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Solid State Drives

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are currently the fastest form of storage available, and can give your system a massive boost in application and OS load times, data-transfer speeds and overall system responsiveness. Their lightning speed comes from using flash memory chips, which unlike traditional hard drives have no moving parts. This makes them more reliable, smaller, lighter and less power hungry, but they can cost significantly more and oftentimes have less capacity. Scan recommends that anyone in the market for a performance PC opts for an SSD.

Intel Optane Memory System Accelerators

Intel Optane Memory is an caching device for HDDs that intelligently learns which applications and games you run most frequently and over time speeds up how quickly they load. Available in two different capacities, these are M.2 form factor devices, and require either a B250, Q250, H270, Q270, Z270 or Z370 motherboard plus a 7th gen Kaby Lake or 8th gen Coffee Lake Core i3, i5 or i7 processor to work.

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M.2, 2.5", & AIC Intel Optane SSDs

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.

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