Intel Releases 6Gb/sec 510 Series Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | February 28, 2011 - 09:20 AM |
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Today Intel announced their SSD 510 Series of solid state drives. This is the first SATA 6Gb/sec offering to come from Intel, and has been eagerly awaited by the industry. These units come in the standard 2.5" x 9.5mm form factor, in capacities of 120 and 250GB.

Some initial specs from their data sheet:
  • Sequential read: up to 500 MB/s
  • Sequential write: up to 315 MB/s
  • Random 4KB reads: up to 20,000 IOPS
  • Random 4KB writes: up to 8,000 IOPS

Samples are set to arrive to reviewers today. Ours just got here, and I'm already blasting away at it with our storage test bed. Much more to follow on that, but for now here's something quick to wet your whistle:

>500MB/sec reads. >315MB/sec writes. Looks good.
...now before I let you all go on about your day, I would be remiss if I didn't let everyone in on a little secret. PCPer readers all know I love to crack open samples and rip their guts out just as soon as I can get my hands on them. I opened this SSD 510 sample and this is what I saw:

That's not an Intel logo...
Intel has chosen to go with the newer Marvell controller for their 510 series. They have told us it is loaded with a custom firmware from their own SSD team. We were concerned about the ultimate capabilities of the 510 when we first heard of this, but from the above benchmark I can say that things do look promising. We will know more once we get some testing logged on this drive.
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 
NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
 Intel SSD 510, next in series of Intel SSD introductions for 2011, transfers more data in less time.
 Ideal for gamers, media creators, performance-intensive workstations, Intel SSD 510 offers fastest available sequential performance.
 Intel SSD 510 with 6Gbps SATA interface outperforms 10,000 RPM HDDs by 50 percent for fast performance and high visual fidelity game play.1
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.”2 
“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 or by accessing the multimedia press kit at www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/ssd. Follow Intel SSDs on Twitter: @intelssd, Facebook: Intel Solid State Drive (Official) or communities.intel.com.
About Intel
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.
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