Computer Hardware

Quick Guide to Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory

June 28, 2019 • 2 min read


With the release of the 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors comes the introduction of the new Intel Optane DC persistent memory module (DCPMM). It helps the performance of data-intensive applications such as high-performance computing (HPC), in-memory analytics, content delivery networks, and databases. It offers lower latency than fetching data from system storage, all while offering a large and persistent memory tier at an affordable cost.


Intel DCPMMs have the same form factor and similar performance as a standard DDR4 DIMM, but with the capacity and persistence of data storage as with a solid-state drive. Intel Optane DCPMMs has the following specifications:

  • DCPMMs are installed in standard memory slots in supported servers
  • 2666 MHz memory bus speed
    • Any standard 2933 MHz DDR4 DIMMs installed will also run at 2666 MHz
  • Optional AES 256-bit data encryption
  • Operates in one of three modes:
    • Memory Mode, where the DCPMMs act as a large capacity DDR4 memory module. The operating system recognizes the DCPMMs, while the standard DIMMs are hidden from the OS and act as a cache for the DCPMMs. The persistence feature in this mode is disabled.
    • App Direct Mode, where DCPMMs provide all persistence features to the operating system and applications that support them. The OS presents the application of both standard DDR4 DIMMs and DCPMMs as system memory and persistent storage respectively.
    • Mixed Memory Mode, where part of the capacity of the DCPMMs is used for the Memory Mode operations. The remaining DCPMM capacity is then used for the App Direct Mode operations. The standard DDR4 memory is hidden from the OS and acts as a cache for a portion of the DCPMMs in Memory Mode.


When choosing the number of DIMMs and DCPMMs, the following requirements must be followed:

  • DCPMMs require 2nd generation Platinum, Gold, and select Silver Intel Scalable Family processors.
  • DCPMMs must be the same size.
  • Standard DDR4 DIMMS must be the same size and model.
  • The use of single-rank DDR4 DIMMS with DCPMMs is not supported.
  • Maximum of 6 DCPMMs per processor, 1 in each memory channel.
  • Minimum 2 standard DDR4 DIMMs per processor, 1 per memory controller.
  • Minimum 2 DCPMMs per processor in Memory Mode
  • Minimum 1 DCPMM installed in App Direct Mode, regardless of the number of processors.

SabrePC offers Intel Xeon Scalable Solutions that support Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory as well as a selection of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory modules. Please contact us for assistance in configuring the right system for your needs.





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