AMD teams with Toshiba to make its own SSDs

AMD logoPC builders mostly think of CPUs and GPUs when they think of AMD, but today the company announced that it's getting into the SSD business. AMD will be partnering with Toshiba-owned OCZ to launch three Radeon R7-branded solid-state drives in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities. The drives use OCZ's Barefoot 3 controller and Toshiba's A19nm NAND chips, have four-year warranties, and include 3.5-inch drive adapters for desktops and disk cloning software from Acronis to aid with data migration. Additional information and specifications are laid out in the slides below.

The drives start at $99 for the 120GB model, well south of the $1-per-GB line, and the competitive SSD landscape usually pushes prices down a bit from the MSRP (the 240GB and 480GB models go for $164 and $299, respectively). However, AMD's drives will face strong competition from other entrenched competitors. Looking at Amazon shows well-regarded Samsung drives below that price point ($89 for a 120GB Samsung 840 EVO), and prices of older drives from value players like Kingston go even lower ($55 for a 120GB SSDNow V300 drive, $95 for a 240GB model). That's before you consider newer value-focused drives like the Crucial MX100, recently dubbed the best SSD for most people by the Wirecutter, or OCZ's own ARC 100, which uses the same controller and NAND as the Radeon drives, although it has a shorter warranty and lower transfer speeds.

AMD teams with Toshiba to make its own SSDs

Like the AMD-branded RAM the company introduced a few years back, there's nothing particularly special about these SSDs. They use controllers from an established company and share most of their specifications with other unbranded drives in OCZ's product lineup. OCZ said that the drive uses "a very different firmware that was engineered specifically for this drive," though it's not clear what differences buyers can actually expect to notice.

The aim is to give people an AMD-branded "one-stop shop" where they can pick up AMD-branded CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and SSDs, hypothetically "simplifying the buying process" and "ensur[ing] interoperability." We'd expect most enthusiasts—the people who actually buy and install their own PC components themselves—to continue to buy those components based on price and performance rather than branding, but for those with particularly strong feelings about AMD, there's now one more thing you can buy from the company.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: AMD, SSD, Toshiba

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