Intel 600P Series SSDs bring NVMe into the M.2 mainstream

Intel is pushing NVMe SSDs further into the mainstream today with its SSD 600P Series drives. These M.2 gumsticks use the same Intel-Micron 3D TLC NAND that we're starting to see in more and more SSDs of late. That NAND lets Intel deliver these drives at prices similar to that of high-end SATA storage while offering sequential read speeds far beyond what any SATA drive can achieve. Here's the full SSD 600P lineup:

Intel SSD 600P series
Capacity Sequential

read (MB/s)

Sequential

write (MB/s)

Random

read (IOPS)

Random

write (IOPS)

Suggested

price

128 GB 770 450 35K 91K $69.00
256GB 1570 540 71K 112K $104.00
512GB 1775 560 128.5K 128K $189.00
1024GB 1800 560 155K 128K $359.00

At costs per gigabyte ranging from 53 cents for the 128GB drive to just 35 cents for the 1TB model, these drives are among the most competitively-priced NVMe SSDs we've seen so far. Samsung's 950 Pro posts much better random and sequential speeds across the board, but the $189.99 price tag on the 256GB version works out to a nosebleed-inducing 74 cents per gig, while the $318.99 512GB model demands a somewhat less insane 62 cents per gig.

Even if the Samsung drives have better performance on paper, our reviews have found that real-world performance isn't significantly affected by these figures. By giving system builders and OEMs a more affordable NVMe option, Intel could help to advance the adoption of PCIe storage in a wide range of desktops and laptops. The 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB 600P drives will be available next week, while the 1TB drive and an upcoming 360GB model will arrive in the fourth quarter of this year.

Comments closed
    • Black Jacque
    • 3 years ago

    Its helpful that there are now more NVMe, PCIe, M.2 gumstick parts out there to choose from:

    + Sammy 950 Pro: best performance overall, highest price
    + OCZ RD400: less performance, although competitive, lower price
    + Intel 600p: least performance, much lower price

    I’m waiting for some reviews to come-out showing these parts in relation to each other with different workloads, particularly: VM, gaming and media related.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 3 years ago

    If you just have a relatively “basic” ~$1000ish gaming rig, is there really a major benefit to paying almost twice as much on a $/GB basis for faster storage as compared to any of the “budget” SSDs that regularly dip to $200 to a TB?

    Obviously you want your boot drive to be some kind of SSD and if possible, you also want to install games on some kind of SSD for quicker load times, but is it worth it to utilize faster storage for those two uses on a gaming rig?

    I just haven’t come across any evidence that it meaningfully benefits performance for a system that hasn’t already “maxed out” other areas like the GPU.

    • dikowexeyu
    • 3 years ago

    “real-world performance” evaluation should include a full disk antivirus check, a full disk text search with Agent Ransack (because Windows search is useless), time to complete WinDirStat, multiple, independent, file compression, and other simultaneous benchmarks. Not running each benchmark in isolation. Multitasking is what kills storage.

    • alan242
    • 3 years ago

    There appears to be a discrepancy in this sentence

    “Pro posts much better random and sequential speeds across the board, but the $189.99 price tag on the 256GB version works out to a nosebleed-inducing 74 cents per gig,”

    and the table entry

    256GB 1570 540 71K 112K $104.00

      • K-L-Waster
      • 3 years ago

      The “Pro” prices are for the Samsung 950 Pro — i.e. the competitor to the Intel drives profiled here, provided for price comparison.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      I was confused as well by the exact same part. I feel like that could’ve been avoided by adding the 950 Pro models to the table and then adding a cents/GB column.

        • rxc6
        • 3 years ago

        I fail to see the source of confusion, unless one doesn’t read full sentences anymore.

        “Samsung’s 950 Pro posts much better random and sequential speeds across the board, but the $189.99 price tag on the 256GB version works out to a nosebleed-inducing 74 cents per gig, while the $318.99 512GB model demands a somewhat less insane 62 cents per gig.”

    • Ifalna
    • 3 years ago

    “Even if the Samsung drives have better performance on paper, our reviews have found that real-world performance isn’t significantly affected by these figures.”

    As someone with a 77 Ivy board whose Bios probably can’t handle NVMe boot drives (?), I am curious: How would this 1TB stick compare to my 120GB Intel 520series SATA drive?

    • biffzinker
    • 3 years ago

    The controller is from Silicon Motion but the firmware is most likely Intel developed.
    Silicon Motion SM2260?
    [url<]http://www.pcper.com/news/Storage/Intel-Revises-All-SSD-Product-Lines-3D-NAND-Everywhere[/url<]

    • Rza79
    • 3 years ago

    The Samsung PM951 is already on the market for a while now. I saw it for the first time in Februari. It was the default drive in a Dell laptop. It’s already available from the end of last year.
    I guess the PM961 is just around the corner.
    You should be comparing this Intel drive to these Samsumg models not the 950 Pro.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 3 years ago

      I challenge you to buy a PM951 from a reputable retailer.

        • Rza79
        • 3 years ago

        Well I live in Belgium. Availability used to be better a couple months ago. I guess because the PM961 is coming. But you can still buy it.

        Example:
        [url<]https://www.afuture.nl/product/5264492/samsung-pm951[/url<] It's even easier to get it in Germany. Don't know how available it is in the USA.

        • taisserroots
        • 3 years ago

        [url<]https://www.overclockers.co.uk/pc-components/storage/ssd-solid-state/m.2?ckTab=0&sSort=3[/url<] These guys are also called caseking, voted the best computer hardware retailer by consumers. Seems Reputable enough

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 3 years ago

          OK, but they’re not available in the US of A, and that’s all that really matters in the world, no? 😉

            • Rza79
            • 3 years ago

            If you say so …

            [quote<]By giving system builders and OEMs a more affordable NVMe option, Intel could help to advance the adoption of PCIe storage in a wide range of desktops and laptops.[/quote<] But you refer to system builders and OEMs. They don't buy retail. They already have a cheaper NVMe option available for more than a year now.

    • Zizy
    • 3 years ago

    Still expensive compared to other TLC stuff, but it is at least somewhat reasonable.
    Now to find a box that will keep CPU and GPU cool and quiet while still being tiny.

      • Black Jacque
      • 3 years ago

      [url=https://www.ncases.com/<]NCASE M1[/url<]

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    I know what I want for Christmas. Are they making external enclosures for these things yet so I can clone my OS drive to one?

      • sweatshopking
      • 3 years ago

      Serious question: Why would you want an m2 external drive vs sata?

        • Neutronbeam
        • 3 years ago

        Serious response: Well, I want to clone my current small M.2 internal drive to its larger replacement sitting in an external enclosure, then take the larger drive out of the enclosure and drop in my laptop to replace the old, small M.2 drive.

        And, seriously, I would welcome your suggestion on a better way to accomplish this.

      • BillyBuerger
      • 3 years ago

      You could do two of the M.2 to PCIe adapters and plug both drives into a desktop for cloning. It is a bit more work then just plugging in an external USB3 drive but it should work.

        • Neutronbeam
        • 3 years ago

        Just decommissioned my desktops so now only have laptops…that’s why this seems a bit tricky. Thanks for helping out though!

          • Convert
          • 3 years ago

          I bought a M.2 to SATA and then used a SATA to USB adapter.

            • LocalCitizen
            • 3 years ago

            dont know if M2 to SATA would work with this NVMe
            M2 standard is very confusing. be careful

      • ThatStupidCat
      • 3 years ago

      Yes they have external enclosures for M.2 drives. I was just looking at them last week. [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1K62GK9741[/url<]

        • evermore
        • 3 years ago

        These adapters are all SATA to USB, and all the M.2 to 2.5 inch adapters are as well. They don’t work for PCIe M.2 drives (you have to have a PCIe chipset for the drive to communicate with). I even found one that says “NGFFF PCIe 2-Lane to USB 3.0” but then in the description specifies it doesn’t work with PCIe drives.

          • ThatStupidCat
          • 3 years ago

          You saved my hide there. Will have to be more careful next time. Thanks

    • RMSe17
    • 3 years ago

    “That NAND lets Intel deliver these drives at prices similar to that of high-end SATA storage” – Considering that nothing in the NVMe or m.2 form factor costs more than the SATA storage, I find this to be a poor excuse to move to TLC. It’s sad to me that mainstream is turning into TLC just because the companies can get better profit margin.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 3 years ago

      What do you think the motivation of every operating business on Earth is if not better margins? 😉

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      You’re absolutely right. In fact, M.2 drives even save the cost of the 2.5″ enclosure. But…performance drives pricing more than bill of materials.

        • dyrdak
        • 3 years ago

        Well if this was really about performance. This drive towards TLC crap reminds me of the switch to TN monitors with super fast panels that sucked in daily use. Hopefully WD/SD memristor drives are right behind the corner (and for now I’ve just secured a stash of good ole SATA MLCs for all my systems).

        • BoilerGamer
        • 3 years ago

        M.2 drives are limited to 8 NAND stacks on a double sided PCB max, that’s their biggest limitation compared to SATA and what makes them more expensive per GB. They need to use denser(thus more expensive) NAND stacks.

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 3 years ago

    1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD – finally! Perfect fit for my skull canyon 🙂

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      And Company Store pricing!

        • DrDominodog51
        • 3 years ago

        I was about to ask about how good Intel is about giving employees discounts.

        I know a large fruit company actually gives bigger discounts to people in education (Students, teachers, and etc.) than their own employees (IIRC It’s only 10% off, but they get the rare one off discounts like $500 off a purchase of a computer).

          • chuckula
          • 3 years ago

          I used the one-off discount in 2002 to buy a PowerBook (G4 processor at 1GHz in a notebook? That was a big deal back then!)

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            I still want to see the what-if machine of what a G5 in a laptop would be like

            [url<]http://forums.macrumors.com/attachments/powerbook_g5_mockup-jpg.453094/[/url<]

            • chuckula
            • 3 years ago

            That’s what I call thin-n-light.

    • Umbral
    • 3 years ago

    This makes Micron’s cancellation of the Ballistix TX3 understandable.

    • brucethemoose
    • 3 years ago

    Never thought I’d see Intel drives be the price leader here.

    Until now, every time I looked up Intel SSDs, they were always a couple of bucks more expensive than their competitors when not on sale.

      • cynan
      • 3 years ago

      Well these are 3D TLC, while the Samsung 950 Pro is MLC. This alone explains the price differences. It’s great to see the price of NVMe drives come down, but on the other hand, these prices aren’t all that cheap for TLC.

        • mczak
        • 3 years ago

        That is true, but OTOH I don’t know of many m.2 tlc nvme ssds. I guess those exist, but mostly as OEM only. The Samsung PM951 is one of them, albeit using planar nand (and with reportedly very low write speeds at least for the smaller models – a fate the 128GB intel one seems to share as well). The new PM961 is however using 3d nand, and as far as I can tell from the shops listing those already pricing there is pretty similar to these new intel ones (and similar to the older PM951). No idea how they’d compare performance wise in reality albeit on paper the PM961 is quite a bit faster than the 600p.

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