Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
- Very good SATA 6Gb/sec performance squeezed into a *very* small form factor.
- Wide introductory capacity options should help gain adoption.
- Performance of SandForce is marginally outpaced by the likes of Samsung 840 Pro and OCZ Vector (though those are not available in mSATA).
Pricing and Availability (MSRP):
Intel has provided us their recommended MSRP fogires for the 525, including the not-yet-released 90GB capacity:
- 30GB – $54
- 60GB – $104
- 90GB – $129
- 120GB – $149
- 180GB – $214
- 240GB – $279
These may not be sub-$1/GB figures, but they are decent considering the form factor is a 1/4 miniature by area at roughly 1/8 the physical volume of its 2.5" older brother. That said, we suspect that if mSATA starts really catching on, economies of scale will kick in and we'll see the 525 quickly fall in-line with other competing 2.5" SSDs on a cost/GB basis.
Intel 525 Series SSDs will ship with a 5-Year warranty.
It's good to see Intel keep pushing the mSATA form factor with their new 525 Series. These tiny drives should offer a solid performance upgrade to any of the growing list of mSATA-equipped devices, such as high end motherboards, ultrabooks, home theater front-ends, and even some embedded systems. The SandForce controller performed as expected and did quite well considering it was limited to four flash packages, with the higher capacities nearly matching Intel's desktop-class SSD 520. If you have an mSATA-equipped device that is struggling on storage speed, the SSD 525 is an obvious upgrade.