Intel 540s Series SSDs hit the market

Intel has a new lineup of solid-state drives on the market, and it's full of options. The 540s series comprises twelve drives available in six different capacities and two form factors. For these drives, Intel turned to 16-nm TLC NAND, a first for the company. The cache, however, is SLC.

Capacity Form Factors Max sequential (MB/s) Max 4KB random (IOps) Price
Read Write Read Write
120GB 80mm M.2, 2.5" 560 400 60,000 50,000 $80
180GB 80mm M.2, 2.5" 560 475 71,000 85,000 $100
240GB 80mm M.2, 2.5" 560 480 74,000 85,000 $120
360GB 80mm M.2, 2.5" 560 480 74,000 85,000 $180
480GB 80mm M.2, 2.5" 560 480 78,000 85,000 $220
1TB 80mm M.2, 2.5" 560 480 78,000 85,000 $450

No matter what capacity you're interested in, you can grab a 80mm M.2 or a 2.5" drive. Intel's advertised performance numbers are the same for both form factors, but the power consumption of the M.2 drives is a bit lower. The sequential read and write speeds that Intel posted are comparable to budget SSDs on the market, like the Trion 150 we reviewed last month. The 540S series falls a little behind on sequential write speed compared to the Trions, though the Intel drives' random write speed is significantly higher than OCZ posts for its drive. Perhaps that's a result of the SLC cache.

All of these models are available on Newegg right now. If the prices in the table above strike you as a little steep, don't worry. Most of the models are currently discounted. The 480GB 2.5" model is already on sale for 32% off, bringing it down to $150.

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