SanDisk shows its fastest ever consumer SSD drive

Performance going up, price edging down

SanDisk has announced a super-fast SSD drive for consumers that once again puts the company's drives near the top of the performance currently on offer from the technology.

That speed boost from the new Extreme SSD is considerable, with a quoted performance of 550 MB/s for sequential read and 520MB/s for writes, pretty much identical to the best on offer from a select fgroup of rivals including Intel's recent 520 Series.

This is a measurable jump from the best SSDs being put out a year ago but will require a SATA 6GB interface to get the best out of it. The controller in the Extreme SSD has not been specified by SanDisk, but the Intel-equivalent performance suggests SandForce.

Capacities start at 120GB, costing £122, with a 240GB costing £239 available from launch; a 480GB version is promised for later in the year which will set back buyers a quoted $749 (approximately £480 at today's rates).

The company has made the usual SSD claims that the Extreme will boot in 16 seconds and offer 10 times the performance of a conventional 7,200rpm drive for 30 percent lower energy use. The all-important drive warranty has not been made public.

"Computer wait times are becoming a thing of the past thanks to SSDs," said SanDisk's product marketing director, Kent Perry. "Our SanDisk Extreme SSD delivers virtually instant boot and shutdown times along with faster application launches. It's a huge improvement to the computing experience."

SanDisk has also announced the X100 6GB/s SSD drive aimed at high-end professional laptops and desktops. Despite having a slightly lower performance than the Extreme, the X100 will also be pushed into Ultrabooks. Capacities will be 2GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB.

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