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As reported on Friday, Intel plans to showcase how to overclock at least some of its solid-state drives at the upcoming Intel Developer Forum trade-show. It turns out that the company’s Intel extreme tuning utility (Intel XTU) already carries certain code that futher reveals overclocking capabilities of Intel SSDs. The code will be activated in next versions of XTU and will allow to boost performance of solid-state storage.

Parts of the Intel XTU code that were published by Myce web-site reveal that Intel XTU will allow to set up frequency of SSD controllers from the tuning utility, set up the bus frequency of the NAND memory at 83MHz or 100MHz and also play with power settings of Intel solid-state drives in a bid to set the power modes to “limited”, “typical” or “unconstrained”, which should guarantee maximum or optimal performance (and power consumption) in all situations.

It should be noted that Intel XTU will allow to tune performance of only specified Intel solid-state drives. Therefore, not all SSDs will be overclockable. Given relatively easiness of SSD overclocking, it is logical to expect other leading makers of solid-state drives to offer similar utilities.

One thing that should be noted is that modern SSDs are so fast that the bottleneck is not their read, write speeds or IOPS performance, but the Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface itself. Boosting the interface will most likely result in considerably lower reliability. Therefore, overclocking of today’s SSDs hardly makes sense. However, next year Intel plans to roll out chipsets with SATA Express interface support, which provide transfer rates of 8Gb/s or 16Gb/s. For next-generation solid-state drives, especially when overclocked, the new interface speeds are just what the doctor ordered.

Intel Developer Forum 2013 will take place in San Francisco, California, from September 10 to September 12. The event will be held at the Moscone Convention Center.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Intel, SSD, NAND, Flash, Serial ATA, SATA, SATA Express, PCI Express, PCIe

Discussion

Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 08/29/13 06:38:35 AM
Latest comment: 09/02/13 04:27:21 PM
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1. 
Overclocking SSD is a bad idea, no matter how you spin it, i am not going to play with my important data.

EDIT: I would really like to hear from the dude who negative marked my comment. Please request you to kindly enlighten me with your wise thoughts.
1 1 [Posted by: Atlastiamhere  | Date: 08/29/13 06:38:35 AM]
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I'm not a person who voted down your comment. Anyway... I disagree.
If it is factory approved overclocking it may be safe. I imagine something like that:
SSD working in a laptop operates on low clock, with low heat emission. When the laptop is connected to docking station that provides a better cooling then SSD is working at higher clock with higher heat emission.
Of course an individual searching for OC limits of particular SSD is other story.
0 0 [Posted by: KonradK  | Date: 09/02/13 04:27:21 PM]
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2. 
One thing that should be noted is that modern SSDs are so fast that the bottleneck is not their read, write speeds or IOPS performance, but the Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface itself. Boosting the interface will most likely result in considerably lower reliability. Therefore, overclocking of today’s SSDs hardly makes sense.


Second thing that should be noted is existence of SSD connected to PCI Express x4.
0 1 [Posted by: KonradK  | Date: 08/29/13 12:36:21 PM]
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