AMD enters SSD market; SanDisk updates its lineup

|By:, SA News Editor

AMD (AMD +1.3%) has jumped into the PC SSD market courtesy of its Radeon R7 SSD line, offered in partnership with Toshiba-acquired OCZ.

120GB, 240GB, and 480GB drives are offered, and AMD promises the gamers it's targeting will get high-end performance: The 480GB model respectively has max random read and write IOPS of 100K and 90K - the use of high-end Toshiba NAND flash parts doesn't hurt. The 120GB model goes for $100, and the 480GB model for $290.

Reviews are positive, though not quite glowing. TweakTown admits the OCZ Barefoot 3 controller used by the drives is "showing its age," but also praises the R7 line's performance and pricing. Bit-tech thinks mainstream users "will be best served" by rival Crucial and Samsung drives, but adds AMD's drives could be a good deal for some performance-focused buyers.

Meanwhile, SanDisk (SNDK +1%) has launched its Ultra II SSD line, which replaces the older Ultra Plus line. The drives are aimed at mainstream buyers - the more costly Extreme Pro line targets enthusiasts - and come packaged with performance monitoring, cloning, and theft recovery software.

Pricing is aggressive: SanDisk is charging $80 for the 120GB model, $115 for the 240GB model, $220 for the 480GB model, and $430 for the 960GB model.