The Intel 910 overall is a compelling solution that is certainly going to set a class-defining price point. TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is the big story here. Price has always been one of the major inhibitors for companies looking to upgrade to enterprise-class flash products and Intel is helping to break down those boundaries.
Intel is an industry "heavy' that has the ability to come in and change the landscape and with the 910 launch, the game is definitely going to change for the competition. Intel has come in with such a low price point that others will be forced to attempt to match. Intel enjoys an advantage in pricing, which isn't always going to be easy for competitors who do not own foundries. The low pricing of this SSD easily outstrips other PCIe solutions and could even become a threat to some 2.5" SSDs. The 800GB model has an MSRP of $3859 and the 400GB is listed for $1929.
Some of the industry leading SLC SSDs can cost around $7000 for half of the capacity of the Intel 910. This leads to lopsided comparisons in the price-per-GB area, with some SLC SSDs commanding $17.50 per GB in contrast to $4.82 per GB for the 910. When comparing Dollar per IOPS measurements, the 910 becomes an even clearer winner, with two cents per read IOP compared to as high as eight cents per IOP for some SLC SSDs.
Value-oriented and easier to use products can help to bring forth wider adoption. Ease of use is important to minimize downtime. The LSI drivers provide a flexible platform that has deep compatibility roots, allowing for plug-and-play capability. The amount of time that it takes to configure and manage the device is also important. Once the device is slipped into the waiting PCIe slot, all that is left is volume management.
The lightweight drivers allow for high performance with minimal host overhead and also excellent overall latency figures. By having multiple volumes presented to the host system, there are a number of different configurations that can be utilized and one particularly effective usage would be for tiering models. This type of implementation can reap huge benefits for users with existing infrastructure. Tiering and caching software would allow the 910 to boost the performance of large arrays of HDDs simply by writing the hot files to the 910 as a caching device. This allows the CPU of the system to be used to its fullest, maximizing performance for the whole system.
At the end of the day, one has to remember that Intel is primarily a CPU manufacturer. With multicore processors the norm, the key for Intel to sell more units is to get more use out of the high powered CPUs that they sell. Flash is a means to do this for them, as it can break the storage bottlenecks that have hamstrung the power and speed of the CPUs for several generations now. What is the point of having an ultra-high performance CPU if it is strangled by storage bandwidth? Virtualization, tiering and caching models, cloud computing servers and the financial sector are areas that the 910 is designed for, but there are other uses that the price point allows for. For professional video and audio editing, this would be a dream drive.
The high endurance of the device is provided from using high quality 25nm HET MLC flash direct from Intel's own foundries and they can also set aside the highest binned NAND for their own SSD products. Just a few short years ago 14 Petabytes of endurance from MLC flash was simply unheard of and is still impressive today. Tying this endurance in with high-grade power capacitors that help protect the data results in a reliable SSD that is backed by a five year warranty. The five year warranty covers the SSD for 10 full drive writes per day.
Finally we get down to the performance aspect and here Intel beats all of their own marketed specifications easily. We attained 227,247 4K random read IOPS, well above the rated 180,000 IOPS. The 4k Random write IOPS reached 85,768, also higher than the rated 75,000. The capability of 100,000 4K random write IOPS in Steady State with 20% Overprovisioning tells the story for the possibility of configuring the device for high random workloads as well.
Overall it is rare that we see a device that wins on all counts, but the Intel 910 is definitely in a class of its own.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 3 [Intel 910 SSD]
- Page 4 [Intel 910 SSD Continued]
- Page 5 [Test System and Methodology]
- Page 6 [Base Product Specifications]
- Page 7 [8K Randoms & Server Emulations]
- Page 8 [Power Measurements and Thermal Monitoring]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Acer's new Predator Z35P: 35-inch 3440x1440 100Hz G-Sync
- Crackdown 3 coming to PC, is an Xbox Play Anywhere title
- Samsung unveils bendable/stretchable OLED display
- MSI scoops 5 awards for Computex Best Choice Award 2017
- Surface Pro continues to evolve, now packs Kaby Lake
- Alienware 15 R3 Laptop Storage Performance Investigation
- ASUS RT-AC1900p Wireless Router Review
- ASUS RT-AC1900p Wireless Router Review
- GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK with SSD M.2 Plextor M8PeG 256gb. low speed after shut down
- Prey Review: Dark Stars, Darker Thoughts
- Western Digital sets new standard with latest generation in popular HGST-brand Ultrastar SAS SSD family
- AMD raises expectations for server performance, unveils EPYC processor brand for the datacenter
- HighPoint's SSD7101 PCIe board-sized drive series integrate Samsung 960 NVMe SSDs to deliver groundbreaking performance over 12GB/s
- Micron accelerates all-flash storage speed, performance and value with new flexible petabyte-scale enterprise data center solution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630 mobile platforms drive advanced photography, enhanced gaming, integrated connectivity and machine learning