The Tech Herald

Intel's 25nm 320 SSD offers more for less

by Steven Mostyn - Mar 29 2011, 14:03

Not quite HDD prices... but getting there. Image: Intel.

In a move that finally quashes the notion that solid-state storage lacks capacity and is overly expensive, chipmaker Intel Corp. has this week announced a fresh line of spacious and (more) affordable consumer-class drives.

Aimed at desktop and notebook PCs, and boasting industry-leading construction on Intel’s smallest ever architecture (25nm), the new SSD 320 range offers more than three times the storage capacity of the stalwart X25-M SSD platform it’s meant to replace.

With a capacity ceiling of 600GBs, the new 2.5-inch drives include all the swift performance, low-power consumption, and robust reliability synonymous with the X25-M drive but undercut its established price points by up to 30 percent (or $100 USD).

Although the following prices relate to bulk purchases of 1,000 units—and therefore will only cock the eyebrows of Intel’s hardware partners—the SSD 320 line starts at just $89 USD for the 40GB model.

The rest of the range stretches from $159 USD for the 80GB drive, $209 USD for the 120GB option, $289 USD for the 160GB model, $529 USD in return for 300GBs, and $1,089 USD for the upper-tier 600GB variant.

Flying in the face of its lowered pricing, the SSD 320 range actually delivers a selection of new additions, including native 128-bit AES encryption and a surplus allocation of NAND to allow for automated data migration protection should the drive experience a chip failure or power loss.

Other features include a 3Gbps SATA II interface, up to 39,500 IOPS random reads, 23,000 IOPS random writes on the highest-capacity drives, a (doubled) sequential write speed of 220Mbps, and a sequential read speed of up to 270Mbps, all of which should enable users to enjoy greater multi-tasking capabilities.

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