Intel announces enthusiast-grade 730 Series SSDs

February 28, 2014 // 10:30 a.m.

Tags: #730-series #enthusiast #intel #solid-state #solid-state-drive #solid-state-storage #ssd #storage

Intel has announced the impending availability of a new breed of enthusiast-grade solid-state drives (SSDs), the Intel 730 Series, which includes technology originally unveiled back in August at the Intel Developer Forum.

Although Intel had originally announced it would be demonstrating a means of overclocking SSD drives to improve performance at the event, with code even making it into an update of the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, the company appears to have changed tack. Rather than offering user-configurable overclocking to end-users, the company is taking the technology and using it to offer pre-overclocked SSDs to performance enthusiasts.

The Intel 730 Series SSDs, adorned with a circuit-based skull just in case there was any doubt as to its target market, is the first to benefit. According to Intel's figures, the drives boast a 50 per cent boost in controller clock speed from 400MHz to 600MHz and a 20 per cent bump in the speed of the NAND flash memory clock from 83MHz to 100MHz. The result: claimed transfer rates of up to 550MB/s and reads of up to 89,000 input-output operations per second (IOPS.)

Despite factory-set overclocking - and, to be clear, there's no option to use the beta code in the XTU to change those figures yourself - Intel is also claiming market-leading reliability. According to the company's internal testing, the drive offers endurance rated at 70GB of writes a day compared to the industry average of 20GB. To back that up, the company is offering a full five-year warranty with each purchase.

UK pricing for the drives has yet to be confirmed, with Intel promising a 240GB model at $249.99 and a 480GB model for $479.99 in the US (around £150 and £287 respectively, excluding taxes.)

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