Intel Planning "Overclock" Feature for SSDs

Intel will reportedly release a product in 4Q13 or 1Q14 that can "overclock" solid-state drives, or SSDs. Intel hasn't exactly explained what this product will be, but said on Friday that it has scheduled a block of time during the Intel Developers Forum taking place in San Francisco just weeks away to discuss the possibility.

According to Intel's website, the session will be called "Overclocking Underclocked Intel Core Processors for High Performance Gaming and Content Creation," and is aimed at system manufacturers, developers and the build-it-yourself PC gamer crowd. That said, Intel has no plans to go into specifics about the unannounced tech, but will merely offer a demonstration of SSD overclocking.

"This is a product we're looking into but we have not released yet. So I'm not able to go into great detail about a future product ... as far as specs and such," said Alan Frost, marketing and communications manager for Intel.

Intel executives are reportedly still trying to figure out how to market an SSD with flexible provisioning properties. "We've debated how people would use it," Frost added. "I think the cool factor is somewhat high on this, but we don't see it changing the macro-level environment. But, as far as being a trendsetter, it has potential."

It's believed that Intel's new mystery product is the next evolution of the SandForce controller that will be user definable, providing the ability to allocate specified storage sizes on the SSD. Compression of data may also be involved, thus virtually increasing the capacity size beyond the physical limits. Compression would also increase performance, as it would take less time to move compressed data to and from the NAND flash storage than it would the same uncompressed data. Yet allocating a percentage of the SSD's physical capacity for compression could shorten the drive's overall endurance.

"If you overclock and get faster performance and capacity and sacrifice endurance by doing so, well, then you could still enjoy the benefits if you are in a mostly read-intensive environment," said Joseph Unsworth, Gartner's NAND flash and SSD research vice president. "I suspect DataCenter server IT admins would also be savvy enough (especially at hyperscale level) to exploit this advantage."

Frost told Computerworld that the unannounced overclocking product will not address the average consumer who is likely still trying to figure out what a solid-state drive actually is. He admitted that while SSD penetration is definitely getting better, overall, the market is still rather small.

For more information about Intel's overclocking session taking place in a few weeks, head here.

  • wanderer11
    I don't think anyone would do this that has any data they care about. Personally, I would tinker with it because all I use my computer for is gaming so if a drive dies all I really lose is the time to reinstall.
  • Blessedman
    hmmm... This makes very little sense. Unless you are on the latest generation interface with last generation drive otherwise the bandwidth of the interface is already pretty maxed out as it stands with SSD's anyways. Now let me run my HDD's at 10k RPM (or higher) from a 7k drive.
  • cmartin011
    Hope they may talk about sata 4 lighting bolt for these drives otherwise it be wast for for the lack of interface speed..
  • ssdpro
    This is strange at best. Anyone who has used a SSD knows you won't be able to tell the difference between a stock SSD and that stock SSD with the cache ramped up 5%. This overclock could even deal with provisioning and not be a true clock increase at all.

    At this point overclocking in general doesn't seem to mix well with SSD. Even an unstable system overclock can render a SSD useless. When I updated to Z87 and was testing my overclock I came to what I thought was a stable balance. A few days later I got a 124 bsod and my 840 Pro was dead. Now adding overclock to the SSD itself? Yuck.
  • johnb0118
    "*Intel does not support overclocking of any device including Sold-State Drives. The user will utilize this feature at his/her own risk. Warranty void if the overclocking feature has been enabled."
  • crisan_tiberiu
    Unfortunatly "Overclocking" became pure marketing nowdays...
  • Sakkura
    11505726 said:
    I don't think anyone would do this that has any data they care about. Personally, I would tinker with it because all I use my computer for is gaming so if a drive dies all I really lose is the time to reinstall.
    People could just have backups in place.

    Still, the performance probably isn't going to be noticeably better, it's just higher benchmark scores.
  • drwho1
    A better idea, give us 5 TB SSD's at LOW cost!
    @ $0.10 cents per GB to start.
  • Pinhedd
    11506017 said:
    Unfortunatly "Overclocking" became pure marketing nowdays...

    Generally yes, but many SSD controllers use embedded RISC based microprocessors that can be overclocked in the most conventional sense.
  • dark_lord69
    SSD Overclocking = Why?
    Faster RAM, CPU and GPU are the items that will effect game play and most programs. I don't see a need for SSD's to be overclocked.