|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Intel SSD 510 Series 250Gb|
|Posted by Winston|
|Thursday, 31 March 2011 23:23|
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Most of the SSDs we've tested, uses the SATA2 interface, which gives a theoretical maximum data throughput of 3.0Gbps. So it's a perfect match for any motherboard (including our older test rig based on a P55 motherboard) which supports SATA2. But as technology moves on, we've now got motherboards sporting the new SATA3 interface, which gives a theoretical maximum data throughput of 6.0Gbps, double that of SATA2. This new SATA3 inferface can be found on more newer motherboards such as the recently launched P67 chipset (Sandy Bridge) motherboards.
The availability of SATA3 interface on most of the newer motherboards, means that it's time for Intel to update and refresh their performance range of SSDs. Now say hello to the Intel SSD 510 series. It's designed and aimed at the gamers, performance users including enthusiasts and workstation users. It was announced at the end of February 2011 and takes full advantage of Intel's 2nd Generation of Core™ processorsis (Sandy Bridge).
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Intel SSD 510 series. As I've mentioned earlier, the 510 series of SSDs are designed and aimed at the gamers, performance users including enthusiasts and workstation users. The SSD is based on MLC (multi-level cell) and 34nm NAND flash technology, and uses the faster SATA3 6Gbps interface. According to Intel, the 510 series can offers speeds of up to 500MB/s sequential reads and 315MB/s writes for the 250GB capacity. The 120GB capacity will be slightly lower, with speeds of 450MB/s and 210MB/s respectively. As far as IOPS (input/output operations per second) is concerned, the Intel SSD 510 offers upto 20K IOPS in 4KB random reads, which is fairly decent.
Looking deeper into the specifications, the Intel SSD 510 is controlled by a Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 controller instead of their own. This is quite a surprise, because previous models from Intel such as the X25-M used their own SSD controllers. I guess, they want to get best of the SATA3 interface, so a 3rd party controller like the Marvell probably did a better job than their own.In our tests, we'll be looking at the performance difference between the SATA2 and SATA3 interface. For this, we used a Gigabyte P67A-UD4 motherboard (P67 chipset), along with an Intel Core i5-2500K (LGA 1155). We also made sure that the Intel SSD 510 was connected to the SATA3 port of course, otherwise you won't get the maximum potential of of the SSD. For our SATA2 test, we used one of the other available SATA2 port found on the motherboard.
If everything runs as smooth as planned, then I'm expecting the Intel SSD 510 to outperform every SSD (2.5") we've tested. Using the faster SATA3 interface, it should give us a massive boost in both read and write speeds, but more interestingly what performance will we get from using the SATA2 interface?
We'll be testing the Intel 510 Series SSD (250Gb) on our test rig which consist of an Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3Ghz cooled by a Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 CPU cooler, a Gigabyte P67A-UD4 motherboard, a Geforce GTX 560 Ti, 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600 and a Adata HM-850W PSU.
OK, now let's take a closer look at the specifications of the Intel 510 Series SSD (250Gb) on our next page ...