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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  • trparky - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    Whoa, those are eye-watering prices right there.
  • Targon - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    And where are the benchmarks that show that these actually make sense for anyone?
  • Ian Cutress - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    Currently being run
  • p1esk - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link
  • skavi - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    Thanks for the link!
  • Diogene7 - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    @Ian Cutress : If Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory is successful, how many years do you think consumers will have to wait to be able to purchase consumer laptop that have processors supporting Intel Optane PM (or any another Storage Class Memory (SCM) equivalent) ?

    I am really, really looking forward to the day where consumer could begins to have the possibility to buy laptop computers that use Storage Class Memory (SCM) on the memory bus as main repository for data storage instead of NVMe SSD to importantly in order to importantly lower data access latency : I think it could much more improve the overall user experience (better responsiveness) than a faster processor (a bit like when going from a HDD to a SSD).
  • Valantar - Monday, April 8, 2019 - link

    Would there be any significant changes beyond boot times and cold application launches? Windows' caching system works very well, and most application launches these days happen very quickly. Other than that, consumers don't work with datasets big enough for SCM to make a noticeable difference. This _might_ make a difference in very heavy applications (video editors, complex 3D modelling), but again, only for the initial loading of the app and/or data in question. And frankly, the difference between waiting, say half a second or three seconds for a file to load is negligible (whereas the difference from HDDs to SSDs was often in the minutes-to-seconds range). In day-to-day usage, the difference would be negligible (and the added latency compared to RAM could even mean a slower overall user experience).

    IMO, this kind of tech has a value in the consumer space for making computers turn on (pretty much) instantly and similar quality-of-life improvements, but other than that, I don't see much value in this. Moving from a fast SATA SSD to NVMe is barely noticeable - and of course these both have the low random performance at low queue depths issue of all NAND, but when things are as fast as they are, even a 10x improvement is unlikely to be very noticeable.
  • azazel1024 - Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - link

    That is what I'd be looking for as the slightly above average consumer. If I could sit in a 64GB module and that stored the Operating system in persistent memory so cold boot times were as fast as resuming from standby (or faster), that would be awesome. Same thing with moving around within the OS, extremely responsive. It would also reduce power budgets (I assume) with the option of S4 hibernation allowing basically as fast or faster resume than S3 and lower power than S3.

    Now a 512GB module to store all my applications on would be nifty AF, but if the price were decent (not nearly $7 a GB, more like ~$1.50-2 a GB) then having the OS stored in it would be great.
  • Diogene7 - Friday, April 5, 2019 - link

    Looking forward to read the results of the benchmark :).

    I don’t know if it was planned, would it be possible to include in the list of tests some test related to a consumer usage like :
    1. Time to boot full windows
    2. Time to wake from sleep
    3. Time to launch Microsoft Word
    4. Time to launch a big game
    And to compare them with same platform with :
    1. A Samsung NVMe SSD 970Pro
    2. An Intel Optane NVME SSD

    It would give a idea of how much of a latency improvement a consumer in the future might hope to get if/when Intel Optane Persistent Memory should become available on consumer platform... Just curious to get an idea...
  • twtech - Saturday, April 6, 2019 - link

    I suppose those are the sort of things many Anandtech readers would be interested in, but none of those would be factors the people who would consider buying a server with Optane memory would care about. :)

    I can think of several different servers we are using at work that could potentially benefit from Optane because of heavy disk usage. The data is recreate-able - so it's not critical to be backed up, and there isn't that much of it; less than a TB - but it is read from and/or written to extremely frequently.

    If we had servers with persistent memory, we'd just keep the affected data in persistent memory instead of storing it on a SSD.

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