Solid State Drives Guide

Intel 510 Series SSD (250GB) review

Intel SSD 510 Series – The In-Betweener

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Physique and Features

Elmcrest In The Middle

The SSD 510 Series can be considered as Intel’s transitional model between its second generation (X25-M G2) and third generation (320 Series) SSD offerings. Previously codenamed Elmcrest, one of the SSD 510 Series’ most noteworthy features is its integration of a third-party controller, the Marvell 9174. Equipped with this chip, the 510 Series is expected to maximize the SATA 6Gbps interface, making it much faster than Intel’s previous SSD models.

Intel's SSD 510 Series uses a thick metal enclosure that is compliant with the 2.5-inch drive form factor. Bundled together with a SATA data and power cables is a metal bracket so that the SSD can be fitted into a 3.5-inch drive slot.

Marvell’s 9174 6Gbps chip is not exclusive to the 510 Series and it is actually similar to the controller found within some SSD models from brands like Corsair, Micron, and Plextor. In spite of this, the 510 Series makes use of Intel’s very own firmware. Working with the Marvell controller is the Hynix H5TQ1G63BFR, a 128MB DDR3 DRAM for caching.

This photo shows the Marvell 9174 6Gbps SSD controller along with the Hynix H5TQ1G63BFR 128MB DDR3 DRAM for caching and the SATA 6Gbps interface for connectivity.

The SSD 510 Series is available in 120GB and 250GB storage capacities, and Intel recently sent us the latter for our scrutiny. The 250GB version of the 510 Series packs a total of 16 29F16B08JAMDD memory chips. These parts are manufactured using the older 34nm process, confirming the 510 Series’ status as the SSD model preceding the 25nm-based 320 Series.

A total of 16 29F16B08JAMDD memory chips are embedded into the 250GB version of the Intel SSD 510 Series. These are still based on the older 34nm manufacturing process.

Here is a quick look at some of the features and specifications of the Intel SSD 510 Series:

- Form Factor: 2.5”
- Thickness: 9.5mm
- Weight: 80g
- Sequential Read: 500MBps
- Sequential Write: 210MBps
- Random 4KB Read: Up to 20,000 IOPS
- Random 4KB Write: Up to 8,000 IOPS
- Native Command Queuing
- TRIM Support
- Typical Power: 380mW
- Operating Temperature: 0◦ – 70◦C

For the test setup and benchmark results, let us proceed on the succeeding page.