A 3D XPoint is the name given by Intel and Micron to the upcoming new class of non-volatile memory for SSDs and the like.
3D XPoint was announced in mid-2015 with claims of ten times reduced latency compared to flash NVMe-based devices and hugely faster read and write speeds, apparently 100 times faster (so approximately 40 GB/s) although the speed has not been independently benchmarked. For gamers, this will pave the way for 8k gaming and allowing richer graphics and a more responsive experience amongst other advantages. Intel and Micron have not been forthcoming with all the details, but it is reported that it does not rely on trapping electrons to store a bit (doing away with the need for transistors) and instead changes the property of the memory cell instead by varying the amount of voltage that each cell receives. The 3D XPoint name was no doubt inspired by the array structure of the memory cells. Billions of cells are tightly packed together and arranged perpendicular to conductors. Further, this is then arranged in layers. The early technology is expected to store 128 gigabits per die over two layers. 3D XPoint devices may use the PCIe port intially, however that this will create a bottleneck so expect new complimentary data bus technology to be developed. In the sales literature for Intel Optane (the brand behind this new technology), 3D XPoint based SSDs will be available in 2016, though recent indications point closer to 2017

DRAM stands of Dynamic Random Access Memory. It is a separate class of memory to flash and 3D XPoint. The main contrast being that this is volatile memory and does not retain data in the absence of power. It is not very expensive to manufacture (although more expensive than flash), requiring one transistor and one capacitor on a circuit to store a bit. Its main benefit is its very fast read/write data speeds coupled with exceptionally low latency, even the guys at 3D XPoint concede that DRAM has around 10 times lower latency than XPoint. DRAM has a greater power consumption and is best suited for PC and Graphics card RAM.

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