A few years back we attended an Intel IDF event in San Francisco and among other disclosures, behind closed doors, the company was showing off a PCI Express-based SSD with current generation Intel NAND Flash and based on an array of SandForce controllers. As it turns out, that product never saw the light of day and was more of a demonstration and proof of concept vehicle for Intel than anything else. We've heard rumblings of Intel PCI Express SSD devices since then but nothing materialized much until very recently when Intel stepped out with a full-fledged product announcement of their SSD 910 family of Solid State Drives. To be honest, it was out of the blue, though we like surprises.
With an MSRP of $1929 for 400GiB of capacity and $3859 for an 800GiB card, even mainstream performance enthusiasts would have a hard time justifying its cost, though at about $4.82 per GB you could see a high-end workstation professional, with large datasets to crunch, making the justification perhaps.
That said, as you'll see in the pages ahead
, where the new Intel SSD 910 really excels is in datacenter applications with literally thousands of concurrent IO requests that would otherwise play havoc with lower bandwidth solutions.