At least two retailers from the US on Friday have started to take pre-orders on Intel’s Optane DC Persistent Memory modules and therefore had to reveal their prices. Today they only offered 128 GB and 256 GB modules, possibly indicating that the range-topping 512 GB Optane is set to ship a bit later.

The main purpose of Intel’s Optane DC Persistent Memory modules is to bring higher memory capacities closer to the CPU at a fraction of DRAM cost. Even with recent drops of DDR4 prices, high-capacity RDIMMs and LRDIMMs (i.e., 128 GB or 256 GB) cost thousands of US Dollars. Meanwhile, Intel’s 3D XPoint memory used for Optane-branded products is cheaper to make than DRAM, but offers a high performance and a strong endurance, so in many cases using Optane DC Persistent Memory instead of DDR4 makes sense for memory-intensive applications.

Without any surprises, Intel’s Optane DC modules are priced in accordance with their market positioning: well above regular SSDs, but well below DDR4 RDIMMs/LRDIMMs of the same capacity. Depending on the retailer, the Optane DC 128 GB costs $842 - $893, whereas the Intel Optane DC 256 GB is priced at $2668 - $2850. Keep in mind that these are not official MSRPs of Intel (which will likely keep its RCPs confidential as they will depend on multiple factors), but prices at which certain retailers may sell them.

Pre-Order Prices of Optane DC Persistent Memory Modules
Optane DC Persistent Memory 128 GB $893
$6.97 per GB
$6.57 per GB
Optane DC Persistent Memory 256 GB $2,850
$11.13 per GB
$10.42 per GB
Optane DC Persistent Memory 512 GB ? ?

Unfortunately, neither of the retailers that started to take pre-orders on Intel’s Optane DC Persistent Memory revealed their ETA. Intel’s official position is that actual systems that use the modules will be available in June, so it looks like the chip giant is about to start shipments of its Optane DIMMs to interested parties.

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Source: (1, 2), (1, 2) (via Momomo_US/Twitter)

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  • duploxxx - Monday, April 8, 2019 - link

    you forgot the biggest issue... its the sw.
    laptop is not slow because of cpu, laptop is not slow because of ram or SSD/NVME...
    laptop is slow because of stupid windows
  • 0ldman79 - Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - link


    If you want to see something fast, install Windows 98, XP, Vista or 7 on a machine that runs 10 decently.

    It is stupid fast.

    The problem is that the people making the OS decide to use *all* available resources just for a stupid interface.

    The OS should be thin and light and you only notice it when something breaks. Right now Windows 10 has higher resource requirements than most of the games I play. Admittedly most of my games aren't terribly new, but still, I can run any of the Crysis games perfectly on a machine that is absolutely slow as hell *just* running Windows 10 with nothing else installed.

    How that became the norm I'll never understand. Windows 3.11 was Microsoft's last small and light OS, *maybe* Windows 2000.
  • Kevin G - Saturday, April 6, 2019 - link

    The test I'm interested in is where the standard storage stack is removed entirely and the OS sees no line between a data file and memory consumed by a running application. I'm not sure what out there actually exists that follows this so-old-it-is-now-new-again paradigm for OS and applications. The concept of separate application storage (RAM) and persistent storage started in the 1960's and as an idea has stuck for half a century. That idea made sense due to costs and the technology available.

    Otherwise I'd set my expectations for Optane DIMMs to be the fastest storage medium short of a real DRAM based RAM disk. For applications that can see and address this memory segment directly as memory but aware of its persistent nature, I would expect performance to be even more impressive.

    Using Optane DIMMs as memory I would expect performance to generally tank due to the higher latency and lower bandwidth than DRAM give the same aggregate memory capacities. However looking at it based upon price, ie having several times more Optane DIMM capacity than DRAM, the performance gap will close based upon data set size. In other words, a pure Optane DIMM solution should be faster than a DRAM + traditional storage tier structure when the data set exceeds that of the DRAM and can fit into the Optane DIMM capacity.

    All told, I'd expect a mix of results which falls into what we know about the technology ahead of time. The question is what scenarios are going to be tested.
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - link

    "The test I'm interested in is where the standard storage stack is removed entirely and the OS sees no line between a data file and memory consumed by a running application."

    since I post on 7 April, I've found a number research and development efforts to do exactly that for RDBMS. just type in 'RDBMS persistent memory' in your favorite search engine. both linux (4.7) and windows (?) have added hooks for this stuff. the database engines have to be twerked to know that they're talking to this stuff. on the whole, databases run faster on fewer resources.
  • Schmov17 - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    Is it though? CompSource has the 128GB module for ~$900. Traditional 1x 128GB DIMMs on the same site go for anywhere between $2000-4500.
  • trparky - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    When you compare the prices to a standard SSD they're eye-watering.
  • dullard - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    Why would you compare memory pricing per GB to a SSD pricing per GB? Completely different needs and applications. Yes, Optane is not as fast as DDR memory, but when used in the right ratio you can have some data in DDR and the rest in Optane and not have a significant slowdown. Try that with a typical SSD and your application comes to a crawl.
  • alfalfacat - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    It's a dimm though. It looks like memory, not a block device. Why would you compare to a standard SSD? I mean, that would be as silly as saying the cost is high when you compare it to a stack of dvds.
  • saratoga4 - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    5400 RPM hard drives are even cheaper!
  • emn13 - Saturday, April 6, 2019 - link

    I'd argue that there is no such thing as a traditional 1x 128 DIMM - DDR doesn't usually come in that density, so you're in a niche project right there. But at lower density, this is approximately equal to the price of DRAM.

    And that means this price is very, very high.

    You're paying for persistance and high density with money and performance (unless there's some upset it appears very unlikly optate will be perf competitive with DRAM). That sounds like a liveable niche, but a pretty damn small one. And although I can't find pricing for samsungs sz985 - that may well undermine even that niche; by probably offering higher densities and lower prices (at the cost of lower perf, but still not that much lower).

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