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3/1/2011
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Intel Launches 6 GBps Solid State Drive

The 510 Series' read/write speeds are double or triple those offered by Intel's previous SSDs.

Intel 510 Series SSD
(click image for larger view)
Intel 510 Series SSD
Intel has introduced its fastest solid-state drive, saying the new line for desktop PCs is aimed at gamers, video creators, and workstation users.

The 510 Series, unveiled Monday, features a 6 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) SATA bus interface and has sequential read and write speeds of up to 500 MBps and 315 MBps, respectively. The read/write speeds more than double and triple, respectively, the speeds of Intel's current 3-Gbps SATA SSDs.

The latest SSD delivers more than 50% higher performance than hard disk drives (HDDs), which translates into faster boot times and application performance. The reason for the speed boost is the fact that conventional HDDs barely reach the 3-Gbps SATA interface level, Intel says.

"The new 6-Gbps SATA SSD from Intel is not only significantly faster than the top 10,000 RPM gaming HDD, it's also faster than two RAIDed gaming HDDs," Pete Hazen, director of marketing for Intel's NAND solutions group, said in a statement.

The 510 Series uses Intel's 34-nanometer NAND flash memory. The product is available in a 250-GB capacity for $584 and 120-GB at $284, for quantities of 1,000 units. The SSDs include a limited three-year warranty and have a mean time between failures of 1.2 million hours. The smaller model is aimed at dual-drive desktops in which the operating system, commonly used applications, and games are accessed from the faster SSD. The HDD is used to store data.

About a year ago, Intel introduced a smaller SSD for the same dual-drive purpose. When used to launch the OS and applications, the 40-GB X25-V could boost overall system performance by up to 43% and gaming performance by as much as 86%, according to Intel. The X25-V was added to Intel's other 3-Gbps SATA interface drive, the X25-M, which is available in 80-GB and 160-GB capacities.

Intel provides a utility, called an "optimizer," with its drives that includes for Microsoft Windows users a set of management and diagnostic tools to maintain the performance of the SSDs. Intel also provides for download data migration software to help clone the entire content of a previous drive, SSD or HDD, to an Intel SSD.

Consumers can buy the latest SSDs through a variety of retailers, such as Newegg.com or Amazon.com.

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