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Intel Intros SSD For Gamers, Content Creators

On Thursday, Intel launched a new line of performance SSDs ideal for the workstation and gaming, the Intel Solid-State Drive 730 Series. Arriving in 240 GB and 480 GB capacities on March 18, customers can pre-purchase one of these drives now for $269.99 and $499.99, respectively.

"Both the NAND and the third-generation Intel controller have been infused with data center DNA for quality and reliability, and factory tuned for extreme performance. Delivering low latency and consistently high throughput, the 730 Series helps PCs respond quickly," reads Intel's Chip Shot blog.

The new 2.5-inch 7 mm SATA drives feature Intel's eight-channel controller (PC29AS21CA0), the company's 20 nm NAND (IMFT, 64 Gb Die), and 1 GB of DDR3-1600 cache. However, the company overclocked the controller by 50 percent, bumping the speed up from 400 MHz to 600 MHz. The company also overclocked the NAND by 20 percent (83 to 100 MHz), resulting in 50µs read latencies.

According to the specs, the 240 GB version provides sequential read speeds up to 550 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 270 MB/s. Random 4 KB read and write are up to 86,000 and 56,000 IOPS, respectively, and the endurance is 50 GB writes per day. This drive, along with the 480 GB version, comes with a five year warranty.

The specs of the 480 GB SSD don't stray far from the 240 GB model, with sequential read speeds up to 550 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 470 MB/s. Random 4 KB read and write speeds are up to 89,000 and 74,000 IOPS, respectively, and the endurance is 70 GB writes per day.

"We finally have another modern consumer-oriented drive with an Intel controller. Dubbed the SSD 730 Series, it leverages the same platform as the company's SSD DC S3700 and S3500," reads our review of the new SSD series. "This is a prosumer product, aimed at professionals who remember Intel's commitment to speed and reliability from the generation prior."

To read our full review of the Intel SSD 730 Series, head here. To pre-purchase one of these drives, head here to see a list of Intel partners such as Amazon, Newegg and TigerDirect.