I don't expect many people to run out and buy two or three Optane Memory SSDs to build a RAID array. For many of us, it's just a waiting game. In time Intel will bring a high-performance Optane-based SSD to market that doesn't cost $1,500. Several sites have reported that product may be called the 900P. A 900-series SSD product would fall in line with the return of the Core i9 processor series, and it would possibly use a configuration like the DC P4800X. The Intel SSD 750 series used the same hardware as the DC P3x00 series, so Intel wouldn't be breaking any new ground in bringing enterprise/datacenter hardware to the prosumer market. If the reports are true, the upcoming Optane 900P consumer SSD will ship in a wider range of capacities than the SSD 750. That will give more users access to affordable 3D XPoint technology.
If you are not willing to wait for an unconfirmed product with an unknown release date, then following me down the RAID 0 array path is a viable option if you already have a motherboard with the right features. Our Asrock Z170 Extreme7+ with three M.2 slots allowed us to utilize the Optane Memory SSDs in RAID. Most motherboards only support two M.2 devices in native slots, but many also support a third drive in the bottom PCIe slot that can route the signal to the PCH for use with Rapid Storage Technology. You will need to check your motherboard specifications and BIOS configuration to verify your options.
Our Optane Memory array is very fast. With an operating system installed it's difficult to even put into words the difference between an NVMe SSD and the array. It wasn't quite the performance leap going from a hard disk drive to an SSD, though, but the system was more responsive than a high-performance NVMe SSD with the latest NAND technology. Unlike the move from disks to SSDs, I can still live with regular SSDs after experiencing Optane as a boot device. There is clearly a difference, but not enough to where we would loathe going back to a traditional SSD. If you ever spend time on a hard disk drive system after using an SSD for more than a few weeks, you understand what I mean. Disks increase your level of anxiety almost instantly.
If anything, our tests give us a clearer picture of what Optane can do for end users. Cache SSDs carry a stigma that dates back to several years of failed product releases. Our readers made that very clear in the Optane Memory Review comments thread. The failed devices of the past will hurt Optane Memory even though it’s a very good product and the best caching approach to date. The argument about Intel's high system requirements is valid, though. We really wish Optane Memory would work with 6th generation processors and 100 series chipsets. I wouldn't buy a new motherboard and processor to use Optane Memory with a hard drive when I already have enough performance and features on an older platform paired with an SSD.
MORE: Best SSDs
MORE: All SSD Content