Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
- Good overall performance.
- Excellent cost/GB for an M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
- Inconsistent / stuttery performance while operating with a full write cache.
Pricing and Warranty (MSRP / Amazon w/Prime shipping)
- 128GB – $69 ($0.54/GB) (Amazon – $77)
- 256GB – $104 ($0.41/GB) (Amazon – $116)
- 512GB – $189 ($0.37/GB) (Amazon – $211)
- 1024GB – $359 ($0.35/GB) (available Q4 2016)
This is the best deal out there on an M.2 NVMe SSD, coming in *way* lower than competing units and 60% of the cost of an equivalent capacity 950 Pro. Further (and rare for Intel SSDs), availability has been instant and broad. These were stocked at our local MicroCenter the day they were announced! Amazon prices are running a tad higher initially, but quick searches elsewhere show plenty of availability at the MSRP figures.
The SSD 600p ships with a 5-year warranty.
Intel has unleashed their 3D NAND across the majority of their product lines, and it has brought prices down considerably. Along with it came the 600p, their first M.2 SSD. Powered by a Silicon Motion controller, and with a portion of its TLC flash operating in SLC mode, it performs well in all typical usage scenarios. Intel has a habit of being laser focused on a specific set of use cases for their testing and validation, and that seems to have unfortunately let an issue slip through. Sustained write speeds exceeding 120 MB/s for a long enough period to completely fill the SLC cache appear to put the 600p into a data shuffling frenzy that ultimately results in *very* inconsistent performance. As a result, all benchmarks that involve sustained write operations turn in poor figures. Fortunately for Intel, most use cases will never result in a full cache, as the 600p does its best to empty it as quickly as possible. While the 600p did poorly in a lot of our legacy benchmarks, we must understand that it was not an SSD designed or optimized to run heavy-write benchmarks. The answer to this problem is to build better benchmarks that more closely behave like real-world use. We have developed such tests, and the 600p did will in them, as it would do well in the vast majority of use cases out there. Mobile and even most desktop users will rarely if ever fill their primary SSD with >6GB (16GB for 512GB model, 32GB for 1TB) of data at >120 MB/s, mainly because most systems just can't source that much information from any other input at that high of a rate. So long as you are mindful of that particular limitation, the Intel SSD 600p is a great SSD for the price.
I'm going with Silver for now, but the cost to performance ratio of this drive gives it a good shot at Editor's Choice provided Intel can sort out that full write cache inconsistency issue.