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510 Series SSDs are available in 120GB and 250GB capacities

We got a glimpse of what to expect with Intel's latest storage products last week when LaCie let it be known that its upcoming Little Big Disk features the new 510 Series SSDs. Today, Intel is making the announcement official

Instead of using an in-house controller, Intel's new 510 Series SSDs make use of a Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 controller. As a result, the new 6Gbps SSDs offer read speeds of 500MB/sec and write speeds of up to 315MB/sec. 

"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, marketing director 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."

The Intel 510 Series SSDs feature a 3-year warranty and come in capacities of 120GB and 250GB. The smaller SSD will set you back $284, while the larger one will run around $584.

Head on over to PC Perspective for a preview of the new SSDs.

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Translated from marketspeak
By DanNeely on 2/28/2011 1:22:12 PM , Rating: 5
"The Intel SSD 510 Series helps round out our SSD product line and was specifically designed for applications that require high sequential media transfers,"

"Our new controller's performance was smoked by those from our competitors."

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By Marlin1975 on 2/28/2011 1:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
By competitors you mean the ones that need many firmware updates and some that get better performance than other because they paid more? Also the same ones that say back up all data to update as many report this will blow your data up?

Sorry but relability is what I am most looking for in the next gen SSDs. Its 1 of the big reason I have not jumped on yet with price 2nd.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By Gungel on 2/28/2011 1:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
And what makes you think this drive is perfect? Intel had to deal with data loss issues on their SSD's in the past.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By name99 on 2/28/2011 2:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
And yet people will scream and complain about how "crappy Apple ships slow SSDs in their laptops --- typical incompetence, blah, blah".

I have not yet heard a single horror story of Apple SSDs losing data, having half-way firmware updates, etc. Sure it can be irritating to compare the headline numbers of what will supposedly be shipped next quarter with what your MacBook Air delivers, but looking at the big picture, is it such a bad tradeoff?
Hopefully in five years this firmware nonsense will be behind us (though one suspects the same incompetence that gave us the 2TiB limit and the 4kiB sector problems will always be with us), at which point it will actually be reasonable and legitimate to complain if Apple is shipping SSDs that are grossly slower than the competition.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By Flunk on 2/28/2011 4:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
Just because everyone you know hasn't had an issue with a certain SSD doesn't mean anything. Myself and all my friends have had no issues with our OCZ Vertex 2 drives. It doesn't mean all OCZ drives are perfect.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By omnicronx on 2/28/2011 4:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
So you don't think its a problem that you are paying for SSD performance, but you are not really receiving it? Random read and write performance is terrible for an SSD on Apple devices, and it needs to change.

I've had ZERO problems with either of my SSD's, perhaps because I'm not a fool and I don't use beta/just released firmware.

Use a stable tried and tested SSD and you most likely won't have any problems, its not like Apple is doing anything special.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By retrospooty on 2/28/2011 7:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
"I have not yet heard a single horror story of Apple SSDs losing data"

Uh, you know like 4% of the market are Mac's right? So, with more than 20x the PC's out there, you do hear more issues on PC's.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By chiadog on 3/1/2011 12:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
Small market share compounded with only a small percentage of Macs available with SSD. With the number of netbooks with SSD, OSX is probably in the last place in SSD install base among the popular OS's.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By Wolfpup on 3/2/2011 9:47:26 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, it's why I bought a second gen Intel SSD, and it's why I'll buy a third (although I wish the sizes were larger/cheaper, but oh well).

I am a bit disapointed it's not an Intel controller, but if it works...

Plus regarding the second gen drive, while people think its performance was beat, it actually remained competitive for random reads/writes, which is where you really notice issues.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By bug77 on 2/28/2011 3:11:18 PM , Rating: 1
I loled at that too. "High sequential media transfers"? The drive is not large enough to hold anyone's "media". That goes on a xTB conventional HDD.

And I thought 25nm was supposed to push the prices down big time. Over $2/GB is still too high.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By Jeremy87 on 2/28/2011 3:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
These are 34nm.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By bug77 on 3/1/2011 3:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
Hm, last I heard, 25nm from Intel was supposed to hit us at the end of 2010. I assumed these are it.

RE: Translated from marketspeak
By Wolfpup on 3/2/2011 2:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's what I thought too, so I was also surprised they're still 34nm. Oh well, they're apparently even faster, and at least bump from 160 to 250GB for not too much more, least it's even better than it was.

Price point isn't right
By Drag0nFire on 2/28/2011 1:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
Really hoping to finally replace my laptop hdd with a SSD, but the pricing isn't right. These days, 120GB just isn't enough for an entire system that includes OS as well as selected media, games, etc. And I can't justify shelling out $600 for a larger capacity.

It seems to me that manufacturers aren't targeting the laptop market. Benefits should be obvious - low power usage, no noise, speed boost vs a 2.5in hdd. They just need to make a drive that's large enough at an affordable price. I don't need 500Mb/s read times for my laptop...

RE: Price point isn't right
By Gungel on 2/28/2011 1:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
A second drive bay would be great on any laptop to add a fast SSD for OS and programs while keeping all data on the spinning drive.

RE: Price point isn't right
By lagomorpha on 2/28/2011 3:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
Better yet: A drive bay for a 2.5" laptop drive for storage, then a tiny drive bay for a 1.8" SSD

RE: Price point isn't right
By Belard on 3/1/2011 5:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
The 1.8" form factor is dead. 2.5" is already small enough, and for storage devices that are smaller... they use soldered chips or a custom form factor, such as those used on the newer Mac AIR notebooks... which look like a modern DDR3 module (tiny and long).

For typical users, a dual drive (Hybrid) setup is ConFusInG....

RE: Price point isn't right
By InternetGeek on 2/28/2011 2:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think the price is approaching right. 120gb for under 300. I think the SSD market will be ready for mainstream in about two years more.

RE: Price point isn't right
By crimson117 on 3/1/2011 11:34:47 AM , Rating: 2
You know you can get 120GB for about $200, right?

RE: Price point isn't right
By ksherman on 2/28/2011 2:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
I removed the SuperDrive in my MacBook Pro (who needs an slow ass 8x DVD drive?!) and replaced it with a 500GB 7200 rpm drive a year ago, and put a 80GB Intel Gen2 in place of the main drive for applications and such. It's great! So stinking fast, puts my 27" Quad iMac at work to shame pretty often.

DVD drives are out, replace them with SS Drives!

RE: Price point isn't right
By Alexvrb on 2/28/2011 9:25:23 PM , Rating: 1
DVD drives are out, yes, but what about blu-ray? Oh that's right. Big daddy Jobs knows whats best for you, and its not blu-ray.

RE: Price point isn't right
By Sivar on 2/28/2011 3:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
Large quantities of flash memory simply are not cheap.
It isn't as if Intel and other manufacturers are choosing between "fast, small SSD" and "cheap, slower SSD" -- flash is still expensive whether you have 1 channel or 12 channels.
"Cheap, slower" is a request answered by "mechanical hard drive."

RE: Price point isn't right
By Motley on 2/28/2011 3:27:24 PM , Rating: 1
I keep saying the same thing about ferrari's, but they don't listen either. The color, options, style, and performance are right, but the MPG and the price just aren't enough.

RE: Price point isn't right
By Drag0nFire on 2/28/2011 6:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but if the only two cars on the market were the Toyota Yaris and a Ferrari, you'd be pretty pissed too.

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with the current line up. I'm saying that it seems there's a whole market that no one address, one that needs a completely different feature set.

RE: Price point isn't right
By omnicronx on 2/28/2011 4:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
And I can't justify shelling out $600 for a larger capacity.
Then don't.. Most larger laptops have dual drive bays, and for those with smaller laptops/netbooks, you chose a smaller form factor and thus you are limited by YOUR purchase decisions.

Eventually we will see higher capacities for an acceptable price, but we are not there yet.

Raid + Trim = Good
By theplaidfad on 2/28/2011 1:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
I really hope that these will have trim support for SSD's in a Raid array.


RE: Raid + Trim = Good
By Gungel on 2/28/2011 1:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
If it's not in the firmware like garbage collection on Sandforce based drives, probably not. Anyway, it still looks like Sandforce with its new 2000 series controllers is the way to go.

RE: Raid + Trim = Good
By Gungel on 2/28/2011 1:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
btw. the Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 controller comes with garbage collection too. So what we need now is some benchmarks and reviews of these newest generation of SSDs.

RE: Raid + Trim = Good
By semo on 2/28/2011 3:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
it still looks like Sandforce with its new 2000 series controllers is the way to go.
With which firmware version? Some of them are capped at 20k IOPS so you need to make sure you research your SF drive purchase

RE: Raid + Trim = Good
By XZerg on 2/28/2011 3:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
And as a typical end-user you care about the IOPS difference between 20K and 60K, why? The overall system performance gain may potentially be negligible for most users.

Anyhow the question I have is why Marvell controller?!

RE: Raid + Trim = Good
By semo on 2/28/2011 4:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
And as a typical end-user you care about the IOPS difference between 20K and 60K, why?
For me it matters because I'll be using my for VMs. However, the answer you should expect from most consumers is "none of your business".

Intel's engineering
By jeffbui on 2/28/2011 2:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
I can't believe Intel was unable to engineer a decent third gen SSD controller with all of the resources available to them. Their CPUs are great but they appear to be unsuccessful in other areas.

RE: Intel's engineering
By Murst on 2/28/2011 3:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Intel is a hardware company. There aren't very many excellent hardware companies who also excel at software, just like there aren't very many software companies who excel at hardware.

If at some point in the future Intel will want to own the controller in their SSD, they'll just buy the company who makes it (or just buy the software IP from them).

RE: Intel's engineering
By omnicronx on 2/28/2011 4:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
I think you kind of missed the point. Intel previously did make/use their own controllers in previous Intel SSD's.

That said, they were still the performance leaders.. so while I do wonder a bit why they switched controllers, its not like its a bad thing for consumers. I'm guessing this was just a more cost effective solution for the time being and for all intents and purposes, it was the controller that was holding them back.

RE: Intel's engineering
By someguy123 on 3/1/2011 12:22:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well, they were leaders in IOPs, but compared to SF they provide only about half the speed in writes. Considering they've been partnering with companies lately to push thunderbolt, they probably didn't have a controller ready that could provide enough sequential throughput, so they slapped on a marvel controller to help them advertise vs USB3.0. I believe the specs are just slightly above what USB3.0 can do after taking into account protocol overhead.

RE: Intel's engineering
By ICBM on 2/28/2011 4:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
I do find it odd that they are using a 3rd party controller as well. Especially considering that their first generation controller is basically what ushered us into the current era of fast, stutter free ssds. You would have thought they would have been that much more ahead of all the other guys.

Apparently being smaller is an advantage in ssd controllers. I don't know if it allows more flexibility or what, but there has to be some reason.

Uh, did I miss something?
By YashBudini on 2/28/2011 7:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
while the larger one will run around $584.

Won't a pair of the current 120GB drives in RAID 0 give similar or better performance for $200+ less?

RE: Uh, did I miss something?
By someguy123 on 2/28/2011 9:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
reads would be better but writes would be worse.

it's also two drives and a raid controller vs 1.

RE: Uh, did I miss something?
By Belard on 3/1/2011 4:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
Uh... the issue is that most notebooks (15" and smaller) only have room for a single drive bay and/or dont support RAID.

At such high performance of 500/300...a RAID wouldn't help much.

But the SF2000 class drives are already FASTER than these intels.

What went wrong?
By FXi on 2/28/2011 8:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
So a year ago we were talking G3 drives of 160 and 320, then lately that was 160 and 300, and now the top end is 250?

Something went VERY wrong at the Intel development department...

RE: What went wrong?
By someguy123 on 2/28/2011 8:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
flash demand went up, new smaller process, early adopters pay etc etc.

By kring on 3/1/2011 10:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like they are showing up today... product is now on Amazon for ordering but out of stock. found 2 3rd partiles that have limited quantity in stock.

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