Intel’s new Optane H20 gives SSD performance a leg up on 11th gen CPUs

New drive could offer great performance, but there's a catch

If you’ve forgone the best SSD for gaming in favour of a high-capacity hard drive, Intel’s Optane cards help boost the access speeds of your mechanical disk to rival those found on a solid state. While Intel discontinued Optane consumer drives recently, it’s since unveiled the new Optane H20 drive, designed to work with the 11th gen Intel Rocket Lake chips.

The latest model is a hybrid, combining the company’s own 670p NVMe SSD with 32GB of Optane memory to offer file access faster than the 670p’s standalone 3,500MB/s sequential read speed. The H20 achieves this by remembering the most frequently accessed tasks and applications. It then loads them onto the 32GB cache area where speeds are comparable to the best gaming RAM, but without the volatility of system memory.

Unfortunately, you won’t find this drive inside the custom rigs, as it’ll only be available inside prebuilt PCs and the best gaming laptops when it launches on June 20. It looks unlikely Intel will reverse its January decision and make the Optane H20 available to the general public once again.

So, the only way you’ll get one inside your own PC build is by finding one on the second-hand market, scavenged out of a prebuilt device.