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Intel’s ‘SSD killing’ Octane 800P costs all the money, for now

INTEL HAS been showing off its ‘SSD killing’ solid state drives and they’re every bit as good as that sounds. And every bit as expensive as you’d expect.

The Intel Octane 800P occupies an M.2 port in your lappy (and make it a good lappy or it’s a waste, though it’ll still make a difference) and the memory type, called 3D XPoint, means you can feel the difference because it’s flipping phenomenal.

Although everyone talks about speed, there’s another aspect – latency, and low latency is the holy grail because that’s the difference between hitting a remote player in Call of Duty, and not hitting an artery in remote surgery.

The bottom line is that the capacities are small and the price tag is large. There’s 58GB for $130 (£94) and 118GB for $200 (£144) and let’s face it, 58GB isn’t big enough for jack.

Stick a paging file on there and you’re soon struggling to even have all your program data on there – and you’ll need a big old cache too to see the benefit. Obviously keeping your files locally is an entirely different matter but, usually, systems with an M.2 have second port anyway.

Compare that to Crucial’s MX300, for example. 275GB is currently £78 and 525GB is £121. Heck, stick another £50 in the kitty for a full 1TB. We’re as far off like-for-like as we were between HDD and SDD in 2008. But that was ten years ago, and now it’s getting close to parity – certainly, flash is justifiably affordable.

But right now, it would be a wrench to upgrade, especially with these tiny capacities. That’s probably why, up to now, 3D XPoint has been used as a cache, rather than an alternative to your main HDD drive. But this is where it starts. Bring it on. µ  

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