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Taking its solid-state drives to the masses, Intel is making its devices available through 800 U.S. Best Buy stores and the online site, pitching them as a  replacement for existing hard drives in laptop and desktop computers or a complement to them.

Priced at $130 to $230 depending on capacity, Intel says the drives can help make either new or existing PCs considerably faster.

“We think solid-state drives will become increasingly popular as people realize how much faster they can boot up and run their favorite software or work-intensive applications,” said Jason Bonfig, vice president of Computing at Best Buy, in a prepared statement.  

SSD drives are faster because they have no moving parts, unlike hard disk drives. For that reason they also are more reliable and consume less power. Intel said the drives can provide up to a 56 percent improvement in system performance.

“When you upgrade to an Intel solid-state srive, you see a dramatic improvement in your computing experience,” said Pete Hazen, director of marketing for Intel NAND Solutions Group, in a prepared statement. “We’ve already shipped more than a million SSDs and consumers are realizing that SSDs aren’t just an alternate means of storage, but a performance enhancement that brings a new level of responsiveness to their computer. With Best Buy selling Intel SSDs, we hope more people will begin to experience the dramatic effect of solid-state drive computing.”

Solid-state drive sales experienced a 250 year-over-year growth rate, IDC reported earlier this year, and SSD’s sales growth will continue to outpace the overall storage market in 2010, the analyst firm predicted.

Intel is far from alone in the SSD market, with rivals such as Samsung and Micron commanding solid market share and IDC tracking over 100 other manufacturers.