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Optane memory is used to implement a high-speed cache that will accelerate the performance of a (spinning media) HDD. Its effectiveness is dependent upon the types and feequencies of accesses that occur to this drive. Its highest effectiveness comes when the HDD is the system (boot) drive. Its lowest effectiveness is when the HDD is a data drive.
You have only one M.2 slot, so you must choose to either keep your SSD (which is one of the faster SSDs available) or discard it in favor of using an Optane module to accelerate the performance of a secondary HDD. To me, this is a no-brainer; forget the Optane module.
P.S. A secondary frustration for me is that Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) used to support a feature called Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT), which allowed you to use all or part of your SSD as a high-speed cache that will accelerate the performance of a HDD (gee, sounds familiar). Of course, when they introduced Optane, they conveniently "broke" SRT so that (I presume) it wouldn't compete with (and thus hinder the sales of) Optane.
I have just been looking through the forum and have a very similar question. I have a M.2 SSD (Samsung 960 Evo I believe) that I use as a boot drive and then use a SATA HDD to store data (mostly games).
I was wondering if I can use Intel optane drive to boost the performance of my SATA HDD (hopefully improving the load times of games), but keep the M.2 SSD as my boot drive.
I have an ASUS Prime z-370 -P board which has 2 M.2 slots (both I believe support Optane) and am running an 8th Gen I5 (I5-8400). From what I have read, I believe I should be able to use Optane to boos the non-boot HDD with the 8th gen processor, but wanted to check before I buy (My main concern is whether you can run Optane when you are booting from an M.2 drive in the same system).
Any help you can give around this would be much appreciated.
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation
As explained by N.Scott.Pearson, you won't be taking fully advantage of Intel® Optane™ memory system acceleration as your current boot drive is already fast. Please notice that even if the motherboard had another M.2 slot, Intel Optane memory is not compatible with NVMe drives such as the Samsung 960 EVO*.
GarethRy, Checking the motherboard specifications (ASUS PRIME Z370-P*), it seems both M.2 ports can work on PCIe mode and support Intel Optane memory. The fact that you're booting from an M.2 SSD shouldn't affect secondary drive acceleration. However, we recommend to review the full requirements before purchasing the module: