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Intel reveals 730-series ‘factory overclocked’ SSDs

Intel Corp. on Thursday unveiled its new lineup of high-end solid-state drives (SSDs) aimed at performance-demanding users. The new Intel 730-series SSDs are the first drives featuring controller and NAND components binned and qualified for higher clock-rates, yet, the manufacturer claims ultimate reliability of the drives.

Intel solid-state drives 730-series code-named “Jackson Ridge” are available in 240GB and 480GB capacities. The new SSDs are based on multi-level cell NAND flash memory made using 20nm process technology as well as an LSI SandForce controller with Intel firmware tuned for maximum performance and datacenter-class reliability. Intel claims that it factory overclocked the controller by 50% (up to 600MHz) and the NAND by 20% (to 100MHz) resulting in 50µs read latencies, consistently high transfer rates of up to 550MB/s sequential reads, and up to 89000 IOPS random reads.

Although Intel has clearly made a lot to boost performance of the 730-series SSDs, its maximum possible performance is probably limited by Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface, which is why the company stresses “consistently high transfer rates” since peak performance of the new flagship consumer SSD is on par with other drives in the same class.

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Intel’s future high-end SSDs for client PCs will utilize PCI Express protocol and will have considerably higher performance.

Intel 730-series SSDs are protected by a 5-year warranty. The Intel SSD 730 Series is available today for pre-order, and will be available for purchase starting on March 18.

KitGuru Says: It is noteworthy that Intel decided not to wait for other makers to start overclocking SSD components and released one of the world’s first “factory overclocked” solid-state drives itself.

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