March 9, 2018 // 10:32 a.m.
Intel has officially announced its mainstream Optane product, built around 3D XPoint technology: the Optane SSD 800P, designed to sit below its enthusiast Optane SSD 900P.
Based on the 3D XPoint technology Intel co-developed with Micron under their since-largely-dissolved joint venture, Intel's Optane family of high-speed solid-state storage devices began life in the data centre as PCI Express boards which could be configured as caching storage or pseudo-RAM. The first hint of consumer support came in the form of small capacity cache-only devices for desktop systems, but was followed in due course by the enthusiast-grade Optane SSD 900P family in 2.5" U.2 and PCIe flavours.
The new Optane SSD 800P, by contrast, sits somewhere between the tiny caching module and the larger-capacity SSD 900P family. Its eyes firmly set on the mainstream market, Intel has announced two flavours: 58GB and 118GB models, both using a Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 two-lane interface in an M.2 2280 form factor.
Unlike the previous small-capacity Optane drive, the SSD 800P family is designed for use as either cache for a higher-capacity but slower mass-storage device or as a direct storage device. Pricing, however, is still high: US retailers have set pre-orders at $129 for the 58GB and $199 for the 118GB models (around £93 and £144 respectively, excluding taxes.) The devices are expected to hit UK retailers later this month.