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.
Excerpt: The SSD marketplace has been one area of the PC industry which has seen constant evolution over the past few years. We started with some less than stellar first generation models which promised more than they could deliver and now, several generations later, we have SATA 3 models becoming the main basis for new products.
Conclusion: Performance Summary: The Intel SSD 510 Series drive performed well overall, but its performance is not without compromise. The 250GB SSD 510 Series drive we tested offered excellent sequential read performance and very strong sequential write performance, that was only bested by OCZ’s upcoming Vertex 3 (note: the 120GB SSD 510 Series will offer somewhat lower performance than the 250GB model).
Pros: Strong Sequential Performance, Benefits From Intel's QC Labs
Cons: Random Reads / Writes, IOPS performance vs. Newer Drives
Summary: With throughputs of up to 500 MB/s, the new generation SSDs are a mouthwatering prospect on paper. These sequential speed scores need to be put in context however and the dip in random access reads takes them below the Crucial C300s in terms of performance in this domain.
Overall, none of these new SSDs really stands out from the lot.