New Optane Branding

Core i9+, Core i7+, Core i5+

One of the items that Intel is keen to promote with this launch is an update to its Intel RST algorithm when dealing with ‘Optane Memory’, Intel’s brand for Optane whereby a small amount of storage is placed in front of a larger drive to act as a fast cache. Up to this point, Intel platforms that supported Optane Memory in this configuration could only do so on the drive that was used to boot into the operating system. While this worked well for low-cost users that relied on a single rotational hard-disk drive of rust for their needs, with most enthusiasts using a fast SSD (SATA or PCIe) as their first drive that loads the OS, putting Optane Memory in front of this as a cache was relatively pointless – any gains would be intangible at best. With the new generation of products, Intel has expanded the capabilities of Optane Memory such that it can act as a cache for a non-OS drive. This means that a user can have a fast SSD boot drive, a large spinning drive for storage, and then place Optane in front of that storage drive to potentially get much better performance from the drive.

The main idea here is that the large rotational drive is where users store games and large files used in content creation, which often have a long loading time. With the right caching algorithm, and a decent sized Optane Memory drive, Intel likes to promote that loading games and loading media for creative purposes are several factors faster than an equivalent system without an Optane Memory drive.

Part of the news around Optane is that Intel is now creating new processor branding for OEMs that have configurations with Optane. The new brands and logos are similar to the standard Core i5/i7 style that we are used to, however the logos are now a dark blue with white text, and exhibit a plus after the Core i5/i7 name.

So just to be clear, this is not a new line of processors. We will not have to suddenly deal with a Core i9+-8950HK being different to the non-plus counterpart. This is purely a branding exercise, and one that only covers the i5 and higher at that. However, to complicate things, this means that specification sheets can (and will) list the processors as Core i5+ and Core i7+ and even vPro models. This makes looking for particular processor versions in search engines a lot more difficult for almost no obvious benefit. I mean sure, Intel wants to promote the use of its Optane drives, but we already have the Optane branding and the Optane logos to do that for us. This ends up being another logo put onto the box.

Ultimately, Intel is still marketing Optane, its high-cost R&D product, with low capacities at low cost systems with relatively little margin. While it might seem like a noble goal, to bring extra caching performance down to the lower cost segment, it could very easily be done with SATA or PCIe M.2 drives using regular NAND flash. A lot of users would like to see high-capacity, high-endurance Optane drives moving more into the mainstream, instead of more attempts at funneling in a product like Optane into caching.

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  • SaturnusDK - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    tl;dr. No consumer line 8-core from Intel yet. Reply
  • Tyler_Durden_83 - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    No need to rush it since Intel still has the performance crown (the best value crown is another matter ofc). Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Not really. The 1800X still beat the 8700K in most multi-threaded workloads. Intel has the crown for best performance if all you do is single player gaming at low resolution. That's about it. Multi-threaded workload and professional workloads Intel is behind. Gaming at higher resolution or streaming it's really a toss up. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Well. There is a rush.
    There are those who are on Westmere/Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge who have 6 core processors but are looking to upgrade, like myself.

    Intel's 6-core mainstream parts aren't really attractive considering I have had a 6-core processor for almost a decade, sure... I will gain a massive increase in single threaded performance... But it's nothing that a little bit of overclocking to 4.8ghz on my 3930K that couldn't make up some of that difference.

    Besides... In heavy threaded scenario's, AMD beats Intel.

    I guess I am waiting another year to upgrade. Another year Intel doesn't get my cash.
    Probably not a bad thing at the moment anyway with the price of DRAM.
    Reply
  • goatfajitas - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    "Westmere/Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge who have 6 core processors"

    But those were the extremely high end expensive CPU's back then. Those dont compare with todays standard consumer models, they compare with the Core i9 which has 10 cores https://ark.intel.com/products/123613/Intel-Core-i...
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    "In heavy threaded scenario's, AMD beats Intel."

    which matters once we have more than a handful of multi-threaded apps. running discrete apps in background really isn't the same thing.
    Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Virtually all productivity and real professional programs are nicely multi threaded. And running multiple discrete programs or multiple instances of the same program concurrently is very valid use of multi-threading. Think about what live game streaming involves: all different programs executing concurrently (where each may also be multithreaded): the game, the recording application, the encoder process, the streaming network application, the live audience chatroom, etc Similary with many other cases Reply
  • JackNSally - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Professional streamers use 2 PC's. 1 for gaming, 1 to capture video and run all the programs. Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - link

    They only used 2 PCs because they were literally forced to. Before Ryzen the only option they had was either use very pricey HEDT set up or have a gaming PC and a streaming PC. Often the 2 PC set up would be cheaper. After Ryzen, streamer can easily get by with one PC for everything. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - link

    I could stream with my old FX processor.

    The entire reason I got a 6 core was to multi task. It wasn't the best at everything, but it could do a hell of a lot all at once without slowing down my gaming.

    I regularly would record TV while encoding a video while gaming. Streaming wouldn't be a strain on the machine. It was a purpose built DVR with gaming.
    Reply

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