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VR-Zone has once again shared (Chinese) a possible leaked Intel roadmap, this time showing an Intel "530 series" SSD on the horizon. According to the leaked slide, 80GB and 180GB 530 models could appear as soon as Q1 this year. 2.5" and mSATA models should arrive during Q2, 2013. Meanwhile, the wallet-friendly 335 series will be in for a series of "continued product optimizations".
It appears 530 models will be a continuation (or probably a replacement of) of Intel's 520 series which we reviewed last year. According to translations of the VR-Zone article, 530 SSDs will share the same controller (LSI SandForce SF-2281) as the 525 series. It's worth noting that although the 525 was supposed to debut in November, I haven't actually seen any 525 models for sale via U.S. retail channels.
All in all, the primary differences between the 525 and 530 appear to be a die shrink from 25nm to 20nm and the intent to release 530s as a NGFF package. NGFF is a new, Ultrabook-focused form factor which promises speedy SSDs in tight spaces. The document indicates NGFF models will appear first in Q1 before more common 2.5" and mSATA form factors debut in Q2.
VR-Zone also posted a NGFF reference design, which Anandtech explained in-depth last year. When compared to mSATA, the NGFF card is roughly two-thirds the size, measuring 42mm x 22mm versus 51mm x 30mm. The new form-factor is also about 2mm thinner for single-sided designs and 1mm thinner for double-sided cards.
Being that the new models will be part of the 500 series, owners can probably expect the same five-year warranty and level of reliability found with previous 500 series models. By contrast, Intel's consumer-focused 335 SSDs typically ship with a three-year warranty.
The OCZ Vector 256GB SSD model packs read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 530MB/s. All Vector models are loaded with 25nm IMFT NAND synchronous flash memory. The Vector SSD series is rated to deliver 20GB of writes per day for 5 years, which equates to a total of 36.5TB’s of written data. OCZ also provides a full 5-year warranty.
The Samsung 840 Pro SSD has been fitted with Samsung's latest MDX controller, a triple-core ARM-based chip that supports SATA 6Gb/s and can be paired with the latest 20nm NAND flash memory. Samsung claims a MTBF of 1.5 million hours and a 1500G shock resistance and the 840 Pro is backed by a limited five-year warranty.
The RealSSD C400 represents a mild performance gain over last year's C300 during light workloads, it's handily dispatched by competing drives from OCZ and Intel when it comes to heavy multitasking, but that's okay if the C400's price reflects its inferior performance and it does -- there's nothing wrong with delivering an entry-level product.
The Intel SSD 520 Series is aimed at performance buffs with initial SF-2281-based models offering capacities of 60GB, 120GB, 180GB, 240GB and 480GB. It also has a slim design, measuring 100 x 69.85 x 9.5mm and weighing up to 78 grams. The 60GB model packs read and write speeds of 550MB/s - 475MB/s, while the larger 120GB version provides 550MB/s reads and 500MB/s writes. The 180GB, 240GB and 480GB models are slightly faster again as the write performance is boosted to 520MB/s. Naturally, using the SATA 6Gb/s interface is essential to achieving those speeds.
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