Intel officially announced its new 520 Series of solid-state drives on Monday, promising its fastest, most robust client/consumer SSD to date. The drive is produced using Intel compute-quality 25-nm NAND memory process technology and connects via an SATA III 6 Gbps interface, delivering world-class performance "even for the most demanding PC enthusiasts."
"Any consumer application requiring high throughput and bandwidth, low latencies and accelerated speed will benefit from the Intel SSD 520," Intel said in a press release. "Software developers, architects, accountants, engineers, musicians, media creators and artists are just some of the professionals that will find that the Intel SSD 520’s full package of features can make a dramatic impact on their productivity. With faster performance for graphic renderings, compiling, data transfers and system boot-ups, users can speed through multi-tasking or once-cumbersome application wait times with an Intel SSD 520 Series."
Intel reports that the series includes capacities from 60 GB to 480 GB, and packs features such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 bit encryption capabilities and stronger password protection for added security in the event of theft or power loss. It also contains an LSI SandForce Flash Storage Processor with an Intel co-defined and validated firmware release.
On a performance level, the 520 Series delivers up to 80,000 maximum 4K random write IOPS and up to 50,000 4K random read IOPS. It also provides sequential read speeds up to 550 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 520 MB/s. This is backed by thousands of hours of Intel testing and validation, including more than 5,000 individual tests, as well as a 5-year limited warranty, Intel said.
"Our game development workflow involves a combination of large batch process and aggressive interactive pre-visualization, all highly parallelized to the point that the storage performance becomes a major bottleneck,” said id Software's John Carmack. "For many of our workloads, Intel SSDs have doubled throughput, and in some cases involving mapping tens of gigabytes of image data, we have seen an honest order of magnitude performance improvement, which is a rare and wonderful thing."
Based on 1,000 unit quantities, the 60 GB model costs $149 per unit, $229 for the 120 GB version, $369 for the 180 GB version, $509 for the 240 GB version and a meaty $999 for the 480 GB version.
In case you haven't read it yet, check out our review of Intel's latest SSD.