Report: Intel to reveal ways to overclock SSDs September 10th during IDF

We are all familiar with the ability to overclock a CPU and GPU inside a PC. The idea to increase the speed of a desktop PC chip beyond its written limits was born from the hardware enthusiast community in the late 1990s. While companies like Intel and AMD once frowned upon this kind of thing, both companies have since embraced the activity by promoting the overclocking abilities of their newest processors.

Now there's word that Intel is going to show yet another PC part that could be overclocked: SSDs. The WCCFTech website reports that the company will reveal that its upcoming Ivy Bridge-E platform will be the first to allow for the overclocking of SSDs on a desktop. The reveal will be made as part of a session on September 10th during the annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

There are two big questions about this feature: How will users be able to overclock SSDs in the first place and how much of a performance gain will be achieved with this method? The article says that Intel may have found a way to use the Ivy Bridge-E platform to speed up the clock rate of the SSD controller speeds which, in theory, would also increase the transfer rate of its NAND Flash memory.

However, the same report also claims that, at least for now, the performance gains for overclocking SSDs would be small, thanks to the current limitations of the SATA 6 GB/s interface. In 2014, Intel is expected to launch the SATA Express interface, which should allow for better performance for SSDs with increased controller speeds.

It's also possible that this new overclocking feature would be supported only on Intel-made SSDs as it could violate the warranties of drives made by other companies.

Source: WCCFTech | Image via Intel

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17 Comments

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i have a bad feeling it won't be as fun as overclock the CPU because the data is more sensitive once get damage unlike CPU....which won't really mess with your important data.

Great, buy an expensive hard drive with limited read/write, lets do something that could potentially shorten it's lifespan further.

What's next, unlocked multiplier on every CPU and the ability to overclock by said multiplier on boards that don't have the Zxx chipset?

I don't quite understand what the point of this would be. If they can squeeze out a higher clock speed on the controller, why don't they do it by default? The reason to control clock speeds on a CPU is because of heat. That's not an issue on a NAND controller, so I don't see the point in scaling back on potential performance if there's some to be had.

Regardless, this has "reduced lifespan" written all over it. Probably not worth it for such a small gain.

If SSDs can get fast enough, they might one day rival RAM sticks. And if that happens, a world of opportunities awaits in the ability to have machines with immense space to work with (RAM-wise).

MorganX said,

Best answer so far

It wasn't exactly a meaningful answer to my question. I was asking what the point of this overclock was if they could simply roll this out to the product by default.

It's like saying that Intel will release a new i7 CPU that's clocked at 1.0GHz, by default, but they will provide you the software to "overclock" it to 2.5GHz. It's pointless and shouldn't be needed in the first place.

Astra.Xtreme said,

It wasn't exactly a meaningful answer to my question. I was asking what the point of this overclock was if they could simply roll this out to the product by default.

It's like saying that Intel will release a new i7 CPU that's clocked at 1.0GHz, by default, but they will provide you the software to "overclock" it to 2.5GHz. It's pointless and shouldn't be needed in the first place.

It's because the overclocking increasing cooling requirements and/or shortens the life. That's fine for hobbyist but not for regular users that just want it to work reliably for years.

Astra.Xtreme said,

It wasn't exactly a meaningful answer to my question. I was asking what the point of this overclock was if they could simply roll this out to the product by default.

It's like saying that Intel will release a new i7 CPU that's clocked at 1.0GHz, by default, but they will provide you the software to "overclock" it to 2.5GHz. It's pointless and shouldn't be needed in the first place.

I was basically agreeing with you. The only sensible answer is because hobbyists enjoy overclocking everything and getting every ounce of performance, and liquid cooling, etc. etc. It is a hobby.

I don't agree with your CPU analogy, you can still get significant and usable performance by overclocking and deep freezing it, lol. Whether it's games or just running benchmarks, it also is a hobbyist thing. The new mobo I just put in has a switch and a chip with a digital vrm that automatically tunes and overclocks and monitors and manages heat and readjusts. I have all that turned off of course, but it sells to that market. I have to admit, every now and then for a specific game I overclock just to see what I can squeeze out.

I can't think of any scenario in which "I" would overclock an SSD as opposed to buying a faster one. I have two, both have 500MBs/Read and 330-500MBs/Write. I just ordered an 840 EVO to replace the 840 Pro with the 330MBs/Write with 500MBs/Write.

Not sure I need to overclock to get to 517MBs/Write, lol.

MorganX said,

I was basically agreeing with you. The only sensible answer is because hobbyists enjoy overclocking everything and getting every ounce of performance, and liquid cooling, etc. etc. It is a hobby.

I don't agree with your CPU analogy, you can still get significant and usable performance by overclocking and deep freezing it, lol. Whether it's games or just running benchmarks, it also is a hobbyist thing. The new mobo I just put in has a switch and a chip with a digital vrm that automatically tunes and overclocks and monitors and manages heat and readjusts. I have all that turned off of course, but it sells to that market. I have to admit, every now and then for a specific game I overclock just to see what I can squeeze out.

I can't think of any scenario in which "I" would overclock an SSD as opposed to buying a faster one. I have two, both have 500MBs/Read and 330-500MBs/Write. I just ordered an 840 EVO to replace the 840 Pro with the 330MBs/Write with 500MBs/Write.

Not sure I need to overclock to get to 517MBs/Write, lol.

Yep absolutely. I just think it would be smarter for Intel to implement the "overclock" by default and then they can advertise higher I/O speeds. I can't imagine such a small gain doing any serious harm to the overall lifespan.

Overclocking SSDs? Is Intel bored? Maybe make better use of the transistors in Core processors that have discrete graphics. Maybe turn iGPUs into a Physics processor for those machines. But overclock SSDs?

Arceles said,
Data loss with not enough voltage... my my, prime95 to test stability! bye bye nand...

well, i would love to see the idiot face after s/he tries the prime95 test on NAND cells ...