the best products within their budget. We fully acknowledge that technology advances quickly, and that optane memory might make this post obsolete, but we do not currently recommend it to our clients. Our opinions are ours alone and are not intended to reflect on any of our vendors.