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SanDisk attacks PC hard disks

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SanDisk has a new Ultra line, a cruise flash missile aimed at taking out PC and notebook hard drives and replacing them with much faster SanDisk SSDs.

These are 2.5-inch format, 2-bit multi-level cell flash drives, coming in 60, 120 and 240GB capacity points. The Ultra brand is used by SanDisk for consumer flash products such as SDHC cards, and now a trio of SSDs will be sold under the Ultra name.

The products are contrasted with 7,200rpm hard drives, with SanDisk saying they can stream sequential read data at up to 280MB/sec and write sequential data at up to 270MB/sec. This near equality between read and write performance contrasts with general SSD I/O bandwidth – which generally shows a marked bias in favour of read bandwidth.

SanDisk Ultra SSD

Users should also get faster boot and application load times, and will also save on power costs, if they are bothered about that.

The drives have a 3Gbit/s SATA II interface, not the faster and newer 6Gbit/s SATA III one. They have TRIM and SMART support and a working life defined in terms of the total amount of written data. There can be 40TB of data written to the 60GB product, 80TB for the 120GB model, and 120TB of data written to the 240GB Ultra.

The competition includes Lexar, SuperTalent and many other suppliers.

The 120 and 240GB Ultra SSDs are available now in the USA from Amazon and Newegg, with the 60GB model due in August. SanDisk's suggested prices are: $129.99 for the 60GB product; $219.99 for the 120GB one; and $449.99 for the 240GB model.

Newegg has the 120GB Ultra available for $179.99. SanDisk wasn't able to tell us about UK availability or pricing. ®

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