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These new super-fast SSDs use cutting-edge 3D XPoint memory instead of the more usual NAND flash memory. Joint developed by Intel and Micron, 3D XPoint has around 10x less latency than NAND, so Optane drives can start reading and writing much faster than traditional SSDs. They also perform much better at low queue depths, resulting in much snappier performance.
Intel Optane SSDs using 3D XPoint memory are available as 2.5in drives which use a U.2 cable to connect to the motherboard or as expansion cards that slot directly into a spare PCI-E slot on the motherboard.