Intel launches budget-minded 540s Series SSDs, pricing starts under $55

By Shawn Knight
Apr 15, 2016
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  1. Intel’s budget-minded 540 Series solid state drives are now available to purchase. The drives, based on 16-nanometer TLC NAND flash memory from SK Hynix, are available in two form factors and half a dozen capacities.

    The new Intel 540s Series drives are offered in capacities of 120GB, 180GB, 240GB, 360GB, 480GB and 1TB in your choice of 80mm M.2 or 2.5-inch form factors. It’s worth noting that all M.2 drives are single-sided with the exception of the 1TB model.

    Intel says its new entry-level drives offer sequential read speeds of up to 560MB/sec and write speeds of up to 480MB/sec (IOMeter, Queue Depth 32). Random 4K read and write IOPS check in at 78,000 and 85,000, respectively.

    All models are compatible with Intel’s SSD Toolbox, SSD Optimizer, Intel Data Migration Software and Intel Rapid Storage Technology.

    As value drives, you can expect a fair price when it comes time to check out. Right now on Newegg, the 120GB M.2 drive is selling for $53.87 with the 2.5-inch variant commanding just $54.45. If you need more storage, the 480GB M.2 drive will currently set you back $158.65 (or $149 for the 2.5-incher). At the top end is the 1TB drive, yours for $303.48 on the M.2 form factor or $303.43 for the 2.5-inch model.

    If you haven’t yet moved to a solid state drive for your primary drive (it’s hard to imagine any enthusiast hasn’t at this point), you’re really missing out. In addition to blazing fast performance versus a traditional spinning hard drive, SSDs generate zero noise and produce less heat which in turn, typically means they are more energy efficient. What’s more, they’re less prone to failure (at least, in theory) and more durable as they have no moving parts.

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  2. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 253   +86

    $53+ for a 120gb is ridiculous. You might as well spend $150 and get a Samsung 500GB 850EVO M.2 drive or 2.5inch drive.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,352   +1,945

    They're still not all that cheap, but you're paying for the Intel branding. You can get better pricing from other brands.
  4. AvalonMD

    AvalonMD TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +42

    Or, like in the article you could just get the Intel 480GB for $149.

    True, but that Intel durability, reliability, and warranty... hmmmmmm...
  5. I thought there was a cheaper 300 series from Intel?
  6. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 106   +37

    I thought Intel effectively priced them selves out of the SSD market a few years ago. Although this 120gb SSD for $53 is about right as far as what other brands go for.
  7. hojnikb

    hojnikb TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    It's a re-badged adata sp550, so I don't think there is any intel reliability and durability in there.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    As far as SSDs are concerned, in my opinion the Intel name carries too steep a price. $60 will buy 240GB from many different manufacturers, of which their 120GB version is only $40.
  9. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 202   +100

    1TB M.2 for 300? damn. Is it only 500mb/s trough M.2? If so Ill still have to buy Samsung 950 PRO as it has 3 times the writing speed and 5 times the reading speed. I guess it's almost as fast and you just didn't put any speeds for M.2, Ill see when it hits the stores.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,352   +1,945

    That all depends on your luck. All well known brands can give you years of trouble free service.
  11. KBadaloni

    KBadaloni TS Rookie

    Where did you ever get that idea from? Is there somewhere reputable you got that info from or are you just dissing Intel because its Intel. They make great SSDs. The reliability on the drives alone beat out every other drive (Samsung is close but not quite there yet). And the fact that they make a diagnostic tool to determine if your SSD is failing makes a HUGE difference for me, not even Samsung has that.
  12. hojnikb

    hojnikb TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    Just look around, it's clearly outlined that they use Hynix 16nm flash and silicon motion sm2256 controller.,31525.html

    So there is absolutely nothing, that makes this drive Intel. Just a fancy skull badge and thats it.

    Also, their ssd tool works just like any other smart monitoring tool. And I'm pretty certain they don't have any extra magic to determine failure of an ssd (other than the usual way via reported errors and retired blocks. But thats what others do too).

    So yeah, try again.

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