Intel Announces Third-Generation Solid-State Drive 320 Series

Intel Announces Third-Generation Solid-State Drive 320 Series

Intel officially took the wraps off their third-generation solid state drive, the follow-up to the company’s popular X25-M G2. The Intel SSD 320 Series drives, as they are known, feature a proprietary, Intel-built drive controller, paired to cutting edge, 25nm NAND flash memory. The drives also feature a number of security and reliability enhancements and will be price significantly lower than current G2 series offerings.

We’re working on our full review of and Intel SSD 320 series drive ‘as we speak’, but for now here’s the official press release to get your juices flowing...


Intel Announces Third-Generation SSD: Intel Solid-State Drive 320 Series

Features Enhanced Performance/Reliability, Larger Capacities and 25nm IntelR NAND Flash Memory

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Third-generation Intel SSD 320 Series on 25-nm NAND flash memory offers 40-, 80-, 120-, 160-GB plus higher capacity 300- and 600GB options.
  • Advanced architecture enables robust, reliable SSDs with enhanced security features for desktop/notebook PCs or server data center storage.
  • Performance, reliability upgrades enhance solid line of high-performing SSDs with up to $100 price drop over current IntelR X25-M SSD model.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 28, 2011 - Intel Corporation announced today its highly anticipated third-generation solid-state drive (SSD) the IntelR Solid-State Drive 320 Series (IntelR SSD 320 Series). Based on its industry-leading 25-nanometer (nm) NAND flash memory, the Intel SSD 320 replaces and builds on its high-performing IntelR X25-M SATA SSD. Delivering more performance and uniquely architected reliability features, the new Intel SSD 320 offers new higher capacity models, while taking advantage of cost benefits from its 25nm process with an up to 30 percent price reduction over its current generation.

"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 Pete Hazen, director of marketing for the Intel Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Solutions Group. "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."

The Intel SSD 320 is the next generation of Intel's client product line for use on desktop and notebook PCs. It is targeted for mainstream consumers, corporate IT or PC enthusiasts who would like a substantial performance boost over conventional mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs). An SSD is more rugged, uses less power and reduces the HDD bottleneck to speed PC processes such as boot up and the opening of files and favorite applications. In fact, an upgrade from an HDD to an Intel SSD can give users one of the single-best performance boosts, providing an up to 66 percent gain in overall system responsiveness.

The Intel SSD 320 Series comes in 40 gigabyte (GB), 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and new higher capacity 300GB and 600GB versions. It uses the 3 gigabit-per-second (3gbps) SATA II interface to support an SSD upgrade for the more than 1 billion SATA II PCs installed throughout the world.

Continuing to offer high-performing random read and write speeds, which most affect a user's daily computing experience, the Intel SSD 320 produces up to 39,500 input/output operations per second (IOPS) random reads and 23,000 IOPS random writes on its highest-capacity drives. In addition, the company has more than doubled sequential write speeds from its second generation to 220 megabytes-per-second (MB/s) sequential writes and still maintains one of the highest read throughputs at up to 270 MB/s sequential reads. This greatly improves a user's multitasking capabilities. For example, a user can easily play background music or download a video, while working on a document with no perceivable slow down.

Already one of the most solid-performing SSDs over time, Intel continues to raise the bar on SSD reliability in the way it has architected its third generation, using proprietary firmware and controller, to further demonstrate that not all solid-state drives are created equal. In this rendition, Intel creatively uses spare area to deploy added redundancies that will help keep user data protected, even in the event of a power loss.

It also includes 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard capabilities on every drive, to help protect personal data in the event of theft or loss.
 "Solid-state drives continue to be one of the hottest trends in computing," said Bernard Luthi, vice president of marketing, Web management and customer service at leading e-retailer Newegg.com. "Intel remains a top brand because of its consistent performance and extremely low return rate. We are sure customers will welcome the new higher capacity drives, and now is a great time for consumers to upgrade their PC to a fast new SSD."

Intel SSD 320 prices, based on 1,000-unit quantities, are as follows: 40GB at $89; 80GB at $159; 120GB at $209; 160GB at $289; 300GB at $529 and 600GB at $1,069. Check retailers/e-tailers for consumer pricing. All models include a limited 3-year warranty from Intel.

"With recent announcements, we have expanded our SSD product line and now offer both consumers and computer OEMs more SSD choices," said Tom Rampone, vice president and general manager, Intel NVM Solutions Group. "We see the Intel SSD 320 as a solid advancement to our SSD roadmap, and will continue to upgrade and refresh our SSD product line as we add more enterprise options for our business customers throughout the year."

Another benefit for Intel SSD purchasers is the IntelR SSD Toolbox with IntelR SSD Optimizer, a free utility which provides Microsoft Windows* users with a powerful set of management, information and diagnostic tools to help maintain the health and out-of-box performance of the drive. To help ease the installation process, all Intel SSD users can download the free IntelR Data Migration Software to help clone the entire content of a previous storage drive (SSD or HDD) to any Intel SSD.

Intel SSDs can be purchased in the United States from such retailers as Best Buy or Fry's Electronics, plus a variety of resellers, retailers or Internet e-tailers such as Newegg.com or Amazon.com worldwide.

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The Price drop is nice. 

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hopefully the old ones follow suit

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Why didn't they make this SATA III?

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Prices are starting to get interesting...

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these drives are only slightly cheaper than the current G2, with marginal increases in performance and a decline in 4K. I'm very disappointed

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Probably because the drives themselves operate at only 270 MB/s tops, and SATA II has enough bandwidth for that (300 MB/s). No point in using the SATA III interface, maybe it might have made the drives more expensive with no real benefit?

I agree with dodgers though: the X-25 120GB is 250, how is 210 for the new one any significant price drop? Now, if the X-25 goes on clearance, that would make people happy. The 320 may have higher write speeds, but write speeds aren't as important as read speeds (at least, from a gaming point of view), an area in which the X-25 and 320 are almost identical.

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SSD's are still in their developemental stage, its nice to see a little performance increase and a small price drop but their still lacking in being a stable and buyer/consumer friendly product

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Acarzt i think they wanted this to be available to everyone including those with out a sata III port... but i say make another version of us with sata III

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dodgers2213 that is exactly what I was saying when they first benchmarked one of them. I think the reason they dropped the price is because they had no choice. Otherwise they would just be giving it to OCZ. Not like the prices are much if any better, and the performance is not either. There are a lot of uninformed people though who will buy the Intel because of last years standing. Also as far as it goes Inspector I am pretty sure SATA3 is backwards compatible like 1 and 2 so that makes no sense.

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