Intel 530 Series SSD combines 20-nm NAND with five-year warranty

With little fanfare, Intel has revealed a new family of solid-state drives. The 530 Series was teased by a leaked roadmap earlier this month, and it's now popped up on Intel's website. The firm only managed a one-paragraph announcement to mark the occasion, though.

To be fair, the 530 Series doesn't look terribly exciting. The materials available on the official product page suggest the drive is little more than a 20-nm update for the existing 520 and 525 Series. Those older drives pair 25-nm NAND with SandForce controller silicon; the former is housed in a 2.5" case, while the latter rides an mSATA card. The 530 Series spans both of those form factors in addition to NGFF M.2, which should be the interface of choice for Haswell ultrabooks.

Based on the 530 Series' performance specifications, Intel appears to be sticking with the SandForce controller. The new drives boast peak sequential transfer rates of 540MB/s and 490MB/s for reads and writes, respectively. Random read/write I/O is pegged at 41k and 80k IOps. Those figures are only a smidgen lower than the performance ratings attached to the old 520 Series.

As with its predecessor, five-year warranty coverage puts the 530 Series a cut above Intel's mid-range SSDs. The drive can withstand up to 20GB of writes per day for the length of that period, according to the datasheet (PDF). Unfortunately, there's no word of pricing or availability. Neither Amazon nor Newegg has listings for the 530 Series right now.

Intel charges a premium for its 520 Series drives (the 240GB model costs more than a dollar per gig), so we'd expect the 530 Series to stray toward the high end of the market. If you're looking for a bargain in Intel's range, the 335 Series is a better bet. It offers similar 20-nm NAND with a three-year warranty, and the 240GB model can be had for just $220. The 335 Series is 2.5"-only, though.

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