Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Although the Intel SSD 710 series drive doesn’t offer transfer speeds as high as current SATA III drives, its performance was nonetheless still good. In terms of latency and IOps, the SSD 710 series is competitive with other solid state drives and, like other SSDs, it decimates any high-speed SAS or SATA hard drive. Its performance is also consistent with all data types. The Intel SSD 710 series performs best (relatively speaking) with more taxing, random access workloads, with high queue depths.
The Intel SSD 710 Series
Intel SSD 710 series is priced at $649 for the 100GB version, $1,289 for the 200GB version, and $1,929 for the 300GB drive. All of the drives carry a 3-year warranty and are widely available. If you’ve done any shopping for consumer-grade solid state drives those, those prices will likely be a huge shock. If, however, you’re a current X25-E user or have shopped for high-end SAS hard drives, the SSD 710 series’ pricing will seem more reasonable. Whereas the X25-E was only available in 32GB and 64GB capacities, for about $12 per/GB, the SSD 710 series offers up to a 300GB capacity for “only” about $6.43 per / GB. High-end SAS hard drives in the 300GB range hover around the $500 price point currently. However, it would take multiple SAS hard drives running in a RAID configuration to offer the kind of transfer speeds and IOps the SSD 720 series can, and even then hard drive latency wouldn't even come close to the fast response times of one of these SSDs.
The Intel SSD 710 series isn’t about ultra-high transfer speeds, but rather stability and long-term reliability. Considering Intel was able to bring the cost per gigabyte way down for an enterprise-class drive, while significantly increasing capacities, and maintaining competitive endurance, the SSD 710 should be successful in its target market. If you need high-speed access to mission-critical data in the enterprise, within a standard 2.5” form factor, the Intel SSD 710 series is worthy of consideration. Desktop users need not apply.