CHIPMAKER Intel is preparing to release a 20GB solid state disk (SSD) drive, according to documents leaked by the motherboard manufacturer Asrock.
Chipzilla recently updated its popular range of SSDs with the 320 Series of drives based on 25nm NAND flash memory modules, but it looks like the chipmaker will release another, smaller capacity drive to interface with the Z68 chipset for its Sandy Bridge line of processors. At the launch of the 320 Series, Intel announced capacities ranging from 40GB to 600GB, however a new 20GB drive codenamed Larsen Creek was spotted when Asrock sent out some marketing material about Intel's upcoming Z68 chipset.
Asrock was touting Intel's Smart Response technology that aims to use an SSD as a cache drive to boost overall system performance with conventional mechanical hard drives. The marketing material, which has since been pulled from Asrock's servers, claimed that boot time was significantly reduced when a Z68 chipset motherboard with a 20GB Larsen Creek SSD was used. It also showed that the system with a Larsen Creek SSD returned PC Mark 05 scores that were three times higher than those of a system with a single Western Digital's 1TB hard drive.
It's not known how much Intel will charge for its 20GB Larsen Creek SSD when it does tip up, but given that Intel's 40GB Series 320 goes for around £70, we expect prices around the £50 mark. That means that if Asrock's performance claims turn out to be representative of real world benchmarks, a Z68 chipset motherboard with a small SSD onboard could become an attractive upgrade. µ