HP talks up faster speed of Z Turbo Drive PCI-Express SSDs

HP's new SSDs will offer up to 512GB of storage and ship in May

Hewlett-Packard's new Z Turbo Drive solid-state drives will be faster than conventional SSDs that plug into hard-drive slots, the company said.

The drives, which will be available in 256GB and 512GB storage capacities, will plug into PCI-Express slots of computers, and provide faster throughput and data transfers compared to conventional SSDs that run through a SATA bus.

The drives will have a read time of 1GBps (gigabytes per second), and have a price comparable to SATA SSDs, HP said. The drives will boot workstations or provide expansion for storage interfacing through a SATA bus.

The 256GB Z Turbo Drive will be priced at US$499, while the 512GB model will be priced at $899. They will ship in May.

With faster read and write times, the drives will speed up boot times, move data faster and enable new applications, said Jim Douglas, worldwide product manager for HP workstations storage.

Workstations are typically used for engineering applications and creation of content, so the drives could be able to handle the creation of 4K video more effectively.

The PCI-Express bus provides faster throughput than the SATA bus, and PCIe slots are also used for graphics processors. The Z Turbo Drive is an M.2 form factor SSD on an adapter card that fits into the PCI-Express slot. The throughput of PCI-Express 3.0 is 8Gbps, while SATA has a maximum bandwidth of 6Gbps. However, throughput also depends on the storage performance.

Separately, HP also announced remote workstation technology called Remote Graphics Software 7.0 for the company's Z Workstations. The software enables remote touch-based interaction and collaboration for applications typically used on workstations. RGS could enable animators and engineers around the globe to collaborate more interactively from Windows 8 tablets or PCs, which need to have an RGS receiver so devices and touchscreens can be adapted.

The software will ship with HP Z workstations and be available as a free download for existing Z workstation customers in mid-May. The software can also be purchased in mid-May for supported hardware, HP said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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