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160GB solid-state drives coming from Intel - perhaps even in Q2 2008

by Tarinder Sandhu on 2 April 2008, 07:55

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Solid-state drives have been the buzzword of the desktop computing industry over the last year. Promising ultra-fast transfer rates; practically-shockproof designs; no moving parts resulting in lower power, they make for a compelling choice for mobile devices.

Up until now, though, the limited capacity, allied to high prices for the nascent technology, has meant that SSDs have been the domain of high-end, thin-and-light laptops - Apple's MacBook Air, for example.

Intel recently announced that, along with STM Electronics, it had setup Numonyx, a company that will produce, in part, NAND-based flash-memory. Following on from this, Intel formally announced that it will release 32-160GB SSDs in Q2 2008. Now, the pricing is unknown, but the very fact that the capacity will be increased to levels acceptable to most users, means that the days of low-capacity magnetic (traditional) drives could be numbered, especially if pricing is suitably aggressive.

Expect to see high-speed, low-power 1.8in and 2.5in SSDs flood the market really, really soon.

Would you pay twice as much for an 160GB SSD drive, when compared to a magnetic model?

HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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Yes I'd pay double. It seems inevitable that this is the next step in storage, unless hard drive storage capacities increase exponentially faster than SSDs. If this happens then I can see room in the market for both - SSDs for lower capacity (sub 1TB maybe) and HDDs for 1-5TB. At least until some new next-gen tech comes along and blows everything out of the water (holographic storage maybe?).
If they really ramp up capacity and the cost is no more than double a conventional drive, hell yes, especially for laptops. Failed hard disks are a typical problem for these and that's largely “machine got good hard knock while running”. Problem eliminated in a (you should pardon the expression) flash.
After experiencing SSD with the eee i would definitely like it for my OS drive on my main rig..
or a couple, in striped raid, almost linear performance scaling :drools:
Would you pay twice as much for an 160GB SSD drive, when compared to a magnetic model?
It depends, but probably not.

Firstly, if buying HDs, I wouldn't buy as small as 160GB now, with the possible exception of for a notebook, and my personal demands on notebook storage are modest anyway.

Secondly, it's a new technology, to the mass market at least, so what's long-term performance and reliability like?

And third, just how much difference do the “ultra-fast transfer rates” make to my real-world computing experience? There would have to be a very clear improvement in my personal user experience for me to justify it.

On the other hand, weight and lower power consumption are convincing arguments re: laptops.

So initially, because of reason two, I'm not likely to buy in whether they're price-competitive or not. Medium-term, it would depend on a mix of factors. But I can't say I'm terribly excited about it. And at twice the price ….. they're not at all appealing to me, at the moment.