Asus released BIOS updates for its 200-series motherboards to add support for Intel Optane memory technology.
Optane is Intel's brand name for products using the 3D XPoint technology it co-developed with Micron. Its goal is to establish a new "storage-class memory" category that offers better performance and endurance than NAND while also being denser and cheaper than DRAM. Intel said on its website that Optane can increase "everyday task responsiveness" and hard drive access speeds by 2x and 14x, respectively, and provide a 28% boost to overall system performance. All you need is an Intel 7th Generation (Kaby Lake) processor, 200-series motherboard, and Optane Memory product.
The BIOS updates released today will enable Optane support on Asus' 200-series motherboards, so if you're rocking one of the company's B250, Q270, H270, or Z270 boards, now's your chance to get ready for Intel's new memory tech. You won't have many options to start--so far the company has announced only two Optane Memory products for the consumer market--but that won't always be the case. We expect the enterprise-focused Optane-equipped Intel DC P4800X SSD to have a consumer equivalent sooner than later, for example, and other products will debut besides.
Intel hasn't quite taken the wraps off the Intel DC P4800X--the company allowed us to remotely test the product earlier this month, but we haven't yet been able to test it in our own lab, and we weren't even given access to its manual. This means we don't yet have full specs, but even those preliminary tests showed that the Optane-equipped SSD could be a game-changer for the enterprise market. We'll see what this means for the consumer market when Optane hits more products with capacities larger than the 16GB and 32GB modules Intel announced in March.
You can find a full list of Asus motherboards with available BIOS updates--and instructions for how to install them--on the company's website. MSI and Gigabyte have also released BIOS updates for their 200-series boards with Optane support; we expect other manufacturers to follow suit.