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MSI’s new ‘OPT BOOST’ motherboards will be bundled with 16GB Intel Optane Memory module

By John Law & Koh Wanzi - on 26 Apr 2017, 6:55pm

MSI’s new ‘OPT BOOST’ motherboards will be bundled with 16GB Intel Optane Memory module

MSI Z270 Tomahawk OPT BOOST

MSI has announced three new Intel 200-series motherboards that come pre-installed with a 16GB Intel Optane Memory module. MSI’s existing 200-series boards already support Optane with a BIOS update, so it looks like the company is simply looking to make things more convenient for users.

The new ‘OPT BOOST’ boards include the Z270 Tomahawk OPT BOOST, the B250M Bazooka OPT BOOST, and the B250M Pro OPT BOOST, all of which are entry-level to mid-range boards targeted at more price-sensitive consumers.

According to MSI, the bundled Intel Optane Memory drive represents an added value of US$50 (approx. RMRM217) for free, and it’s those who absolutely require high-capacity HDDs who will benefit the most from the speed boost.

These 3D XPoint-based Optane Memory modules improve drive performance by serving as a speedy cache for frequently accessed data, thus speeding up boot times, application load speeds, and other aspects of system performance.

MSI B250M Bazooka OPT BOOST

That said, you’ll also need an Intel Kaby Lake processor for the drive to work properly, so that’s something to take note of.

In addition, MSI has done more than just install the Optane Memory drive into a pre-existing M.2 socket, and it’s also included a second M.2 socket in case you wish to step up to a dedicated PCIe SSD.

The OPT BOOST boards are available in both ATX and micro-ATX form factors – the Tomahawk board is the larger one while the Bazooka caters to smaller systems.

However, no details on the B250M Pro OPT BOOST are available yet, although it was announced together with the other two boards.

Source: MSI.