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Thread: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

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    Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Intel sanctioned policy will muddy the waters when buying PCs.
    Read more.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Intel Optane memory is called memory because it uses a new memory media to store information closer to the processor. It’s similar to the function of dynamic random access memory (DRAM).
    Quite incorrect (please note that my original comment out-load was much less polite).

    If you have to access it over the PCI-E bus, or any other bus where the entire storage medium is not mapped directly into the CPU's address space then its function is nowhere near that of DRAM, and that's not even taking into account the performance and electrical characteristics.

    This is a new low for Intel.
    Last edited by afiretruck; 18-06-2018 at 11:59 AM.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by afiretruck View Post
    This is a new low for Intel.
    Except it isn't Intel, it's whoever wrote the bogus spec in the advert.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Oh I see what you mean - ignore my comment.

    Persistent storage is memory, although not as most people understand it, so I agree it's unwise to call it that in anything aimed at consumers.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Very hostile behaviour to their customers! Between RAMdisk, RAMcache and storeMI alot of the features are given for free by AMD as software. I'm sure that optane is better performing, but AMD isn't trying to rip you off to get it. Not an AMD Vs Intel cpu point, but a customer relations point.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by afiretruck View Post
    This is a new low for Intel.
    A new low for Dell and HP, albeit with the possible agreement of at least Intel's marketing department.

    Don't pin this entirely on Intel as part of some general Intel hate, it appears to me that this is primarily Dell and HP using misleading marketing on their products. It wouldn't be the first time storage marketing has sunk to murky depths, I've seen laptops containing a 1TB hard drive and cache or small SSD shown as "1TB SSD" or "1.28TB SSD" before.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    is the Intel Optane DC persistence DIMM connected directly to the CPU memory controller or PCI-E?

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    A new low for Dell and HP, albeit with the possible agreement of at least Intel's marketing department.

    Don't pin this entirely on Intel as part of some general Intel hate, it appears to me that this is primarily Dell and HP using misleading marketing on their products. It wouldn't be the first time storage marketing has sunk to murky depths, I've seen laptops containing a 1TB hard drive and cache or small SSD shown as "1TB SSD" or "1.28TB SSD" before.
    This reminds me of when multi-core CPUs came out and you had people parroting the whole "dual/quad core CPU means 2/4x the speed!!11" crud. Except that this is worse because there is no technical ambiguity between the roles and access characteristics of each of the devices in question. I will pin this on Intel as they are intentionally muddying the waters with their Optane FAQ. It's harder to blame Dell and HP entirely as the people who made the adverts have probably been advised by Intel. Don't get me wrong; I do blame Dell and HP, but Intel's shenanigans here are the root of this particular issue.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by lumireleon View Post
    is the Intel Optane DC persistence DIMM connected directly to the CPU memory controller or PCI-E?
    I think it's connected directly to the CPU memory controller and presents to software as RAM. It would explain why you need one of the new Xeons to run it.

    I wonder if there's an ACPI table entry somewhere that tells any optane-aware OS that the region is persistent. It could make for some interesting security problems if OSes treat it like normal RAM.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    I think the issue is that before they weren't encouraged to say it but now they are allowed to say it from Intel
    Marketing at it's worse (or best if you're on the Intel side)
    Old puter - still good enuff till I save some pennies!

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    If windows puts a page file on it then it might as well be RAM, and the performance is massively better than the old situation of page-file-on-HDD

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by afiretruck View Post
    I think it's connected directly to the CPU memory controller and presents to software as RAM. It would explain why you need one of the new Xeons to run it.

    I wonder if there's an ACPI table entry somewhere that tells any optane-aware OS that the region is persistent. It could make for some interesting security problems if OSes treat it like normal RAM.
    NVDIMMs are not new, so I imagine Optane DIMMs will be handled in the same way. Given the monetary value and likely business critical applications it's likely the only place you'd find Optane DIMMs is in a secure facility.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    To the page file argument for this, surely on a consumer level we are beyond paging files now except in extremely low end machines? I understand this on a far higher level than you lot (and yes, I use that in the computer science manner meaning a broad overview rather than a detailed understanding) so feel free to lay into me for being a moron. It seems to me if you're using a PC which would benefit from Optane for the purposes of a paging file then your money is likely better spent on enough RAM to not require the damned paging file in the first place. I'm sure there are situations in 3D stuff or video editing, etc where RAM limits are reached and large paging files are used but this is on stuff aimed at consumers.

    Are Intel the deplorables Hilary was so keen on?

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    It seems to me if you're using a PC which would benefit from Optane for the purposes of a paging file then your money is likely better spent on enough RAM to not require the damned paging file in the first place. I'm sure there are situations in 3D stuff or video editing, etc where RAM limits are reached and large paging files are used but this is on stuff aimed at consumers.
    I would imagine the problem there in regards to not requiring a page file is an OS level change would be required, due to automatically creating a page file for those "potential" situations where a page file may indeed be required. Most consumers using a PC are blissfully unaware of what goes on behind the scenes on the OS level, let alone understanding the difference between RAM (memory) or Pagefile (space set aside for data calls to and from RAM) or Storage (persistent memory).

    This is purely a marketing ploy be it only from DELL and HP, or with direct blessing from Intel. When you take into account two separate companies are doing the exact same thing it does make you wonder if Intel has given this approval.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Things like this come about because those that say it are just pandering to the public.

    The ignorati have been using "memory" to mean storage and "cpu" to mean computer (as in the big box with everything inside) for years. Sometimes even those that should know better, I'm looking at you BBC!, do it too.

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    Re: Dell and HP spotted advertising Optane memory as RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    To the page file argument for this, surely on a consumer level we are beyond paging files now except in extremely low end machines? I understand this on a far higher level than you lot (and yes, I use that in the computer science manner meaning a broad overview rather than a detailed understanding) so feel free to lay into me for being a moron. It seems to me if you're using a PC which would benefit from Optane for the purposes of a paging file then your money is likely better spent on enough RAM to not require the damned paging file in the first place. I'm sure there are situations in 3D stuff or video editing, etc where RAM limits are reached and large paging files are used but this is on stuff aimed at consumers.

    Are Intel the deplorables Hilary was so keen on?
    32GB of optane costs £50 and that's about an order of magnitude less than 32GB of DDR4, so it's rare to have the option of affording DDR4 if it's a big dataset. A cache drive is fundamentally doing the same job as RAM or a pagefile just at a different tier, in exactly the same way that L3 cache on the chip does the same thing as L1 but at a different point in the cost-latency-bandwidth tradeoff. By "same job as RAM", I mean it's a dump for the OS to store useful data a bit closer to the processor and doesn't show up in windows as a filestore.

    Caches aren't used like normal storage, so I'm happy for them to get lumped in with RAM as long as the system has a functional amount of DRAM present (i.e. a 4GB system with optane would probably struggle, but an 8GB system should have enough RAM for applications that need DRAM storage and see benefits from the optane present that DRAM cannot provide, like in boot times)

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