The solid state storage market continues to bristle with activity. Over the last couple of weeks, we have shown you a couple of hot new SSDs from OCZ—the Vertex 3 and the Vertex 3 Pro--that offer stellar performance thanks in no small part to their next-gen SandForce SF-2000 series controllers with native SATA 6Gbs support. Today, it is Intel’s turn to make a little noise in the space with new drives that boast similar SATA 6Gbps support.
To coincide with the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and the Intel Solution Summit taking place in Las Vegas, Intel is announcing its brand new Solid State Drive 510 Series products. The new 510 Series SSDs build upon Intel’s successful X-25M series of solid state drives by offering native support for SATA 6Gbs interface speeds, with maximum reads in the 500MB/s range and write speeds of approximately 315MB/s—huge improvements over the previous generation. The features and specifications for the first two drives that will initially comprise the 510 Series line-up are as follows:
Capacity: 120 GB, 250 GB
SATA 6Gb/s Sustained Bandwidth Performance
Read and Write IOPS
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF):
The Intel Solid State Drive 510 Series will be outfitted with 34nm Intel MLC NAND flash memory when introduced, although there’s a possibility future iterations will use newer, more advanced 22nm Intel NAND flash. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the drives will not be equipped with an Intel proprietary SSD controller, but rather a controller from Marvell. In a Q&A document provided by Intel, the company has this to say regarding the choice to use a third-party controller in their latest SSDs: “When Intel introduced its breakthrough SSD product line in 2008, the SSD controllers available did not meet Intel’s requirements, therefore Intel chose to develop its own proprietary controller in order to create a world-class line of compute quality SSDs. Since that time, third-party controller technology has improved considerably. Intel will consider using a third-party controller when it meets the needs of the product and Intel specifications and validation. In this case, we chose to use a third-party controller which met our needs.”
We did not receive Intel’s 510 Series SSD in time to provide a full suite of benchmark and performance results, but drives are en route. We’ll be evaluating the drive’s performance in the coming days and will present our results as soon as possible, so stay tuned.
The Intel 510 Series solid state drives will initially be available in two capacities: 120GB and 250GB. The 250GB model will be priced at about $584 (in 1K quantities), while the 120GB capacity model will arrive at about $284. The entire press release announcing the drives is posted below…
Intel Announces Next in Solid-State Drive Line Up: Intel SSD 510 Series Featuring Super-Fast 6Gbps SATA Throughput
Ideal for Gamers, Media Creators and Workstation Users, Intel’s Newest SSD Takes Full Advantage of 2nd Generation Intel Core Processors
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 28, 2011 – Intel Corporation announced today the next in a line of new solid-state drives (SSD), the Intel Solid-State Drive 510 Series. The new Intel SSD 510 features fast SATA 6 Gigabits per second (Gbps) performance to take full advantage of Intel’s transition to higher speed SATA bus interfaces on the recently introduced 2nd Generation Intel Core processor-based platforms. Supporting data transfers of up to 500 megabytes per second (MB/s), the Intel SSD 510 doubles the sequential read speeds, and at up to 315MB/s more than triples the sequential write speeds of Intel’s current 3Gbps SSDs, to transfer more data in less time. This makes it ideal for demanding gamers, media creators, performance-intensive workstation users and any technology enthusiast.
The Intel SSD 510 offers the fastest sequential read and write speeds of any consumer SATA SSD available today, providing industry leading performance that beats a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) by more than 50 percent.1 In addition to better overall system responsiveness when compared to a mechanical hard drive, SSDs have no moving parts so are more rugged, consume less power and run quieter and cooler than HDDs. SSDs reduce boot times, launch applications and files faster and recover from sleep mode quicker, resulting in noticeable improvement. Conventional HDDs are also unable to effectively take advantage of 6Gbps platform technology, since HDDs fail to maximize even the current 3Gbps SATA interface.
“The Intel SSD 510 Series helps round out our SSD product line and was specifically designed for applications that require high sequential media transfers,” said Pete Hazen, director of marketing for Intel’s NAND Solutions Group. “Whether it’s a gamer wanting impeccable visual performance and faster game loading, or a performance-intensive workstation user, the new 6Gbps SATA SSD from Intel is not only significantly faster than the top 10,000 RPM gaming HDD, it’s also faster than two RAIDed gaming HDDs.”
“As a game developer the number one thing we try to optimize during development isn't our game's memory usage or frames per second, but our content creator's iteration time,” said Dave Lang, CEO of Iron Galaxy, a Chicago-based game development studio. “By transitioning our team to Intel's 6Gbps SSDs, we've seen a dramatic 15 to 20 percent improvement in the time it takes one of our developers to make a change in the editor, then get to try it out in-game. Faster iterations mean more iterations, which means a better game for the consumer.”
The Intel SSD 510 Series uses proven Intel 34-nanometer NAND flash memory to deliver best-in-class sequential performance of up to 500MB/s sequential read speeds and up to 315 MB/s writes for its high-capacity model. The product is available now and comes in a 250GB capacity priced at $584 and a 120GB at $284, for 1,000-unit quantities. Both products include a limited 3-year warranty. The 120GB version is an excellent choice for dual-drive desktops, a hybrid configuration gaining in popularity. In this type of set up, the operating system, favorite applications and games are accessed from the SSD for faster boot up and accelerated application performance, while the HDD is used to store data.
In addition to solid reliability, Intel SSD purchasers have the benefit of the Intel SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer, a free utility which provides Microsoft Windows* users with a powerful set of management, information and diagnostic tools to help maintain the health and out-of-box performance of the drive. To help ease the installation process, all Intel SSD users can download the free Intel Data Migration Software to help clone the entire content of a previous storage drive (SSD or HDD) to any Intel SSD.
Intel SSDs can be purchased from a variety of resellers, retailers or Internet e-tailers such as Newegg.com or Amazon.com worldwide. More information on Intel SSDs can be found at www.intel.com/go/ssd.
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