While Intel Optane caching seemed very promising, we never really saw any real-world interest or adoption to its users. It also was an issue when the new caching system was limited to Core series CPUs. That is, until now as the chipmaker quietly released the new RST driver to enable Optane for Pentium and Celeron processors.
The RST 17.2 update logs state:
Intel Optane memory support extended to desktop Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron processors starting with Intel 8th generation systems and Intel RST 17.2 driver or later. You must have the corresponding system BIOS for support. Consult your motherboard/system vendor for more information.
This support applies only for 8th and 9th generation Pentium and Celeron CPUs. The compatible platforms are Z270, H270, Q270, Q250 and B250 chipsets from 200 series and Z370, Z390, Q370, B360 and C246 from 300/240 series.
To be in sync with H10 M.2 Optane/QLC NAND SSDs?
This is likely to be in sync with its earlier announcement about its H10 M.2 SSD with a Cache memory and QLC 3D NAND for storage. Quad-level NAND provides higher capacity per cell and therefore dense drives per footprint. Combined with the cache, it might help to attract buyers for widespread adoption.
Intel is offering H10 modules in 16GB and 32GB memory capacities with variable storage. These variants are:
- 16GB Optane / 256GB QLC NAND
- 32GB Optane / 512GB QLC NAND
- 32GB Optane / 1TB QLC NAND
Based on these implementations, clearly, Intel is re-aligning its Intel Optane memory for base level users. While it may not make an appearance of having many Celeron and Pentium users in the DIY market, therefore those who use pre-built PCs. This will enable PC makers like Dell, HP and others to use Optane memory for such systems, therefore providing better I/O performance. All is required now is for system builders to adopt these with an additional Optane add-on.
The latest Intel RST drivers can be downloaded from here.
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) April 4, 2019