Ideally we would've benched the larger 250GB version of the 510 Series as the majority of the high-end SSDs tested were around this size, but unfortunately Intel couldn't provide us with a review sample in time. This placed the Intel SSD 510 Series 120GB at a natural disadvantage compared to the OCZ Vertex 3 240GB, Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB, Samsung 470 Series 256GB, and even the Intel SSD 320 300GB.
We hope to get our hands on the smaller 120GB version of the OCZ Vertex 3 as it's said to be considerably slower than the 240GB model we've tested and this would level the playing field a bit. Until then, it's going to be difficult to make an accurate comparison of these two products.
Both drives are very competitive in terms of pricing. The OCZ Vertex 3 120GB is fetching $2.50 per gigabyte, the Intel SSD 510 120GB is slightly less expensive at $2.25 per gigabyte, and the Crucial RealSSD C300 going for $1.99 per gigabyte.
Looking back at the file copy tests, the SSD 510 was impressive, providing better performance than the larger Samsung 470 Series 256GB and Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB drives. Although its Windows 7 boot-time performance was mediocre, the SSD 510 120GB blitzed our StarCraft II level load test.
The Intel SSD 510 120GB really flopped in the random read HD Tune Pro tests, and its random write performance was average at best. This was disappointing because just one test earlier, the SSD 510 120GB matched the sequential read performance of the Vertex 3 240GB in Atto.
Although the sequential read performance of the SSD 510 120GB is very strong, we feel the bigger 250GB model will still struggle to match the Vertex 3's write performance.
It's difficult to call a winner when it comes to reliability as we haven't had our Vertex 3 sample long enough and the SSD 510 has only just made its way into a primary system in the last two weeks. If our assumptions about the Intel SSD 510 250GB's speed are correct, it appears that the OCZ Vertex 3 will offer the more tempting proposition, costing slightly less per gigabyte and delivering slightly better performance. Again, that's mostly speculation on our part, so stay tuned for the hard numbers.