ASRock Updates 200-Series Motherboards With Intel Optane Support

ASRock released BIOS updates for its 200-series motherboards to add support for Intel Optane memory technology.

Optane is the marketing name for the 3D XPoint technology co-developed by Intel and Micron to create a new "storage-class memory" category. It serves as a sort of middle ground between NAND and DRAM by being faster and more durable than the former while also being cheaper and denser than the latter. The result: faster hard drive access and "everyday task responsiveness" speeds as well as a generally better-performing system.

3D XPoint was announced in 2015, but the first products based on the technology have only just started to leave Intel's labs. Right now the only one you can buy is the Intel Optane Memory module, which comes in 16GB and 32GB capacities, to improve your system's performance without breaking the bank. All you have to do is set up a 200-series motherboard, Intel 7th Generation (Kaby Lake) processor, and Optane Memory module.

There's also the Intel DC P4800X, but the company's keeping details about that one so close to the chest that we weren't allowed to see its manual to confirm its full specs when we were invited to remotely test its performance. We expect that this enterprise-focused SSD will have a consumer equivalent sooner than later, but at least for now, you probably aren't going to have a whole bunch of Optane products to choose from.

On to the BIOS update: ASRock said you can download the update and enable Optane support with a single click via its ASRock Appshop. The update is available for several product series across the B250, H270, and Z270 chipsets. You can find a full list of compatible boards on ASRock's website. Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte have also released BIOS updates for their 200-series motherboards to allow them to work with Optane products.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.