updated 12:35 pm EDT, Mon March 28, 2011
Intel SSD 320 goes to 25nm with 600GB option
Intel upgraded its mainstream SSDs in large fashion on Monday through the SSD 320. Its direct replacement for the X25-M is built on a new, dense 25 nanometer process that ups both the capacity and the speed. Drives can now store as much as 600GB and sustain as much as 270MB per second in read speeds or 220MB per second for writes.
Some extra safeguards are also in place to reassure those worried about the switch to SSD, Intel said. An SSD 320 now caches incoming data writes if it has to suddenly shut down, and a grid of extra flash chips will automatically kick in if chips in the main storage array fail.
All of the drives support up to SATA II (3Gbps) speeds. Intel is shipping 2.5-inch versions in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB, and 600GB capacities at bulk prices that start lower than for the X25-M, coming in at $89 for the 40GB drive and peaking at $1,069 for the 600GB storage. Those with some ultraportables, netbooks, and blade servers can also get 1.8-inch versions in 80GB, 160GB, and 300GB levels for what's likely to be the same prices. Amazon, Best Buy, Fry's, and Newegg are all carrying the drive in stores.