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Intel SSD 600p Series 512GB Review: NVMe performance, SATA pricing

By Steve ยท 15 replies
Oct 5, 2016
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  1. Announcing half a dozen new 3D NAND-based SSDs in August, Intel's SSD 600p Series in particular caught our attention for being an aggressively priced M.2 NVMe-based model targeting consumer desktops and notebooks.

    Using 3D TLC flash memory developed in conjunction with Micron, Intel has been able to keep pricing in check and offers the 600p in capacities starting at 128GB for $67 with sequential reads and writes of up to 770MB/s and 450MB/s (1.8GB/s and 560 MB/s on the 1TB model).

    While that's slower than what we have come to expect from M.2 NVMe drives, keep in mind that this series is meant to be affordable. At just $0.36 per gigabyte, the 600p 512GB looks to be exceptional value, particularly when you consider that the cheapest TLC SATA 2.5" drives cost $0.24 per gigabyte and should be a good bit slower. Not only that, but compared to SATA MLC drives like the Samsung SSD 850 Pro, the Intel 600p is quite a bit cheaper.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +317

    I use an SSD for the OS and main files.

    Everything else goes to my 4 TB HDD (games), my Western Digital My Cloud or my ONEDRIVE cloud storage.
  3. fktech

    fktech TS Addict Posts: 202   +53

    How much faster is an m2 vs conventional SSD in practical consumer applications? Or even the good old HDD for that matter?
  4. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +133

    I don't know why it's called an SSD. Surely it's a card? I had read most of the first page of the review before I realised it was a card and not a 2.5" SSD so it won't connect to my motherboard.
    I have 3 SSDs in my PC - I wouldn't dream of putting programs or games onto a HDD any more. The HDD is now only used for storage, it's not even in the PC. I put the modern games on my fastest SSD to reduce loading times as much as possible.
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,041   +793

    Just an idea Techspot. Maybe something to add in the future for bench-marking would be game load times. I find some games greatly benefit from being on an SSD. WoW, BF4, GTA5 and The Division all spring to mind which I had on a HDD and moving them over to an SSD made a huge difference to load times such as changing to different characters or loading into the game world in the first place. Just food for thought :)
  6. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 652   +284

    SSD mean "Solid State Drive". It is using the same NAND and controller architectures as all the traditional SSDs, so it is still an SSD. The difference is that 'traditional' SSDs use SATA as an interface and the 2.5" form factor. But both of these standards are hold overs from much older tech. 2.25" drives were established when laptops became common and they still needed spinning platters. SATA was developed to replace IDE interfaces. SSDs are bottlenecked by SATA, and don't actually have to conform to the 2.25" form factor because they don't have any moving parts.

    In this case, m.2 is the form factor, NVMe is the interface. The m.2 form factor allows an SSD to mounted directly onto a motherboard. It doesn't need to be placed elsewhere in the case, because size and vibration are no longer a concern. NVMe is a new interface designed specifically for SATA drives, allowing for much quicker operation (even by SSD standards). For both m.2 and NVMe, the motherboard must be designed to support their implementation - there really is no backwards compatibility for these new standards.
  7. Jamesbrah

    Jamesbrah TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +12

    If anyone is interested - I bought one of these drives yesterday, and from my perspective it's running pretty well.

    For sure, if you compare benchmark results, you can see it has flaws - but that's strictly in a Benchmark situation.
    As the real world scenarios showed, it isn't so bad (unless doing a full backup, which is ridiculous as you would never do that with a 512 M.2 SSD drive..)

    I bought it to replace x2 Corsair SSDs running in Raid0 because I was sick of the clutter and pain of the Raid array, and for $200ish AUD, it's totally worth it.

    Gaming performance is as good as the Samsung, and that's really all that matters in most cases.
    alabama man likes this.
  8. Sum Guy

    Sum Guy TS Enthusiast Posts: 38   +11

    I agree. I was hoping to see a GTA5 load time test too. Most gamers have that game. One of the top selling games of all time.
    alabama man likes this.
  9. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    The reason game load times were dropped from our SSD testing long ago is that they don't really tell much of a story. The slowest and fastest SSDs of a few years ago loaded even the most extreme games in virtually the same time. The only noticeable gain was seen when going from a HDD to an SSD, not from one SSD to another.

    It is by no means just extreme cases where the 600p is slow. Do you ever run a virus scan, do you extract zip or rar archives that are multiple gigabytes in size? Those tasks aside the 600p isn't really any faster than a cheaper TLC drive such as the Kingston UV400 or Crucial MX300 for example.
    Burty117 likes this.
  10. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,041   +793

    Fair enough, I've recently got the Samsung 951 NVMe 256GB and found it to be considerably faster loading GTA5 over my old Corsair Neutron GTX 256GB.
    I get your reasoning though, once you go SSD you see little difference between SSD's. I guess I was just hoping a cheap NVMe drive would load WoW as quick as a Samsung Pro SSD :p
  11. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 129   +16

    Intel just can't release a good product for mass market. It's either pricey stuff with high capacity like Intel 750 or garbage like 540s and 600p.

    At least 600p is not so overpriced like 540s was (btw the price for 600p is constantly jumping, from 105-130$ for 256 Gb version). At the moment 600p is a good alternative for premium SATA SSD but soon, when there will be more NVMe SSDs on the market and prices fall, 600p will become obsolete.
    alabama man likes this.
  12. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Addict Posts: 128   +119

    Windows boot time comparisons would be good to see along with popular video games such as GTA as mentioned by others.
    alabama man likes this.
  13. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    The reason neither of these are included was covered in my post above.

    "Ohh look all SSDs created in the last 2 years load windows on a Core i7 rig in 2.1 seconds" ;)
  14. doooontReply

    doooontReply TS Rookie

    Woops! Bought and installed like a week before this review, works pretty fast, but the benches are right on, this thing isn't much faster than a Sata3 SSD, But it does make the system as a whole feel snappier, even web browsing (which uses drive caching).
    Samsung 951 Ultra M.2 is leading the boards, just pony up and get a Samsung.
  15. doooontReply

    doooontReply TS Rookie

    Actually.. NVMe is the tech, PCI express 3.0 x4 lanes is the interface in this case. Other M.2 drives may connect as M.2 drives in Sata 3 mode (PCIe 3.0 x1).
  16. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 652   +284

    No, NVMe is the physical interface. The tech is PCI Express. Either way, it's still splitting hairs for anyone who isn't a computer engineer or scientist.

    Not sure what you are saying about M.2 drives though?
    alabama man likes this.

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