Question Using optane instead of ram - Build a budget pc cheap with high ram + pagefile usage

ZERRECKO

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2019
5
0
6
#1
Hello,

IMPORTANT NOTE -
To begin with - ( If anyone doesnt want to read my long thread of questions, then please only give me advice on this) -
IF ANYONE KNOWS of a better solution for such usage as mine (heavy browsing with chrome, with pagefile going over 32gb and 45gb +) (- even when currently have 16gb ram), so that the system doesn't become slow, please share with me. ANY HELP regarding this matter. Other than buying too much of the insanely priced rams.

- - -

Sorry for my long thread but I really need help on this.
I am looking to build a budget system which has much memory usage. More than 32gb to 45gb plus usage, as I multitask and do heavy browsing - many chrome tabs. I wont game on this new system.

But price of 32gb plus ram is too much. Recently I have come to know about optane products which from some of the reviews and information I have seen, works very well if used as a page file (I will not use the optane for caching hdd - only for paging). Optane is not very recommended to be used instead of ram for say gaming, but for normal desktop use, optane is said to be OK for pagefile instead of much ram.

I would like to mention here what google search 1st result says for - "OPTANE" -
Intel® Optane™ technology is a new breakthrough in non-volatile memory technology enabling memory-like performance at storage-like capacity and cost.

As such, for using optane instead of ram, please help me in getting a cheap but very fast and responsive system, for my usage, mainly heavy browsing. I use chrome. My current system pagefile keeps going above 32gb to 45gb plus, and the system becomes very slow. At present I have 16gb ram.

So I need a solution for this, and would like to be on safer side for my usage, to buy 64gb optane over 32gb optane (so either a 58gb optane ssd or 2 pieces of 32gb optane memory/1 piece of M10 64gb memory).

I know optane is not as fast as ram, but I Just cant spend for the insane price of 32gb-45gb+ ram.


- - -


I have some really important questions for using optane. Please help me with answers to all of these questions - (If some of you know only about some only of the questions, then too please answer only with those) -

1. For the system, I need advice on the fastest optane product for paging (except 900p and 905p optane ssd) and any compatible budget mobo. Rest of the parts like cpu etc., would be amd ryzen or intel 8thgen i3/i5. Also I wont OC.

2. I want to know which is the fastest optane product to use as pagefile for my use. But please dont say optane ssd 900p or 905p, which are out of my budget.

3. Is optane "MEMORY" (32gb or M10 64gb) faster than optane 800p ssd for using as pagefile ?

4. Also, I would like to know if optane ssd 800p can be used in amd system. I know, optane 16gb and 32gb memory cant be used with amd, but people on amazon.com reviews have stated using optane 800p ssd with amd mobos,

5. For the new system, I would like to go with amd ryzen with optane ssd - if optane MEMORY would be only same fast as optane SSD. But if optane ssd cant be used with amd ryzen system, then only I would buy intel.
So although I would prefer amd system, I can still go for intel - but my main problem needs to be resolved really - that is, to get best, fastest system with 32gb plus paging file. And that at without buying that much ram. I would buy like 8gb-16gb ram.

6. Also I would like to know if optane ssd 800p would fit and work absolutely fine on this AM4 mobo - Gigabyte A320M-S2H ? I am getting this mobo very cheap and also its sufficient for me as I wont OC. It would run fine till I upgrade next year. Cost difference between this A320M mobo and a decent b350 AM4 mobo is quite much.

7. If optane memory is much faster than optane ssd then as I would have to go for intel system, please suggest me a budget intel mobo to use. If optane memory is to be used on it then are there any budget or reasonable intel mobos which can fit 2 optane memory.

8. Would a optane product - be it optane memory or optane ssd, would really be the sufficient and a workable solution for me, in building a heavy browsing system with much paging in low budget ? What is your idea or thought on this ?

9. Also if anyone can advice on - can optane be put in raid to increase speed more. That would make the system more responsive and fast when much paging is there ie. pagefile size is a bit big.

10. REALLY need to know the fastest optane product for pagefile - Between optane memory and optane ssd, which would be faster to be used as pagefile.


Again, sorry for my long post, but if you have any answers then help me on these please.
Thanks.
 

Wall Street

Senior member
Mar 28, 2012
685
6
91
#2
I have an AMD Ryzen system with a 32 GB optane memory in the m.2 slot acting as my pagefile. The optane memory and optane SSDs are both limited to PCIe 3.0 x2 speeds, so they are quite a bit slower than RAM. In general the smaller optane memories aren't much slower than optane SSDs because the optane chips are so much faster than the PCIe interface can handle. Optane would be better than having your pagefile on an SSD or HDD, but still not as fast as more RAM. You don't need an Intel system to make optane work. I can't really give a good review of how well an optane SSD works, because I honestly have an overkill system and never run much over the 16 GB of main memory that I have. I would just recommend that you stay away from StoreMI if you go the AMD route.
 

ZERRECKO

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2019
5
0
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#3
Oh thanks for the fast reply WallStreet, but are you sure you have a optane MEMORY working with your amd ryzen system ? As I think that is not thought to be possible !

As the optane memory is meant to be usable only with intel 7th gen and above mobo systems.

So how are you using optane memory on amd ryzen ? Whats cpu and mobo are you using ?

And for your particular usage, I would suggest you the newer M10 optane memory 64gb which has been released later than those earlier 16gb and 32gb modules of optane. And M10 is faster than them. Have a look -
The Intel Optane Memory M10 (64GB) Review: Optane Caching Refreshed
https://www.anandtech.com/show/1274...mory-m10-64gb-review-optane-caching-refreshed

Also I dont know much about speeds of x2 vs x4 of PCIe 3.0, am quite new to this. Is PCIe 3.0 x4 faster than PCIe 3.0 x2 ? Which PCIe is fastest ?
 

nosirrahx

Senior member
Mar 24, 2018
244
22
61
#4
I did a test build with 8GB or RAM and a 8GB page file on a 32GB Optane drive. Internet cache and large applications were also stored on the Optane drive.

The system was pretty snappy but I only did this because I had a spare 32GB module laying around.


As far as builds I can actually recommend based on Optane, there is only 1 legitimate use case.

58GB 800P acting as cache for a 2TB (or higher) cheap SATA SSD.

This combination is cheaper and faster than a 2TB NVMe SSD and you have the ability to go all the way to 8TB in this configuration using the new Micron SATA SSDs.

Other than this specific configuration, I cannot recommend Optane unless you have deep enough pockets to play with shiny new toys for fun.
 

nosirrahx

Senior member
Mar 24, 2018
244
22
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#5
BTW, the 800P 58GB and 64GB M10 are the identical drive, I have both and the labeled capacity difference does not actually exist.

Intel does not list the 800P as supported as cache but it is 100% compatible with Optane cache software as is the 900P and 905P.

The 118GB 800P is a bit too expensive to use as cache in most cases, the 58GB module is a better mix of speed, capacity and price (although it is still not great on the price front).

Here is my travel laptop with Optane:

 

ZERRECKO

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2019
5
0
6
#6
But I dont want optane for fastening my storage like any 2TB hdd/ssd. So I have no need of optane for caching.

I want faster paging, as I cant buy 32gb to 45gb + ram. And so I would use optane for as pagefile.
 

nosirrahx

Senior member
Mar 24, 2018
244
22
61
#7
But I dont want optane for fastening my storage like any 2TB hdd/ssd. So I have no need of optane for caching.

I want faster paging, as I cant buy 32gb to 45gb + ram. And so I would use optane for as pagefile.
Going to answer you questions line by line, one sec.
 
Mar 27, 2009
12,911
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#8
I did a test build with 8GB or RAM and a 8GB page file on a 32GB Optane drive. Internet cache and large applications were also stored on the Optane drive.

The system was pretty snappy but I only did this because I had a spare 32GB module laying around.
I have done similar and it worked really well.

I only wish Intel would allow us to partition Optane drives so we could have a partition for page file and a partition for Cache.

With that noted, AMD StoreMI is rather interesting in that it only takes 256GB of whatever SSD is being used and the rest becomes available for a separate partition. So if using 280GB Optane 900p there would be 24GB of drive left over for a partition dedicated to page file.
 

nosirrahx

Senior member
Mar 24, 2018
244
22
61
#9
1. For the system, I need advice on the fastest optane product for paging (except 900p and 905p optane ssd) and any compatible budget mobo. Rest of the parts like cpu etc., would be amd ryzen or intel 8thgen i3/i5. Also I wont OC.
The 58GB 800P and 64GB M10 are the identical product, just with different labeling. The 58GB and 118GB 800P are roughly equal in performance and a lot faster than the 16GB and 32GB modules.

2. I want to know which is the fastest optane product to use as pagefile for my use. But please dont say optane ssd 900p or 905p, which are out of my budget.
58GB or 118GB 800P.

3. Is optane "MEMORY" (32gb or M10 64gb) faster than optane 800p ssd for using as pagefile ?
The 58GB 800P and 64GB M10 are actually identical. The 32Gb module is decently fast but far slowed than the 800P.

4. Also, I would like to know if optane ssd 800p can be used in amd system. I know, optane 16gb and 32gb memory cant be used with amd, but people on amazon.com reviews have stated using optane 800p ssd with amd mobos,
If not in an Intel system the 800P will just be a NVMe M.2 SSD. There is no issue using it like this.

5. For the new system, I would like to go with amd ryzen with optane ssd - if optane MEMORY would be only same fast as optane SSD. But if optane ssd cant be used with amd ryzen system, then only I would buy intel.
So although I would prefer amd system, I can still go for intel - but my main problem needs to be resolved really - that is, to get best, fastest system with 32gb plus paging file. And that at without buying that much ram. I would buy like 8gb-16gb ram.
If you want to save $ AMD is the way to go. Personally I would use the $ saved to buy a fast OS SSD. This almost completely negated the pagefile issue.

6. Also I would like to know if optane ssd 800p would fit and work absolutely fine on this AM4 mobo - Gigabyte A320M-S2H ? I am getting this mobo very cheap and also its sufficient for me as I wont OC. It would run fine till I upgrade next year. Cost difference between this A320M mobo and a decent b350 AM4 mobo is quite much.
If the board has a M.2 NVMe slot then yes, the 800P will work as any other M.2 NVMe SSD.

7. If optane memory is much faster than optane ssd then as I would have to go for intel system, please suggest me a budget intel mobo to use. If optane memory is to be used on it then are there any budget or reasonable intel mobos which can fit 2 optane memory.
Optane SSDs and Optane memory are the same thing, Intel just calls different drives different things. You can use a 16GB Optane memory module as a SSD and use a 900P as Optane memory cache. This is not how they are intended to be used but this totally works.

8. Would a optane product - be it optane memory or optane ssd, would really be the sufficient and a workable solution for me, in building a heavy browsing system with much paging in low budget ? What is your idea or thought on this ?
Only if you have a HDD as a primary drive and only if you consistently exceed available RAM. If both of these are true then a pagefile on Optane would feel faster. That said, the entire system would be slow to the HDD and the accelerated pagefile would not offset this.

9. Also if anyone can advice on - can optane be put in raid to increase speed more. That would make the system more responsive and fast when much paging is there ie. pagefile size is a bit big.
Optane works in RAID but as is the case with all RAID setups your sequential speed will go up while your random speed will go down. Buying 2 (or more) Optane drives on a system you trying to save $ on makes no sense at all and wont make it any faster.

10. REALLY need to know the fastest optane product for pagefile - Between optane memory and optane ssd, which would be faster to be used as pagefile.
The 58GB 800P is the only thing I could suggest but I do not think you will be happy with the performance. Take the $ you save by going AMD and simply buy a better OS SSD. Paging will be plenty fast.
 

ZERRECKO

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2019
5
0
6
#10
If you want to save $ AMD is the way to go. Personally I would use the $ saved to buy a fast OS SSD. This almost completely negated the pagefile issue.
Thanks really for all the answers.

But also to tell that I currently have both my os windows7 and the pagefile on ssd samsung 850 EVO 120GB. And the system still gets too slow when pagefile grows too much, even when I have 16gb of ram.

Thats why when I am looking to build a new system and got to know about optane, I was excited. As optane is faster than ssd and is used for pagefiles in low ram systems which need much ram usage.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#11
Thanks really for all the answers.

But also to tell that I currently have both my os windows7 and the pagefile on ssd samsung 850 EVO 120GB. And the system still gets too slow when pagefile grows too much, even when I have 16gb of ram.

Thats why when I am looking to build a new system and got to know about optane, I was excited. As optane is faster than ssd and is used for pagefiles in low ram systems which need much ram usage.
Normally I would recommend 58GB Optane, but I noticed that you mentioned 45GB+ page file usage.

In this case scenario you would really need 118GB 800p. Trouble is 118GB 800p is almost as expensive 280GB 900p.

Maybe 32GB RAM + 58GB Optane?
 
Last edited:
Aug 25, 2001
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#12
Can you pay for StoreMI, to work on an AMD B350 / X370 board? Or do those board lack the proper firmware hooks to make it work / bootable?
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#13
Mar 27, 2009
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#14
Just thinking about this topic more....

I wonder what combination would be better for very heavy browsing:

Intel CPU + 32GB RAM + 280GB Optane + Fuzedrive Standard (using the 24GB leftover for a separate partition of pagefile)

vs.

Intel CPU + 32GB RAM + 280GB Optane + Intel Optane Software application.

How much better or worse would the two software systems be?
 

nosirrahx

Senior member
Mar 24, 2018
244
22
61
#15
Just thinking about this topic more....

I wonder what combination would be better for very heavy browsing:

Intel CPU + 32GB RAM + 280GB Optane + Fuzedrive Standard (using the 24GB leftover for a separate partition of pagefile)

vs.

Intel CPU + 32GB RAM + 280GB Optane + Intel Optane Software application.

How much better or worse would the two software systems be?
Using 32GB of RAM really negates the need for a 900P as cache, the combined price is so insane that there are better options at this point.

8GB of RAM + a 58GB 800P is pretty cheap compared to 32GB of RAM and with the correct configuration a large pagefile on Optane would be decent.

8GB of RAM + a 118GB 800P would let you do both the Optane pagefile and have enough room left over for browser cache/temp directories and a few high impact applications.


All in all something like an 970 EVO just seems like a better option. 0 complexity and paging to a 970 wont feel slow.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#16
I had 32GB of DDR4 in this Ryzen R5 1600 rig, for a brief period. Part of the problem, with 4x 8GB DDR4, was they would run only at 2400, any higher and it wouldn't POST.

I had done that, because after extended browsing sessions with Firefox and 100-200 tabs, my Commit Charge in Task Manager was above 16GB.

But, honestly, with my Adata SP550 240GB SSD, I don't notice the paging much. (Other than in my TBW on my SSD toolbox. The writes are having an impact, a slight one, but seemingly noticable over time.)

I'm current using a 16GB kit of GSkill 2x8GB DDR4-3000 @ 3000. It does seem mostly a little bit faster for most things.

Was looking at a GSkill Ripjaws V kit of 32GB DDR4-3600.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#17
Using 32GB of RAM really negates the need for a 900P as cache, the combined price is so insane that there are better options at this point.
I do admit it is an extreme case but if paging out Windows cache would be depleted.

8GB of RAM + a 58GB 800P is pretty cheap compared to 32GB of RAM and with the correct configuration a large pagefile on Optane would be decent.

8GB of RAM + a 118GB 800P would let you do both the Optane pagefile and have enough room left over for browser cache/temp directories and a few high impact applications.
If he is really using 16GB RAM + 45GB+ page file, I think 8GB RAM + 58GB Optane might not work that smoothly. My own experience has been that 1 part RAM + 3 parts Optane was the upper limit for browsing.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,545
112
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#18
To begin with - ( If anyone doesnt want to read my long thread of questions, then please only give me advice on this) -
IF ANYONE KNOWS of a better solution for such usage as mine (heavy browsing with chrome, with pagefile going over 32gb and 45gb +) (- even when currently have 16gb ram), so that the system doesn't become slow, please share with me. ANY HELP regarding this matter. Other than buying too much of the insanely priced rams.
I'll need a few more details for advice here. Are you sure you're actually using 32GB+ worth of memory? Is that memory actually allocated to chrome, or has Windows just set your pagefile to something ridiculous? Chrome can be a memory hog, but honestly using 32GB+ seems just a bit beyond the pale. I have 32GB of RAM in my main system, and even with a few VMs and 50+ tabs I've so far never used all of it.

Some system specs would also be helpful. Browsing isn't -just- about memory.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
7,449
483
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#19
I'll need a few more details for advice here. Are you sure you're actually using 32GB+ worth of memory? Is that memory actually allocated to chrome, or has Windows just set your pagefile to something ridiculous? Chrome can be a memory hog, but honestly using 32GB+ seems just a bit beyond the pale. I have 32GB of RAM in my main system, and even with a few VMs and 50+ tabs I've so far never used all of it.

Some system specs would also be helpful. Browsing isn't -just- about memory.
This+ Sounds like the OP doesn't have an SSD in his system and something is causing the high memory usage as with having 16GB the pagefile should be rarely touched if at all. Even with using Windows.

Granted I'm using Linux, but I have 16GB as well with a 2GB swap partition that is not even touch. Of course I also have a 1TB SSD in my system.
 

nosirrahx

Senior member
Mar 24, 2018
244
22
61
#20
If he is really using 16GB RAM + 45GB+ page file, I think 8GB RAM + 58GB Optane might not work that smoothly. My own experience has been that 1 part RAM + 3 parts Optane was the upper limit for browsing.
Depends on other factors like where the internet cache is and the OS drive being HDD or SD. Obviously threads and clock speed of the CPU also starts to matter when you have 50 tabs open.

I would be willing to bet that a system with 4GB of RAM would still feel quick if the OS was on a 970 EVO and the browser, browser cache and page file were all on a 800P as long as the CPU was decent.

I have the spare parts to try this, maybe I will just to see how the system "feels". I would even try it with 2GB of RAM and the page file on a 905P.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,191
469
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#21
Can OP please post a screenshot of Task Manager showcasing all RAM being used by the browser?

As far as I can tell this is an invented crisis based on limited understanding of how browser and OS use system memory, and on how solid state drives already help overall system performance.

Meanwhile the OP also posted the same question on Linus Techtips and possibly other forums, so people who consider writing a detailed response should do so with this in mind.
 

ZERRECKO

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2019
5
0
6
#22
Yes I had posted on tomshardware forum and linustechtips forum, as I am to buy the parts soon and needed to know quite fast for my new system, whether optane or what else can be the solution for me.

And my pagefile grows to that size with my pc kept on for many days with chrome tabs being used and added. This is a known thing that chrome with many eats and needs too much memory. Recently I had rebooted my machine, so now the pagefile is at only like very less size of 2gb as I have opened another newer instance of my browser - portable chrome with very few tabs opened in it right now. That earlier instance of chrome portable with many tabs in it is not opened now after reboot, so pagefile is at only 2gb being used.

But the problem is when tabs will add up, chrome will again start its ridiculous pagefile usage game ! So need solution for this.

And I do have have my os windows7 and pagefile on ssd samsung 850evo 120gb. And the ssd partitions have adequate disk space left too, so thats not a problem.

And my system, now with very fewer tabs opened up is again fast, as pagefile size being used is only like 2gb. But it again becomes very slow when I will add many more chrome tabs in next coming days, with my pc kept on. As then the pagefile shows up to be more than 32gb.

I am quite familiar to os and browser using up memory, and better performance with os on ssd. That is not the problem. Hence am looking for a solution for faster system with heavy browsing, when even when os and pagefile are on the ssd, the system becomes too much slow after some days of chrome tabs being added up.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#23
I accumulate 100-200 tabs in Firefox, and I barely notice the extra paging, to my 2D TLC SSD, with a Ryzen R5 1600 and 16GB of DDR4-3000 @ 3000 RAM.

Edit: "Commit Charge" of 21GB.
 
Last edited:

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
5,983
165
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#24
Well, the simplest and cheapest solution is reboot your computer more often.

If you want advice within the constraints you've given us, then Optane should work. 16GB RAM + 58GB 800P* seems to be the best choice.

I've never heard of a situation where a person ran out of system memory due to browsing, but if what you are saying is true, yes even a 970 Pro would be slowed down, because the speed is dependent on random read/write operations and Optane is a lot faster at it.

We have a 2GB RAM + Intel 530 SSD machine so I know how SSD feels like with heavy pagefile.

cbn has experience in the low memory + Optane. Though I don't know if just putting the pagefile will be enough to alleviate your problems.

*Ignore the M10 as its mostly for manufacturers wanting to use them on laptops. Support is not guaranteed. For you, 800P series do the same thing.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#25
OP, what is your "Commit Charge" in Task Manager? It shows mine as 18/29GB, which means that between my 16GB of physical RAM, and my pagefile, I have 29GB available, with 18GB allocated.

So if you are seeing 45GB of pagefile space, you may only be using 29-32GB of VM.

And if this is due to a long-running Chrome process, as long as it doesn't regularly frob the memory pools, then some of that is just laying dormant in the pagefile.

So your "actively thrashing page count" (*) may not be as high as you think, and any decent SSD should handle that.

(*) Check Resource Manager for Disk and Pagefile I/O.
 


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