back to article Intel re-invents its mainstream SSD

Intel has announced a 510 solid state drive (SSD) line that greatly increases the read/write bandwidth, but has lower IOPS numbers compared to its existing X25-M SSD products. The X25-M is a 2.5-inch form factor SSD using 2-bit multi-level cell (MLC) flash. There is a 1.8-inch form factor version as well as a lower cost and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else noticed...

    The fall of SSD prices is taking a long time? Of course it doesn't help that the UK pricing is always higher than across the pond in the USA. I wonder what it's caused by.....

  2. Cerandor


    ...massive demand for solid state memory, courtesy of smart phones and tablets, and Apple buying up capacity in advance so they can keep their prices down and margins up. Prices will come down, but not until capacity expands to fill the need.

    1. lurker

      yeah, that

      What he said. There's really just not enough NAND to go round at the moment, the manufacturers were rather caught on the back foot with the huge explosion of smartphones, tablets etc.

      Even apart from that, it's going to be a very long time before they are a good option for home storage. What they are, however, is superb system drives. One of these for the OS and a couple of 2TB (or whatever) drives in raid-1 is the way to go.

  3. Caff

    increased uptake

    The pricing is not likely to fall in the short term untill market penetration increases. At the moment due to the rise in consumer uptake of flash based goods, smartphones/ipads etc.. any increase in fab capacity is absorbed by consumer demand rather than helping to lower prices. So all those flash chips go into gagets rather than ssd's keeping their costs stable.

  4. Stefan 6

    No thank you ..

    i think i take the OCZ Vertex 3 over this Intel one (much faster performance in all aspects and cheaper price). Intel should have at least gone with a Sandforce controller till they got their own sata3 chip ... they really dropped the ball here with their 510 series ;-/

    1. Ammaross Danan

      OCZ Vertex3

      The Vertex3 does still top the charts in overall performance with "real" data, but using purely incompressible (random) data, the new Intel drive starts running stride for stride with the Vetex3. However, real-world use of semi-compressible data makes the on-chip compression of the Vertex3 MUCH faster in terms of reads and (definitely) writes, making it the more ideal "home user" drive. If I were using it to shuffle audio/video data (or using it as a full-disk-encryption disk), the Intel would be the better option. But that is nearly splitting hairs when considering vs a standard spindle disk, as either would be phenomenal comparatively. It likely will just come down to price. If they're within $20 of each other, then role/bias.

  5. jonathan rowe
    Thumb Down

    sandforce - compare like with like

    Sandforce relies on data compression to achieve it's throughput stats, call me old fashioned, but I would prefer my CPU to do the compression via a compressed file system. So, when comparing performance - make sure you compare like with like.

    I am seriously tempted to buy one of these, I have a 160gb G2 from intel and it has never let me down.

  6. GettinSadda

    20-bit MLC?

    "The X25-M is a 2.5-inch form factor SSD using 20-bit multi-level cell (MLC) flash."

    Wow - so each cell holds any one of 1048576 discrete values?

    And I thought the X25 range only used 2-bit MLC

  7. Tezfair

    SSD user

    I treated my self to the 160Gb jobby at Xmas giving up a 500Gb spindle from my 4720s. After you get used to the fact that your boot up time is halved you start to miss the capacity.

    I would recommend that the average user waits until the SSD capacity and price comes closer to HDDs.

    Early adopters like me are effectively keeping intel's R&D in a job

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge


      Replaced my lappy drive with 2 g2 x18-m's in raid 0.

      Flys on benchmarks but in daily use W7 still feels slow for some things (system resume for instance).

      Linux Mint felt much faster by comparison.

      I'm not a fanboi but it seems like there are still many more gains to be made on the software side. Particularly with win 7. All the trick hardware in the world doesnt save us from crappy coding.

      Only hope is that with Win 8 needing to run fast on Arm they will optimise the intel and arm codebases.

  8. Nexox Enigma

    510 won't replace the X25-M

    """The X25-M still shows up on Intel's website; it has not been end-of-lifed yet, but its days must be numbered."""

    The X25-M (Gen 2, currently shipping) isn't going anywhere, it's just getting rev'd to the G3, which, thanks to typical Intel delays, still hasn't appeared, despite the original release target of mid 2010. It'll show up some day, and when it does, it'll sell alongside the 510 drives. Or maybe the 510 won't last very long, seeing as how it's based on 34nm NAND, which is currently getting phased out in favor of 25nm.

  9. The Truth might set you free
    Thumb Up

    Buy one - you won't regret it

    Bought a X25-M for a boot drive together with a pair of 2TB drives. Best PC upgrade I've made in years and years...

    HIghly receommended

  10. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Cache protection?

    Why don't (m)any drives have enough onboard power storage to be able to flush their caches when the power goes off?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Alan Brown.

    I've thought this for years.

    A hypothetical device with configurable RAM, (i.e. The more you can afford, the more you buy,) and a rechargable battery that buffers the real hard drive. It has four cables. SATA out, Power in, SATA to disk, and Power to Disk. It's effectively a cheap RAMSAN. How long does it take to write the theoretical maximum back to the drive anyway? Ten minutes? WD Caviar 7.4 Watts for ten minutes?

    So if there was a battery powering this, with just a 2 Watt hour capacity. It could write the whole of RAM back to disk on a shutdown. A typical laptop battery could support repeated starts and stops of ten times that much RAM.

    Not only that, but the disk is mostly idle, so in normal use, your disk would simply be effectively a ram disk.

    That said, there aren't any I can find, so I've moved my Pagefile.sys onto a superspeed ramdisk, though this was nothing compared to moving my TempDB onto one. SQL then just turned into a monster, nay, an F Monster.

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