Intel's SSD 525: Bringing iSandForce to mSATAby Anand Lal Shimpi on January 28, 2013 11:30 AM EST
Today Intel is officially announcing what we've had in house since the end of last year: the Intel SSD 525. Based on SandForce's SF-2281 controller but using a special Intel validated (but SandForce developed) firmware, the 525 is an mSATA version of the 2.5" SATA Intel SSD 520 that launched last February. Unlike the Intel SSD 335, the 525 uses the same 25nm 2-bit MLC IMFT NAND as the 520, the only difference here is the form factor.
Similar to the 520, Intel is claiming max sequential performance of 550/520 MBps (compressible reads/writes). Random IO specs are listed as up to 50K/80K for 4KB random reads/writes.
The 525 features a 5-year warranty from Intel and will be available in capacities ranging from 30GB all the way up to 240GB. The 120GB and 180GB 525s are shipping today, with the rest of the models scheduled to be available later this quarter. Pricing is listed below:
|Intel SSD 525 Launch Pricing
Intel's suggested pricing is a bit higher than Crucial's mSATA m4, but street pricing is almost always lower than what we see in these press announcements. The range of capacities and granular size options will make the 525 good for everything from a very small boot drive (30GB) all the way up to a full fledged OS/apps drive at the higher capacities.
By the middle of the year we should see the arrival of the first NGFF (now known as M.2) form factor SSDs that should eventually supplant mSATA. It will take a little while for motherboards and OEM systems to implement M.2, so I expect that we'll continue to see mSATA used. I do hope for a quick transition to M.2 however, not only is the standard more flexible (e.g. longer cards can deliver even higher capacity drives) but it also supports PCIe as well as SATA as an interface.