|Tom’s Hardware heaps praise on Intel NVMe 64L SSD 760p…bargain!................................................|
“The 760p is the best overall SSD value on the market”
"2018 will mark the end of the flash shortage and the return of competition to the consumer SSD market. Plentiful flash means plentiful competition."
Price Elasticity...on steroids...on the best thing since sliced bread.
Just the start.
The Intel SSD 760p is the first retail NVMe SSD we've tested with Intel's new 64-layer flash. The low-overhead protocol should expose the true potential of the storage media by removing the bandwidth limitations of SATA.
Silicon Motion, Inc.'s new SSD controller is a key piece to the performance puzzle. The company has three different SM226x models that address different market segments. Intel's 760p uses the SM2262, which is an upper mainstream variant that we never expected to see at these low price points. The entry-level SM2263XT HMB controller already impressed us even though it was designed it for DRAM-less SSDs. The Intel SSD 760p with the SM2262 should perform even better.
Intel's performance claims teeter on the absurd. The 760p 512GB delivers up to 3,200/1,670 MB/s sequential read/write speeds. Random read performance stretches up to 350,000 IOPS for the larger models, paired with an 'up to' 280,000 random write IOPS. These are the same performance numbers we see with products that cost twice as much. Intel also effectively doubled the 600p's performance while using only half the power.
Once you get past the high performance and low price, the 760p series is a fairly basic consumer SSD. The consumer model doesn't feature encryption or a fancy heat sink. Intel did release a business-focused 760p model today that provides accelerated TCG Opal 2.0 and eDrive hardware encryption technology. The business model also enables Intel's Remote Secure Erase through vPro Platform Security.
We had to dig into Silicon Motion's SM2262 documentation to gain further insight into the new features. The eight-channel SM2262 controller improves on the previous generation and serves primarily as a vessel to bring 64-layer NAND to market. SMI carried over most of the IP from the previous-gen SM2260 controller, but there are some subtle differences to the caching algorithms that help increase performance in random workloads.
Most of the real features go unseen in the flash. The move to 64 layers is more than a normal generational evolution: throughput increases, latency decreases, and Intel cut the physical size nearly in half. The number of bits per wafer exploded, and that's why the 760p is coming to market with such aggressive pricing even though Intel could have easily charged more for this product.
The 760p is the best overall SSD value on the market, but that only applies if your system supports the NVMe protocol and you don’t need workstation-class endurance. The 760p could benefit from optimizations for application performance, but firmware updates can add some pep there. Notebook users should take notice of our MobileMark results—the 760p delivered an excellent mix of performance and battery life.
2018 will mark the end of the flash shortage and the return of competition to the consumer SSD market. Plentiful flash means plentiful competition. We expect Crucial to jump into the NVMe space for the first time, but Adata will enter the fray with a similar hardware configuration first. HP will also release a similar product. SMI is poised to capitalize with its SM2262, which may become the next SandForce SF-2281-esque controller that entices more companies into the SSD market.
The Intel SSD 760p looks like an excellent value at $79, $119, and $199, but you'll need to monitor how fast consumer SSD prices fall throughout the year. At this point, there is very little reason to shop for a SATA SSD unless your other components limit your upgrade path.
Like the 600p, the new 760p doesn’t come to market with a 1TB option. Intel will ship the 1TB- and 2TB-class models later this quarter. The high-capacity drives are a better fit for most of our readers, but pricing may leave some teetering between a low-cost 1TB SSD or a high-performance 1TB 760p. Intel will win that battle every time if it can keep pricing closer to $350 than $400. We shouldn’t have to wait long to see how the story unfolds.
The Intel SSD 760p 512GB is the best overall SSD value available for general PC use. The drive improves on the previous generation with at least twice the performance and capacity. It also comes with a nice power reduction. The $199 price point makes this product a great buy.