Gigabyte has added two new motherboards with the “OP” modifier to its arsenal. These new SKUs come with a pre-installed 32GB Intel Optane memory module and a special heatsink with Intel Optane branding, but aside from those changes, these motherboards come with the same features and functions as their standard counterparts. The Optane modules come installed in a standard M.2 port.
Intel already sells its new Core+ processors with 16GB Optane memory drives in the box, but the company has obviously missed the point of bundling products together: Intel’s bundle pricing is higher than the processor’s MSRP and the increase is roughly equivalent to the price of a 16GB Optane module.
Lucky for us, Gigabyte doesn’t make the same mistake. The Z370 Aorus Gaming 7-OP comes with an MSRP of $269, which is a $20 premium over the standard Gaming 7 model’s $249 MSRP, but the Optane-equipped model is currently on sale for $249.99.
Newegg has the AORUS Gaming 7-OP on sale for the next six days, so you essentially score a ~$70 Optane memory module for free. After the sale ends, you still get the memory module for only $20 more, which is a solid deal.
Gigabyte also offers the Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming WIFI-OP with a $214 MSRP, while its non-Optane-equipped counterpart is on sale for $164.99 (it usually retails for $179.99). That means you pay an extra $34 for the 32GB Optane Memory module, which normally retails for ~$70.
That’s a pretty solid deal for 32GB of Optane that works with Intel’s software to boost performance in a wide range of games and applications. Intel now also supports using Optane caching with a secondary storage volume. That means you can store your Stream library on your secondary HDD and still experience SSD-like load times.