Conclusion: Let us summarise the most important positive and negative points below: The Intel 510 series 120GB SSD is a well-rounded drive, and it has very good performance when connected via native Intel SATA 6Gbps. 4K random IOP performance is more than enough for typical desktop use, and still has a fair bit of headroom for some fairly heavy multitasking.
Pros: Silky smooth operation as a system drive (during the test period)., Excellent reading and writing performance., Good 4K random I/O performance., SATA 6Gbps support., Excellent multitasking potential., TRIM support under Windows 7., Lightning fast access times., Completely silent operation., Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times., 3 years warranty.
Cons: Slightly slow sequential writing performance by today’s standards.
Conclusion: The SSD 510 Series, Intel's replacement for its once–industry leading X25-M drive solid-state drive, turns out fine numbers in some circumstances, but its random-access speeds may be a turn off for more advanced power users.
Pros: Strong performance, particularly in sequential reads and writes. Supports 6Gbps SATA.
Cons: Slow random-access speeds compared with competing drives. Relatively expensive.
Summary: The engineers at Intel have done an incredible job tuning the firmware of their 510 Series to suit the needs of today's consumers. Especially in our ISO file copy and game patching benchmarks, the Intel drive plays in a completely different league from any other drive on the market today - including current SATA 6 Gbps SandForce drives. Our other benchmarks also show great results for the 510 Series, making it the fastest SSD we tested so far.
Pros: Outstanding performance, Supports TRIM, 3 year warranty, Good amount of accessories included, Nice looking, rugged metal case
Conclusion: Now let's talk about IOPS (input/output operations per second). According to Intel, the 510 series offers upto 20K IOPS in 4KB random reads, which is fairly decent. It's not the highest we've seen, but its definitely more than emough for most of today's demanding users. Why is IOPS important? Because it tells you how fast a SSD can read/write to the NAND flash memory at random, usually in 4KB reads.
Conclusion: We hope to get our hands on the smaller 120GB version of the OCZ Vertex 3 as it's said to be considerably slower than the 240GB model we've tested and this would level the playing field a bit. Until then, it's going to be difficult to make an accurate comparison of these two products. Both drives are very competitive in terms of pricing.
Conclusion: Any new Intel product arrives with huge expectations, and the company usually delivers on one of two fronts: price or performance. Yet, at £220, the 120GB Intel 510 Series SSD struggles to deliver on either. With a heavy focus on sequential throughput, the drive's overall performance credentials aren't as well rounded as competing SandForce solutions, and everything we've seen so far suggests that the upcoming crop of SF-2000 drives will be superior performers.
Summary: A number of new solid-state drives are slated to arrive over the next little while, including models based on SandForce's second-gen controller and others using the same Marvell chip as the 510 Series. Given what's coming, and the fact that we're working on an updated storage suite, I'm going to reserve final judgment on the 510 Series until everyone's cards are on the table. We have, however, learned a few interesting things about the drive today.
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Excerpt: As the first Intel SSD to use a third-party memory controller, the new 510 Series disks (also known as ElmCrest) have a lot of ground to recover. When they first became cost-effective alternatives to mechanical hard disks, Intel SSDs led the way with their proprietary memory controllers. Now however, faster Sandforce-based models are more popular with enthusiasts. The Marvell controller used in the 510 has much faster read and write speeds than previous Intel designs.