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I am looking to make a new desktop PC purchase and I would like to utilize the new optane technology for overall performance as well as speeding up my HDDs. I'm going with a Xeon as opposed to a core CPU because I'm mostly going to use this desktop for number crunching -- things that benefit from having many medium speed threads as opposed to 1 really high throughput CPU.

The trouble is I cannot find any information on what components are compatible or not. All I hear is "Ra, Ra 7th Gen Core CPUS" for optane compatibility. But I did not find any info on what Xeon CPUs are compatible with optane if any. The other thing I'd have to worry about is if my motherboard supports optane. The closest thing I found was this Xeon/Optane SSD compatible motherboard:

https://www.supermicro.com/newsroom/pressreleases/2017/press170321_Intel_Optane.cfm

But it's not a desktop solution, it's seems to be marketed as a server board.

Can some one recommend the following hardware:

  • Optane compatiable CPU
  • Xeon AND optane compatible motherboard

Provided that:

  • Must fit in standard size desktop PC
  • Must have >8 cores (dual CPU is optional)
  • Ideally under $2000
  • As far as I can tell, Optane as a storage technology uses the same interfaces as conventional SSD/HDD storage, and is compatible with anything it can plug into. Optane as an accelerator cache for a slower storage technology requires BIOS and/or OS support. Optane as non-volatile RAM requires mainboard and OS support. Which way are you planning on using it? – Mark May 8 '17 at 20:47
  • @Mark I might defer to your judgement on this, but what I understood was that when plugged in, optane will default to a normal ssd if not 100% compatible. If it has the right CPU, motherboard, OS, then it can work as marketed (learning usage patterns, ect). To answer your question, I have both use cases in mind, but leaning towards non-volatile RAM. I think it would compliment a Xeon machine nicely, but I'm still concerned that no Xeon CPUs or motherboards work with optane yet. – Arash Howaida May 9 '17 at 4:29

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