Low capacity, high performance, and a moderate price, but only for Kaby Lake platforms.
Earlier this month, Intel launched first SSD with 3D XPoint Technology, the Optane SSD DC P4800X. Boasting incredible performance at low queue depths with high endurance, it’s targeted squarely at enterprise users first, with a price to match—$1,520 for a 375GB PCIe AIC or U.2 drive. In what will be a multiphase rollout of XPoint, the next product to hit retail, and the first mass availability option, is Optane Memory. The name is a bit misleading, but the idea is to have an intelligent SSD cache that will help improve system performance, and it will do so whether you’re using a pokey old 5400RPM HDD or a faster SATA SSD.
Optane Memory isn't primarily targeted at gaming, but it's one area that will potentially benefit. To understand why, I'm going to need to get a bit technical, and how things work in practice is still a bit of an unknown. The idea with Optane Memory is to put the most recently accessed data into a high-speed SSD cache, and that includes Windows OS files, game data, and more. You might wonder how a small SSD cache could help with games that weigh in at 30-80GB, but a lot of that data is only used once (eg, a video cutscene), and much of it is localized. So when you're cruising around Eos in Andromeda, the pertinent data ends up in the cache while other planets like Aya and Voeld stay on the hard drive.