Brian

Intel SSD 510 Review Discussion

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Do the 6.0Gb/s SSDs deliver their full speed with the onboard Marvell 9128 controller on Gigabyte P55A boards (ex: P55A-UD5) using SATA3 Turbo mode?

I think the short answer to that is "no", but I haven't seen many tests yet (and not on the Intel specifically). The 9128's system interface is simply incapable of offering full 6.0 speeds, although it will be higher than the 3.0 interface. However the general crappyness tends to ensure performance is worse than the ICH10R. Plus no trim support.

For example, a review I saw on the Vertex 3 showed...

            ICH10R / 9128 / LSI 9260
Seq Read:     213  / 374  / 586
Seq Write:    217  / 166  / 374
4K Read:      21   / 20   / 14
4K Write:     62   / 52   / 42
4K-64 Read:   168  / 169  / 146
4K-64 Write:  161  / 160  / 101
Score Read:   217  / 228  / 220
Score Write:  248  / 229  / 182
Score:        579  / 570  / 508

So you gain sequential read speed, but lose out on write speed. Although oddly both it and the Intel did better than the LSI on some other things.

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I'm a bit confused about the 4k latency conclusions.

You say that "The write latency and peak response times of the new SSD 510 were still quite respectable, although they still don’t stack up to the previous generation drives.". For the "average ms" reading, the 510 (6Gbps) actually wins (by a significant margin), and for "max ms" the 510 is in the middle of the pack, beating the Vertex 3 and absolutely destroying the X25-M. How are they not stacking up to the previous generation drives?

Another surprising thing is what's going on with the 4k random read/write tests (QD=1). For some reason the 510 is consistently and significantly *slower* in 6Gbps than in 3Gbps. Do you know why that is happening?

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Thank you for your efforts in getting your results out there so quickly. I'm impressed with your work, though not so impressed with the Intel product. If you have a 3 GB SATA system, the main thing that it has going for it over the G2 is you can get a 250 GB. Unless I'm missing something, it sounds like it will perform poorer than the G2 for typical workstation use (with lots of 4K random access). My current mechanical drive is of questionable health, and I was planning to purchase the 250 GB as a replacement. I can't risk my old drive much longer, but now I'm not sure which direction to go.

I'm now seeing the following prices at Amazon: $294 for the 120 GB and $582.89 for the 250 GB. They are both listed as out of stock as of this time.

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@Sunfox:

I just discovered that new drivers and firmware(!) for the Marvel 9128 are available

http://forum.giga-byte.co.uk/index.php?topic=4236.0

http://www.station-drivers.com/page/marvell.htm

This test shows 359 MB/s seq read with the 9128:

http://www.station-drivers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10298#10298

[Edit] Sorry; I overlooked your test data and you mentioning the write speed.

I was too focused on my 3GB/s X25-M delivering 200MB/s seq read only with the 9218 vs. 230MB/s with ICH10R on my P55A-UD5 :-(

Edited by Peter Meinl

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I know there are 512gb SSDs, but the ones I've looked at are all rather expansive... and seem rather slow for the price (excepting the PCIe models). Technically I'd love to get a Crucial M4 512gb, but I doubt I'm going to be able to wait that long. I hate being on the cusp of a new technology - but when I started gathering the parts for this system, there were no super fast SATA3 SSDs to even worry about.

You're really going to have to wait for 25nm to gain greater adoption if you have any hope of seeing 500GB+ drives at a reasonable cost...whatever reasonable is.

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Thank you for your efforts in getting your results out there so quickly. I'm impressed with your work, though not so impressed with the Intel product. If you have a 3 GB SATA system, the main thing that it has going for it over the G2 is you can get a 250 GB. Unless I'm missing something, it sounds like it will perform poorer than the G2 for typical workstation use (with lots of 4K random access). My current mechanical drive is of questionable health, and I was planning to purchase the 250 GB as a replacement. I can't risk my old drive much longer, but now I'm not sure which direction to go.

I'm now seeing the following prices at Amazon: $294 for the 120 GB and $582.89 for the 250 GB. They are both listed as out of stock as of this time.

Ugh...well, I was afriad of that. There is going to be a lot of competition by the end of March, mid-April. Those prices better get on sale quickly. I don't understand why they're so expensive given teh components.

@Udaman -

What I"m wondering is, should we expect the new SF 6Gbs controllers to show up on a OWC SDD this month too?

From my conversations, it doesn't look like there will be any direct competition to the Vertex 3 until April/May at best - on the new SF-2200 that is. The Crucial m4 is the currest best hope for toppling the Vertex 3. The Corsair P3 is interesting but uses the same controller as the Intel 510 and we still don't have one to review yet.

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Yes, the color coding annoys me as well - I can see the red and blue ones, but the other 4 I have difficulty determining exactly which label they match up with.

Either add the model name to the actual bar, or place a number next to the bar that corresponds to the model names in the bottom index, or arrange the model name index in the order that they appear in the graph.

Technically I prefer that graphs always show models in the same order, rather than order of performance, since it makes it a lot easier to compare specific models on multiple graphs, versus just that one test.

+1, some of these charts are close to useless for me

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Great feedback - rather than fill this thread with charts discussion, it would be great if you have ideas for improvement if you would post them to a new thread in the site suggestions forum. We've made several changes to the charts and continue to try to make them better and easier to understand.

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+1, some of these charts are close to useless for me

Beyond the mild color blindness issues, I think the main issue for me is that the color sample next to the model name is so tiny, especially on a high resolution screen, that I'm left sort of squinting, trying to decide if that circle is medium green or light brown.

At any rate, I noticed that I kept trying to match up colors one at a time, but I realized that it's easier if I treat the two paired colors as a pattern. By that I mean, I may not be able to clearly see the difference in the tiny circles between "dark light brown" and "dark light green", but I *can* see the difference between the pair of light browns and the pair of light greens.

Still, it's time to figure out something that's a bit more... accessible... that doesn't rely entirely on color detection. Try printing out one of your pages on a black-and-white laser printer. The graphs are utterly useless.

But to end - thanks for being the first to review the 510, even if some of us are still figuring out exactly what it scored! ;-)

I basically have to buy a SSD within the next week, minimum 250gb, and it looks like I'm stuck between the 510 and the C300 (please suggest others if there are others I should be considering). However the C300 stuttering issue has me concerned, so I'm leaning towards the 510.

Also regarding 512gb at a "reasonable" price - right now I'd say under $1000. Frankly even that's too much, but I seem to recall hearing that the C400 512gb was going to sell for ~$875 wholesale, and that seems good compared to the $1300 I'm seeing them for now.

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I basically have to buy a SSD within the next week, minimum 250gb, and it looks like I'm stuck between the 510 and the C300 (please suggest others if there are others I should be considering).

I am in the same situation. Because of the problems I excluded the C300. The Samsung 470 is my other candidate. Not so impressive in the synthetic benchmarks (as the 510), but the real world performance is very good:

http://www.techspot.com/review/340-samsung-470-series-ssd/page5.html

A comparison between the 510 and the 470 would be nice.

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I am in the same situation. Because of the problems I excluded the C300. The Samsung 470 is my other candidate. Not so impressive in the synthetic benchmarks (as the 510), but the real world performance is very good:

http://www.techspot.com/review/340-samsung-470-series-ssd/page5.html

A comparison between the 510 and the 470 would be nice.

We've reviewed both, very different drives. What kind of comparisons are you looking for?

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Reading the full reviews it seems that the 510 drive is really slower than actual fast SSD

in the 4K test.

Does this means that 510 will be slower than actual SSD for general PC usage?

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I just read the datasheet on the 510 and Intel is claiming the same write endurance as they did with their X25-M SSDs: a minimum useful life of 5 years at 20GB/day, which works out to a minimum of 36.5 terabytes written over the life of the drive.

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I just read the datasheet on the 510 and Intel is claiming the same write endurance as they did with their X25-M SSDs: a minimum useful life of 5 years at 20GB/day, which works out to a minimum of 36.5 terabytes written over the life of the drive.

Yeah, so we've traded half a dozen emails with them on this topic...and I've basically told them for Intel to bang the endurance drum, then disappear on the SSD 510. They don't intend on offering us any additional guidance in terms of TBW. I wonder if the Marvell controller is less endurance friendly...neither Intel or Marvell are promoting write amplifications.

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Another surprising thing is what's going on with the 4k random read/write tests (QD=1). For some reason the 510 is consistently and significantly *slower* in 6Gbps than in 3Gbps. Do you know why that is happening?

I'm going to guess that this is because you're using the LSI 9260-8i RAID card to provide 6Gbps ports (the issue also applies to the Vertex 3, and 4k random writes for the RealSSD C300).

Have you considered testing the drives on the Intel SATA 6Gbps ports on something like a Sandy Bridge MB?

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I'm going to guess that this is because you're using the LSI 9260-8i RAID card to provide 6Gbps ports (the issue also applies to the Vertex 3, and 4k random writes for the RealSSD C300).

Have you considered testing the drives on the Intel SATA 6Gbps ports on something like a Sandy Bridge MB?

The plans are already in the works. Right now the LSI 9260 is acting as a stopgap until our Intel Sandy Bridge and AMD 890FX platforms are complete. The RAID card has a caching effect that pads the scores, although since each drive is being tested through this card we can still compare them side-by-side. Once our Sandy Bridge platform is complete we will be writing an article outlining our new fancy (and shiny) hardware with updated benchmarks of the most popular drives up to that date.

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I just realized something. What about the Plextor M2? Last I heard you guys were still figuring out some stuff with it. How's it compare to the 510? If you had to buy a 250gb drive today what would you go for that's 1) good performance and 2) not going to cause any sort of system problems or fail unexpectedly?

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Eh, I'd like to take the 5th. We've been on the phone with Marvell and Plextor and will be doing the same dance tomorrow to try to resolve some stuff with the M2. If you want to discuss more SSD general or what to buy threads, maybe I should port this over to another forum.

But...to answer the question, and assuming you want SATA 6Gb/s, the argument could be made for Intel 510 or Vertex 3. Game perhaps changes in two weeks though with Crucial m4.

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But...to answer the question, and assuming you want SATA 6Gb/s, the argument could be made for Intel 510 or Vertex 3. Game perhaps changes in two weeks though with Crucial m4.

Except you can't buy the Vertex 3 yet? At least all I can find is the Vertex 2. Found a listing for the Vertex 3 (holy crap, $1800+ for 480gb, so much for 25nm cost savings) on NCIX, but no stock.

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Except you can't buy the Vertex 3 yet? At least all I can find is the Vertex 2. Found a listing for the Vertex 3 (holy crap, $1800+ for 480gb, so much for 25nm cost savings) on NCIX, but no stock.

Shipping soon, or at least before any of the other SandForce models. It's at least a great time to be excited about SSDs, even if we can't buy them ;)

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I'm not very experienced like the rest of ya, but I registered to ask one question:

I have a Shuttle SX58J3 xpc with 3 gb/s sata. I've been waiting for the intel g3 ssd so the prices are to drop. But after reading here I'm starting to wonder if I'm better off with the g2? Will I notice increase in performance with the new 510 drive or if I wait for the 25nm drives, or will the 3gb/s sata limit me to the same performance the g2 delivers?

I've been looking at the graphs from the reviews, but like I said I'm not that technical so I don't really know which ones are of most importance etc. At some the g2 is better than the 510 3gb/s and in some it's viceversa.

Feel really stupid if the g2 is the better one for me, cuz I've been waiting for months and months for the g3 drive which keeps getting pushed. Then I coulda got it for a long time ago..

So the big question, should I keep waiting or should I just get the g2 since it won't change anythin anyways?

Is there a expected price drop for g2 coming up now that Intel's pushing out new drives? Is there any news on when the 25nm is coming?

Best regards

Edited by oscy

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If I only had a computer with 3Gbps ports, with no plans to upgrade in 6-12 months, I would get either the 160/120GB Intel X25-M or a 120GB SandForce model. You would get more value out of that in the short term, and when you do go to upgrade your motherboard look at prices of the SSD 510 at that time and consider buying it. If you got it right now you wouldn't be able to take advantage of it and lose money compared to waiting.

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