Intel SSD to boost Windows 8 boot, wake times

There's nothing like a solid-state drive to speed up PC performance. And Intel now offers a small-capacity SSD to boost the performance of systems that are based on hard disk drives.

Intel SSD 313 comes in 20GB and 24GB capacities.
Intel SSD 313 comes in 20GB and 24GB capacities. Intel

New Intel solid-state drives are aimed at boosting Windows startup and wake times, making them a hardware feature that will be especially applicable to Windows 8.

The Intel SSD 313 Series offers what is in effect a solid-state drive cache, increasing the "responsiveness" of PCs that are based on hard disk drives -- that being a word Intel and Microsoft throw around a lot these days.

Responsiveness is code for the kind of instant-on experience you get on a tablet or smartphone.

And both Windows 8 PCs (think: ultrabooks) and tablets should offer that kind of responsiveness as long as the system has an SSD or hybrid SSD-HDD configuration, according to Intel.

Do you remember a Microsoft video demonstrating this last year? Well if you don't, here's a quick refresher:

That very-fast-booting HP EliteBook laptop in the video used a 160GB SSD (likely Intel), according to Softpedia.

Here's what Intel says about the necessary configuration for fastest performance. "When used as a cache, the Intel SSD 313 Series works...with Intel Core processors, select versions of the 6 and 7 series of Intel Express Chipsets, and Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers (10.5 and newer) to provide a fast-caching solution."

The SSD comes in 20GB and 24GB capacities and is available in either a 2.5 inch or mSATA package.

The SSD 313 Series uses cutting-edge Intel 25 nanometer (nm) Single Level Cell (SLC) NAND flash memory. SLC typically offers better performance and endurance compared with Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND.

Amazon is selling the mSATA 24GB 313 for about $138. But consumers should also expect Windows 8 ultrabook and tablet suppliers to sell models with these already built in.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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