These new super fast Intel SSDs provide a bridge to Optane

Intel's SSDs for data centers are among the company's fastest

If you can't afford Intel's super fast Optane SSDs but need a massive speed boost, the company's latest DC P4600 and DC P4500 SSDs may fill the need.

The new SSDs are based on conventional 3D NAND and targeted at data centers. The SSDs will be used in servers or storage arrays to serve up quick video streams, voice-assistant AI responses, and even pull out information from databases.

These SSDs are a reliable upgrade for those who don't want to mess with Optane, which is based on brand-new memory technology. According to Intel's rough estimate, the P4500 and P4600 drives provide two times faster read and write performance compared to predecessors, the DC P3520 and P3600 drives.

The NVMe drives are not compatible with the common SATA interface.

The P4600 will come in capacities of 1.6TB ($1,384) and 3.2TB ($2,589) for the U.2 form factor and 2TB ($1,619) and 4TB ($3,239) for the AIC form factor. The drive has random read speeds of 702,500 IOPS (input/output operations per second) and write speeds of 257,000 IOPs in 4K blocks. The drive has sequential read speeds of 3300MBps (megabytes per second) and write speeds of 2100MBps.

The P4500 will come in capacities of 1TB ($624), 2TB ($1,159), and 4TB ($2,314). Its random read speed is 710,000 IOPS and its write speed is 68,000 IOPS, which is significantly less than the P4600. The sequential read speed is 3290 MBps, and write speed is 1890MBps.

These SSDs are more affordable than Optane, said Jonmichael Hands, product marketing manager at the company.

The drives will be available worldwide.

Intel has made tweaks that specialize the SSDs for data centers. The drivers and controllers have been improved, which boosts the speed and reliability, Hands said.

The P4500 and P4600 are targeted at cloud computing but can be used for other applications. too. All-flash storage arrays can run a wide variety of applications. The main job for the SSDs is to serve as cache, or temporary storage, while applications are executed.

The drives also have error correction and tools that ensure high performance and reliability. These SSDs are closely designed to work with Intel's x86 chips, particularly the upcoming Skylake server chip, which will be launched mid-year

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