Intel Revises All SSD Product Lines - 3D NAND Everywhere!

Subject: Storage | August 25, 2016 - 06:26 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Pro 6000p, Intel, imft, E 6000p, E 5420s, DC S3520, DC P3520, 600p, 3d nand

Intel announced the production of 3D NAND a little over a year ago, and we've now seen production ramp up to the point where they are infusing it into nearly every nook and cranny of their SSD product lines.

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The most relevant part for our readers will be a long overdue M.2 2280 SSD. These will kick off with the 600p:

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An overseas forum member over at chiphell got their hands on a 600p and ran some quick tests. From their photo (above), we can confirm the controller is not from Intel, but rather from Silicon Motion. The NAND is naturally from Intel, as is likely their controller firmware implementation, as these parts go through the same lengthy validation process as their other products.

Intel is going for the budget consumer play here. The flash will be running in TLC mode, likely with an SLC cache. Specs are respectable - 1.8GB/s reads, 560MB/s writes, random read 155k, random write 128k (4KB QD=32). By respectable specs I mean in light of the pricing:

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Wow! These prices are ranging from $0.55/GB at 128GB all the way down to $0.35/GB for the 1TB part.

You might have noticed the Pro 6000p in that list. Those are nearly identical to the 600p save some additional firmware / software tweaks to support IT infrastructure remote secure erase.

Intel also refreshed their DataCenter (DC) lineup. The SSD DC S3520 (SATA) and P3520 (PCIe/NVMe) were also introduced as a refresh, also using Intel's 3D NAND. We published our exclusive review of the Intel SSD DC P3520 earlier today, so check there for full details on that enterprise front. Before we move on, a brief moment of silence for the P3320 - soft-launched in April, but discontinued before it shipped. We hardly knew ye.

Lastly, Intel introduced a few additional products meant for the embedded / IoT sector. The SSD E 6000p is an M.2 PCIe part similar to the first pair of products mentioned in this article, while the SSD E 5420s comes in 2.5" and M.2 SATA flavors. The differentiator on these 'E' parts is enhanced AES 256 crypto.

Most of these products will be available 'next week', but the 600p 360GB (to be added) and 1TB capacities will ship in Q4.

Abbreviated press blast appears after the break.

The broad range of new SSDs are designed to meet the needs of consumer, business, Internet of Things (IoT) and data center applications.

“These new SSDs reflect Intel’s 30-year commitment to memory technologies and our long-term plan to transform the economics of storage with trusted, breakthrough 3D NAND technology from Intel,” Bill Leszinske, Intel Vice President and Director of Strategic Planning, Marketing and Business Development for NSG said. “Intel is uniquely positioned to address multiple market segments simultaneously from consumer to business, Internet of Things and data center. This broad array of new 3D NAND SSDs expands the reach of PCIe solutions and offers a cost effective replacement for traditional Hard Disk Drives, helping customers accelerate user experiences, improve the performance of apps and services and reduce IT costs.”

Here is more information on the new SSDs, and product briefs on all six SSDs are attached:


  • Intel® SSD 600p Series is designed for the consumer client market for use in desktops and notebooks. SSD 600p Series brings PCIe performance to mainstream price points while delivering exceptional performance that far exceeds traditional hard drives. SSD 600p Series uses a PCIe Gen3x4, NVMe interface to deliver 17x the performance over HDD and up to 3x the performance of SATA SSDs.
  • Intel® SSD Pro 6000p Series is aimed at the business client market for use in business notebooks and desktops. Power-efficient performance aligned with the current and future generation Intel® Core™ vPro™-based devices delivers enterprise-ready security and manageability features for IT administrators and corporate end-users. Pro 6000p Series utilizes PCIe for performance and is built with the highest quality and reliability standards, resulting in lower total cost of ownership.

Data Center

  • Intel® SSD DC P3520 Series builds on Intel’s portfolio of data center PCIe SSDs and has been optimized for cost-effective performance. SSD DC P3520 Series is well-suited for read-intensive applications in cloud computing environments, such as storage virtualization and web hosting. Intel PCIe SSDs with 3D NAND technology are an affordable option when deploying multiple NVMe-enabled storage arrays that need to process large sets of data.
  • Intel® SSD DC S3520 Series balances cost and performance for the data center and delivers significant latency and throughput improvements over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) in the data center. SSD DC S3520 Series is ideal for those making the initial transition to SATA SSDs from HDDs.

Internet of Things

  • Intel® SSD E 6000p Series can be used use with the current and future generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors to offer added security and manageability features for IoT applications, such as point-of-sale devices and digital signage. SSD E 6000p Series uses PCIe and comes in the M.2 form factor for added flexibility.
  • Intel® SSD E 5420s Series provides additional data protection, helping to ensure data will be reliably read or written, even during moments of power loss, for complete confidence. SSD E 5420s Series utilizes SATA to improve performance over traditional HDDs in IoT applications.
Source: Intel

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August 26, 2016 | 12:45 AM - Posted by Fourty7

Whoa! Unexpected prices on the 600p's, the 512GB is going to be a sweet spot at that price too. Great news, and looks like I'll be needing a mobo with M.2 a bit sooner?

August 26, 2016 | 01:28 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

How DARE you to put "wow" and "0.35$/GB" near each other!? 0.35 is nowhere even remotely close to being any good or worthwhile of any attention at all! It's the second half of 2016 - either 0.20 or lower, or into the trash it instantly goes. ESPECIALLY if it's a density higher than 512GB.

August 26, 2016 | 02:36 PM - Posted by Jann5s

for your reference:
950pro 512GB --> $318 --> $0.62/GB (NVMe)
850evo 1TB --> $348 --> $0.35/GB (using sata over m.2)

the cheapest I found was the sandisk X400 1TB at $240 --> $0.24/GB (using sata over m.2)

Considering that intel has always been on the premium side with their SSDs there prices are fine, provided their performance is comparable to 850evo's. However, since these are NVMe they will probably leave the 850evo in the dust.

August 26, 2016 | 02:36 PM - Posted by Vintage (not verified)

Did you see the performance numbers on these? These will trash a regular SATA SSD and are very reasonable considering the pricing we would normally expect from Intel.

If you want the lowest of the low priced SSDs you would not be interested in these...

August 26, 2016 | 04:36 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

either 0.20 or lower, or into the trash it instantly goes

In my experience so far, SSDs running at $0.20/GB generally *are* trash, and I wouldn't trust most of those to store anything important. At that cost, QC and validation are out the window, and lowest bin flash / buggy firmware is being used. Finding a good model that happens to be on a good sale is a different thing, but these are *launching* at these prices. That's a big deal.

August 26, 2016 | 06:33 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Since when did MX100 became "trash" suddenly (unless that's you personal """""vision""""" on it)? And they were below 0.28 when they just came out, let alone nowadays when they're even cheaper due to MX200's presence and forthcoming of MX300. Sheer quality of components and reliability of controllers/flash-wise, them Crucials differ from Intel's/Samsung's/Toshiba's offerings minimally. It's all about the speeds in flash storage these days due to SandForce trash being almost completely removed ftom the market and other controller manufacturers getting their hands and heads straight, and I really couldn't give less rat's ass about SSD speeds in this modern day and age simply because SATA III was already capped the flying F out several years ago. So, given that's not a factor of play at all anymore, the only thing that matters to me personally when buying an SSD today, is the raw "price per GB multiplied by overall density of the device"-ratio. Controllers really don't matter anymore, because days of SandForce's reign on the market are long-gone and even the cheapiest and crappiest (if you can even call 'em as such) controllers are WAAAAAY better and WAAAAAY more reliable than that trash from several years ago. And just one thing. Second being the mere simple fact that any modern SSD of capacity above 64GB is light years ahead of the fastest non-hybrid HHDs that the market offers nowadays, and if you actually in all seriousness truly believe that 350~550MB/s speeds on either writes or reads are any "slow" at this current point in time, you really should go to a doctor and check your head. And I'm not addressing that at Allyn necessarily, but at anyone who actually dares to proclaim that anything above 250MB/s is any "slow". And I'm telling you this as a person that has several M.2 SSDs in his posession (as well as one Intel's PCI-e and one Fixstars' unit).

August 28, 2016 | 01:29 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

My main beef with some modern controller firmwares in budget SSDs is not that they are slow, but that they are stuttery. It's so bad in some SSDs that I had to rework how I present Latency Percentile just to effectively demonstrate it.

Agreed that MX100 was/is a great budget drive, but it rarely clipped below $0.20/GB.

August 28, 2016 | 04:58 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

If my memory is right, the stuttering was the problem of that Trion 100/150 garbage and also some of the obscure Chinese knock-offs/nonames (like Ruby, or Smartbuy, or Kingmax), as well as some of the Samsung's lower tiered offerings. I, on the other hand, am talking about those SSD products that are both manufactured by well-known companies with solid reputation AND are reasonably cheap (for me personally, that starts at "from 0.25$/GB and anything below that"-point). 'Dem Crucials are exactly like that. Intel's 0.35$/GB, on the other hand, is absolutely NOT a good offering at all, no matter if it's NVMe or PCI-e, or whatever else. There are simply no "price for storage"-balance in these at all. Since I absolutely don't care about "MUH SPEEDZ!" and/or "MAH EYE-OOPS!" due to any SSD being much faster than 99.95% of HDDs out there, the entire so-called "price-to-performance argument" simply won't work on me. I just don't fall for that BS. Aside from that, these days I can somewhat easily find and buy a 512GB Crucial in a full retail mint packaging for roughly 100$ or sometimes even cheaper than that (the last one I bought half-a-year ago, cost me just 82$!). You simply cannot beat that, at least not at this current moment in time. And until 2TB SSDs start selling at price points no higher than 150$ exactly, that's just how I'll keep on rolling in this PC enthusiast life of mine.

August 26, 2016 | 10:59 PM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Yes expensive and high quality stuff is trash... oh wait YOU HAVE IT BACKWARDS.


Like Allyn said. Those cheapshit SSDs ARE trash.

August 27, 2016 | 10:25 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Nice try, but no cigar. Try again, kiddo.

August 26, 2016 | 06:12 AM - Posted by Jann5s

Allyn, I want to put an m.2 below my motherboard (ITX) and I'm finding discussions of people reporting that 950pro's are throttling up to 40% when warm. However, in your review you were less concerned:

"As you can see, you would have to write nearly 150GB at over 1.5GB/sec to get a 950 PRO to warm up enough to throttle, and when it does, the throttling is very minor, dropping to only 1.2GB/sec intermittently. The slightest airflow prevents this from happening at all, and even if there was zero airflow, the chances of maxing a 950 PRO out on writes for that long of a burst is extremely unlikely in even the most demanding consumer usage scenario."

Anyway, I would like to convince you to consider this issue in upcoming reviews of m.2 SSDs.

Links to throttling reports:

August 26, 2016 | 04:42 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Here's my deal with the throttling. Even if 950's were more sensitive to it than my particular sample / test configuration, the only way most people are getting them to throttle are with *artificial* loads that exceed the sustained throughput that their system can source in normal operation. If you need to saturate writes at >1GB/s for nearly a minute to cause enough heat for throttling, my question to you is, where are you getting 60GB of data at >1GB/s in the first place? Even if you had enough equipment to accomplish this, it's not like you would be doing this all of the time. Everyone in those tests you linked can only hit those throttle points by running benchmarks - it's the benchmark workload that causes that level of heat, not normal use...

Newer M.2 parts are expected to be more efficient than the 950 Pro, so the need for heatsinks / airflow / etc is only going to lessen over time.

August 26, 2016 | 06:59 PM - Posted by Jann5s

Thx for the reply, and I completely agree.

That said, the space underneath an ITX mobo is very cramped and heat may build up over time causing the drive to always throttle. Especially since in the case I've bought the GPU is positioned behind the motherboard tray (using a riser). The SSD would be in between the CPU and the GPU.

I'll probably put an SSD there anyway since I agree with you that most workloads that I encounter are megabytes, maybe a few gigabytes but never anywhere near 30s of 1.5GB/s. That said, it will impact the performance per dollar and is thus an interesting metric. If my 950pro performs like another cheaper drive because of the silly setup I have, I would like to know.

A few proper benchmarks (with a realistic use case) would put the story to rest and maybe pop the myth. And since your benchmarks are awesome, I'm asking you! Sorry about that.

August 28, 2016 | 08:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Another Dan A4 supporter I presume? Trying to find answers on this as well.

August 26, 2016 | 08:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

TLC mode, boo. Still waiting on the Samsung 960 Pro! and Optane even.

August 26, 2016 | 06:33 PM - Posted by amadsilentthirst

Hrm, PCIe performance?

If I was going for a PCIE drive / M.2, It would be because I want better performance than a SATA SSD. The write speeds here show this is no better than a random SATA SSD

If I wanted something better than SATA speeds, I'd be daft not to go for a proper NVME drive with R/W speeds 4x better.

Maybe there is a niche market for this,if the "actual prices" drop further, and people think their use case will be mostly reads.... maybe

August 26, 2016 | 06:56 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

It's good to see that there's still someone else (besides just me) left in here who has his head straight and doesn't jump onto the artificially inflated overhyped bandwagon full of "MUH SPEEDZ!"-circle jerking shills, a person that asesses the entire situation right and fully understands the whole thing's underlying tone.

August 26, 2016 | 08:25 PM - Posted by amadsilentthirst

Thanks - you forgot to mention my awesome punctuation, maybe I could be an inspiration to you?

(would love to read that other curmudgeonly written solid block of text above, but my eyes started to bleed.)


August 27, 2016 | 10:06 AM - Posted by Jann5s


August 27, 2016 | 10:29 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Get laid already.

August 27, 2016 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

I'm typing from a smartphone and it's auto-correct is what creates those crappy yypos. Argh, f*ck it...

August 26, 2016 | 09:26 PM - Posted by Cyclops

Do you need 3D glasses to use these products properly?

August 26, 2016 | 10:55 PM - Posted by phillychuck

Hope this helps drive down the prices of the other M.2 NVME drives. I'm not that thrilled with that write speed, but that read speed would be a nice upgrade.

Would that $10 difference between normal/pro just be worth paying?

August 27, 2016 | 01:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

can i work with raid 0
with 2 m.2 ?

August 27, 2016 | 03:39 PM - Posted by razor512

Why does this form factor for an SSD have to be so much more expensive than SATA, the BOM cost should be lower for them?

August 27, 2016 | 06:58 PM - Posted by NamelessTed

It is because these are NVMe drives, not SATA. A Samsung 950 Pro 256GB is ~$190 and the 512GB is ~$320. These new Intel drives are about 40% cheaper. It should be pointed out that the rated read speeds are about 18% slower and writes are about 38% slower. Intel is also releasing a 1TB version, which is not available with the Samsung 950 Pro.

August 29, 2016 | 12:21 AM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)


Are the WRITE speeds reported here typographical errors?

Intel SSD E 6000p Series key specifications:

Form Factor: M.2
Interface: PCIe Gen 3x4, NVMe
Capacities: 128GB, 256GB single sided
MTBF: 1.6 M hours
Bandwidth (up to):
Sequential Read: 770MB/s
Sequential Write: 450MB/s

August 30, 2016 | 02:39 AM - Posted by ol1bit

Wow a Uber fast Driver at 1GB for $360!

I'm I remember paying $300 for 300MB, in 1193, don't even ask before than time!

Might be good

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