Intel announced today a new line of solid-state drives (SSD) which take advantage of Intel’s transition to higher speed SATA 6 Gigabits per second (Gbps) bus interfaces on the recently introduced 2nd Generation Intel Core processor-based platforms.

Supporting data transfers of up to 500 megabytes per second (MB/s), Intel says the new SSD 510 line of drives doubles the sequential read speeds, and at up to 315MB/s more than triples the sequential write speeds of Intel’s current 3Gbps SSDs.

Intel claims the new drives will offer the fastest sequential read and write speeds of any consumer SATA SSD available today and is more than 50% faster than a traditional consumer hard disk drive (HDD).

In addition to better overall system responsiveness when compared to a mechanical hard drive, SSDs have no moving parts so use significantly less power than traditional computer hard drives while offering greater reliability and performance. SSDs reduce boot times, launch applications and files faster and recover from sleep mode quicker, resulting in noticeable improvement. Conventional HDDs are also unable to effectively take advantage of 6Gbps platform technology, since HDDs fail to maximize even the current 3Gbps SATA interface.

While many computer enthusiasts will covet this new drives, they won't come cheap. Consumer pricing was not announced but manufacturers will have to pay $284 for a 120GB version and $584 for a 250GB when buying in quantities of a thousand.

Out of the gate, the 120GB version is expected to be the most popular since it makes for a good choice for dual-drive desktops, a hybrid configuration gaining in popularity. In this type of set up, the operating system, favourite applications and games are accessed from the SSD for faster boot up and accelerated application performance, while the HDD is used to store data.

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