Intel SSD 600p 512GB M.2

An affordable alternative to SATA drives but with a few caveats

Intel SSD 600p M.2 Solid State Drive
Intel SSD 600p. ©Intel

Intel may offer some extremely high priced and high-performance PCI-Express drives, but the SSD 600p series is about affordability and it does this priced well below offerings from industry leader Samsung. The drive achieves this through lower write performance and lower endurance ratings which make this not really suitable for those wanting performance. The average consumer wanting something a bit faster than a SATA based drive though may be well served by it if they have light workloads.

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Pros

  • Low Cost for NVMe PCI-Express Based Drive
  • Good Read Speeds at Higher Capacities
  • Five Year Warranty

Cons

  • Performance Not Much Higher Than Many SATA Based Drives
  • Low Endurance Means Shorter Lifespan

Description

  • 512GB Storage Capacity
  • M.2 2280 Form Factor
  • NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Interface
  • SMI SM2260 Controller
  • 1.7GB/s Read Speed
  • 560MB/s Write Speed
  • 72 TB Endurance Rating
  • 5-Year Warranty

Review - Intel SSD 600p 512GB

In the early days of solid state drives, Intel offered some of the best performing and most reliable drives on the market. Over time, their market share dropped as they did not keep the focus on their controllers and memory chips. They were looking to reclaim some of the lost market share with the SSD 600p M.2 drives but were definitely not shooting for high performance.

The drive uses the M.2 form factor and interface which is becoming more popular for mobile and even desktop system.

It uses the standard 22x80mm size with single sided memory which allows it to fit into just about any computer system with the connector. Rather than using the SATA interface which limits performance, Intel is using the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 to allow for better overall performance.

Where the Intel SSD 600p excels in the read speeds.

Where most SSD drives top out around 550MB/s, the 512GB version of the SSD 600p offers almost three times that at 1775MB/s. It should be noted that this is not as fast as drives such as the Samsung 950 Pro but Intel's drive costs roughly 60 percent of Samsung's premium drive.

It should be noted that the 512GB version is the faster of the Intel SSD 600p drives. The 128GB version offers less than half the read performance at just 770MB/s. This makes the lower capacity versions of the drive less desirable.

While read speeds are quite good, write speeds are a different matter. In fact, the speeds top out at 560Mbps which is not really that much better than many premium SATA drives and roughly a third of Samsung's premium drives.

To make matters worse, the drive suffers from lower write speeds if the caching gets filled up as there is no direct write mode. This makes the drive much less useful for those people that are having to write a lot of data to their storage.

There is another issue in terms of writing data to the Intel SSD 600p due to their low rating for the endurance. NAND memory has a limit number of writes that they can do before the memory generally becomes unusable.

Intel rates their SSD 600p drives at a very low 72TB endurance.

This rating is also the same across all their drives. In contracts, the Samsung 850 EVO drives feature 150TB for the 500GB capacity and the 950 Pro features 400TB. Intel still backs the drive with a five-year warranty which is good but if you are writing a lot of data, you may find the drive fails much sooner than other alternatives.

For the average consumer, the Intel SSD 600p 512GB drive is a decent alternative to many other NVMe drives that are either very expensive for their high performance or use the older SATA interface. The big issue is that Samsung has already announced their 960 EVO drives that which will be more expensive but will also offer much higher performance and better endurance even if it has a shorter warranty.

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