Intel SSD 510 Series SATA 6Gbps Solid State Drive

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Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The Intel SSD 510 Series drive performed well overall, but its performance is not without compromise. The 250GB SSD 510 Series drive we tested offered excellent sequential read performance and very strong sequential write performance, that was only bested by OCZ’s upcoming Vertex 3 (note: the 120GB SSD 510 Series will offer somewhat lower performance than the 250GB model). In terms of random reads and writes, however, the Intel 510 Series SSD actually falls short of the mark set by some previous generation SSD offerings. If we strictly compare the SSD 510 Series to Intel’s previous gen G2 drive, it’s clear Intel drastically improved sequential performance at the expense of random reads and writes.

As we mentioned earlier, 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. Those prices put the Intel SSD 510 Series drives in the ~$2.35 per gigabyte price range, which makes them roughly 33% more expensive than some of today’s more popular solid state drives (OCZ’s SandForce-based Vertex 2 can be had for about $1.75 per GB). In terms of its sequential read and write performance, justifying the additional cost in light of previous-gen drives is very easy—the Intel SSD 510 Series’ sequential performance is very good. Random reads and writes, however, are a different story. In more real-world usage situations, like those simulated by PCMark Vantage, the Intel SSD 510 series drive offered only mild improvements and in a couple of tests actually finished behind previous-gen drives.

If you've got or are planning to build a new system that will feature a SATA III / 6Gbps interface it's worth considering an Intel SSD 510 Series drive, especially if you work with large files constantly. The SSD space is hot right now though, so if you don't have the SATA III ports in a current rig, necessary to let the SSD 510 Series spread its wings, it's probably worth waiting a bit to see what Micron, OCZ, Corsair and others have in store in the coming months. The Intel SSD 510 Series drives seem like a solid offering, but based on our tests they don't clearly stand out in light of competing offerings like the Intel's X-25 Series did when it initially arrived.


  • Strong Sequential Performance
  • Benefits From Intel's QC Labs


  • Random Reads / Writes
  • IOPS performance vs. Newer Drives


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