Intel started off this week by announcing a fresh new “third-generation” line of Solid State Drives with lower price points, higher capacities, and improved security and performance over the company’s prior offerings.
The Intel SSD 320 line, aimed at both consumer and enterprise customers, is reported by company officials to cost up to 30 percent less than 2nd generation drives while providing users who upgrade from an HDD with a performance boost of up 66 percent in regards to overall system response speeds.
“Intel designed new quality and reliability features into our SSDs to take advantage of the latest 25nm silicon, so we could deliver cost advantages to our customers,” said Intel marketing director Pete Hazen. “Intel’s third generation of SSDs adds enhanced data security features, power-loss management and innovative data redundancy features to once again advance SSD technology. Whether it’s a consumer or corporate IT looking to upgrade from a hard disk drive, or an enterprise seeking to deploy SSDs in their data centers, the new Intel SSD 320 Series will continue to build on our reputation of high quality and dependability over the life of the SSD.”
This new line has been completely redesigned in the inside, according to Intel’s press release. The SSD 320 Series uses a “proprietary firmware and controller,” which the company is touting to differentiate this line from others currently on the market. The improvements contained within the new drives include support for 128-bit AES encryption and a redundancy system that is supposed to help prevent data write failures if power flow to the SSD is interrupted.
The 320 Series uses the 3Gbps SATA2 interface, which Intel claims is able to produce speedy sequential write speeds of 220MB/sec and read speeds of up to 270MB/sec.
Cost for retailers buying in lots of 1000 are 40GB for $89, 80GB for $159, 120GB for $209, 160GB for $289, 300GB for $529 and 600GB for $1,069. Of course, pricing for retailers will be varied depending upon their markups, but a quick search of Amazon.com reveals results for each capacity with their MSRP and some introductory pricing specials.
As I sit here working on a laptop that still has a HDD, I’m finding myself more tempted by the allure of quick SSD speeds and the lack of moving parts. Of course, the drop in price certainly helps to fuel that desire. It may just be time for an upgrade soon.