AMD gets into SSDs with value Radeon R3 drives. But US only for now.

The company's new SSDs start at US$41 and have capacities from 120GB to 960GB

AMD is jumping into the solid-state drive (SSD) market with Radeon drives for laptops and desktops.

The first SSD offerings are four Radeon R3 drives with storage capacities of 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB.

The drives are affordable, with the entry-level 120GB SSD priced at US$41. The drives will plug into a computer's 2.5-inch drive slot and are compatible with the SATA III 6GB interface.

Amazon is the only retailer selling the Radeon SSDs and has the product listed as "AMD Memory R3." The 240GB drive is US$69.99 and the 480GB drive is US$136.99. The 120GB drive is already shipping while the others will ship in nine to 11 weeks. The 960GB is not yet listed, and AMD couldn't immediately provide pricing information on it.

The SSDs can be used in PCs with either Intel or AMD chips.

AMD gave no hint it was launching SSDs, but like its Radeon memory products, it could be a small business to supplement its PC chip offerings.

AMD is also building up its product portfolio ahead of the release of its Zen chips for gamers by the end of this year.

The SSDs are actually made by a company called Galt, which is also responsible for support. AMD is now competing with Intel, SanDisk, and Samsung in the SSD market.

The sequential read speed for the SSDs is between 510MBps (megabytes per second) and 520MBps. The sequential write speed is 360MBps for the 120GB drive and 450MBps for the 960GB drive.

The random read speed is 57,400 IOPS (input-output per second) on the 120GB drive and 79,520 IOPS on the 960GB drive. The random write speed is 18,400 IOPS on the 120GB drive and jumps to 37,000 IOPS on the 960GB drive.

SSD read and write speeds can vary depending on the cell structure, manufacturing technology and controller on the drives. A controller could slow down a drive, but make it more reliable.

By comparison, a SanDisk Ultra II 2.5-inch drive with 960GB of storage is listed as having sequential read and write speeds of up to 550MBps and 500MBps, respectively. That SSD has random read and write speeds of 98,000 IOPS and 80,000 IOPS, respectively.

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Agam Shah

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