Intel’s Core+ product line, which the chip giant announced earlier this month, will be a bundle of a Core i5/i7/i9 with an Intel Optane SSD. Initially this will be 8th generation Core processors combined with the low capacity ‘Optane Memory’ caching SSDs.
(Intel Core+ – credits AnandTech)
The introduction of the Core+ product line appears to be an attempt to encourage the adoption of Intel Optane products. Optane was announced in 2015 by both Intel and Micron. It was targeted between NAND flash and DRAM in both performance and price. However, most users didn’t find the relative little speed improvement worth the considerable higher price. Meanwhile, also SSD speeds increased by utilizing the PCIe interface, and prices of the NAND based drives continued to drop.
Initially Intel released the Optane Memory caching SSDs. The drives are available in capacities of 16GB and 32GB and can be used to store frequently accessed data. This should make the system more responsive.
A real, full-fledged Optane SSD is the data center targeted P4800X, which impressed many reviewers around the world due to its performance, but the drive is also rather pricey. Earlier this year Intel also introduced its first Optane consumer SSDs, the P800 series. These P800 drives also perform well but with a much friendlier price tag.
Users who would like a Core i7+ bundle can buy a Core i7 8700 + 16GB Optane Memory SSD for $457, the price of only the CPU is $403. Amazon currently sells 16GB Optane Memory SSDs at $35.99, meaning users can save themselves about $20.