Intel 600p 1TB NVMe SSD Review

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The Intel 600p series isn't perfect, but it's what the market needs right now. Most of us don't have much money left over for a $500 NVMe SSD after we spend $500 on a CPU and motherboard upgrade. NVMe falls into the old chicken versus the egg scenario. You need newer hardware to use it, but you still have to buy another expensive component that would be useless with your old hardware.

We've already tested the 256GB and 512GB 600p SSDs but came away unimpressed. Other NVMe SSDs are shipping with planar MLC NAND, mainly the Phison E7-based models, which impacts my thoughts on the 600p. The E7 drives compete directly with the Intel 600p 256GB and 512GB. The BPX, which leads the group of E7 SSDs, costs just a little more but it delivers a significant performance increase. However, the Phison E7's capacity limitation is an Achilles heel. We've only tested a single 1TB E7 SSD, and it is a limited-edition model sold mainly in Asia. The Galax HOF PCI-E is also more expensive than an Intel SSD 750 series 1.2TB SSD, so it's off the table. 

The lack of competition in the entry-level NVMe 1TB class makes the Intel 600p 1TB appealing. It's the only low-cost 1TB NVMe product, and that makes it the default (and only) option. The Plextor M8Pe M.2 2280 challenges the 600p when it's on sale for $399, but you have to time your purchase with a sale. The Intel 600p 1TB has a fairly consistent price that hovers right around $350. I would like it better at $300, but the current NAND shortage means we won't see any significant price reductions until early 2018.

Many people with new Z170 and now Z270 motherboards want to fill the M.2 slots. In fact, it's one of the biggest attractions to the Sky/Kaby Lake platforms. The Intel 600p will fill that need, but it doesn't always give you the best performance. The 600p 1TB only delivers 7,800 random read IOPS at QD1. That's 20% less than a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB that has roughly the same price. The 600p 1TB took the lead during sequential read workloads because it can transfer data at a higher rate than the SATA interface supports.

The 600p's write performance is another story, and that is where we find the biggest conflict. The Intel 600p 1TB gives you an ample 100GB SLC buffer to absorb incoming write data but lacks direct-to-die technology. The SLC buffer is big enough for daily use, and perhaps even accommodate those rare occasions when you run a professional application. This is where our conflict turns to compromise. If you don't want to compromise, prepare yourself for sticker shock. The 600p in the only sub-$400 NVMe 1TB model on the market.


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Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.
  • jaber2
    It is cheap, that's one good and bad thing you can say about it
  • Pompompaihn
    I'll consider looks like a notch up from my 500GB m.2 EVO in my laptop, so could slot in nicely for a desktop build. I'm still enamored by SSD speeds so even if it's just "a little" faster than SSDs but same price point that's a win in my book.
  • Brian_R170
    I wonder where the price of the 600p would fall if there wasn't a global NAND shortage. $350+ is hard to swallow. I saw the 1TB 600p for $289 shortly after the 1TB version became became available last fall. I even purchased a 500GB 600p from Newegg for $129 around the same time. At least that's SATA-like pricing for SATA-like peformance.
  • eglass
    The NAND shortage blows. The performance of this should really put this closer to the $300 price point.

    That green PCB has got to go too. Would look like trash on my black board with blue sinks.
  • BrownRecluse27
    I have had the 600p for 4 months now I got it on sale for 300$ on Newegg and I love it. I use it as my boot drive and it easily holds all my games
  • Akai Miru
    I looked up a couple of them the new ones from Samsung are as cheap now tho
  • ashburner
    Same here. I've had my 1TB 600p for months and I love it. Seems fast. I also have a pair of 1TB EVO 850's in RAID 0 in the same PC and I can't tell any difference in the speed.
  • Co BIY
    Question for the reviewers.

    Will I be able to notice a difference in storage performance between NVMe and SATA SSDs during normal work tasks or while gaming ?

    Would I notice a difference in performance between the low end SATA SSDs and the high end SATA SSDs ?
  • barryv88
    Cheap but pathetic performance, yet this drive gets an award? Please...
    Samsung and AMD lately has Intel by the balls, yet it just seems so desperate and deliberate that THG tries its utter best to prove that this company is still all jolly good and honkedory, even though intel has been dragging its feet for a while now.
    I take this review with a pinch of salt.
  • CRamseyer
    It's the second lowest award possible!

    Here is what you missed. It's faster than a Samsung 850 Pro and SanDisk Extreme PRO (1TB class) in consumer-focused workloads and costs less.

    I don't deliver grains of salt. I'll tie ya down to a chair and pour the big water softener pellets in until you get it :)