Tuesday, November 26th 2019

Intel Launches SSD 665p "Neptune Harbor Refresh" Line of M.2 NVMe SSDs

Intel late Monday released its SSD 665p "Neptune Harbor Refresh" line of client-segment M.2 NVMe SSDs. The series was announced in September at the company's Storage Day event in South Korea. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. They combine a Silicon Motion SMI2263 series controller with Intel's new 96-layer 3D QLC NAND flash memory. The previous-generation SSD 660p series use 64-layer chips. The SMI2263 controller is cushioned by an LPDDR3 DRAM cache.

Intel is debuting the SSD 665p series with just two models, 1 TB and 2 TB, skipping sub-terabyte capacities such as 500 GB. The 2 TB variant offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 2000 MB/s reads and up to 2000 MB/s writes; and random access speeds of up to 250,000 IOPS on both reads and writes. The 1 TB variant offers up to 2000 MB/s sequential reads, up to 1925 MB/s sequential writes, up to 160,000 IOPS random reads, and up to 200,000 IOPS random writes. The company didn't reveal endurance ratings for the drives. The 1 TB variant is priced at USD $125, while the 2 TB variant hasn't yet been priced. Both drives are backed by 5-year warranties.
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31 Comments on Intel Launches SSD 665p "Neptune Harbor Refresh" Line of M.2 NVMe SSDs

#1
TheLostSwede
At $307, this is not competitive with much faster and slightly cheaper 3D TLC drives.
Sabrent is over $50 cheaper for one, with several of the weirder brands like addlink and Inland being as cheap or cheaper.
Even Silicon Power and PNY, which are at least a B-list rather than a C-list SSD brands, are under $250 on Amazon for much better drives.
Shit, even Corsair's MP510 is "only" $275.
Massive fail here for Intel in terms of pricing.
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#2
The Egg
I imagine the market will quickly correct that price. Intel’s own 660p 2TB has a street price of <$200, and this model provides no tangible benefit. At over $300 they would sit on shelves and collect dust.
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Updated pricing. There seems to be a discrepancy between Intel ARK prices and real-world prices. The 1 TB variant is marked $160+ on ARK, but is listed on Newegg for $125, and the 2 TB variant isn't in sight.

It looks like SSD prices are warming up.
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#4
TheLostSwede
btarunr
Updated pricing. There seems to be a discrepancy between Intel ARK prices and real-world prices. The 1 TB variant is marked $160+ on ARK, but is listed on Newegg for $125, and the 2 TB variant isn't in sight.

It looks like SSD prices are warming up.
Prices haven't moved at all locally for the past three months. It seems like it's only in the US where you can get super cheap NVMe drives.
Obviously MSRP isn't the same as retail pricing, but for a QLC drive, that pricing is simply not competitive. The 1TB 660p is only $83 on Newegg, so even $125 is too much, it should be closer to $100.
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#5
gamefoo21
TheLostSwede
At $307, this is not competitive with much faster and slightly cheaper 3D TLC drives.
Sabrent is over $50 cheaper for one, with several of the weirder brands like addlink and Inland being as cheap or cheaper.
Even Silicon Power and PNY, which are at least a B-list rather than a C-list SSD brands, are under $250 on Amazon for much better drives.
Shit, even Corsair's MP510 is "only" $275.
Massive fail here for Intel in terms of pricing.
As an owner of an MP510...

I flashed Phison generic firmware onto it...

Corsair has an absolutely horrible Toolbox application. It hasn't been updated in ages and looks like it was made during XP SP2 era...

It's also a buggy piece of s...

I really like my drive but even Adata has better software. -_-
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#6
stimpy88
Why is it so slow? It's not like its cheap or anything... In a time where SSD's are hitting over 6GB/s, Intel are here with barely 2GB/s! They really must hate not having that nasty PCI Express x4.
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#7
Imsochobo
TheLostSwede
At $307, this is not competitive with much faster and slightly cheaper 3D TLC drives.
Sabrent is over $50 cheaper for one, with several of the weirder brands like addlink and Inland being as cheap or cheaper.
Even Silicon Power and PNY, which are at least a B-list rather than a C-list SSD brands, are under $250 on Amazon for much better drives.
Shit, even Corsair's MP510 is "only" $275.
Massive fail here for Intel in terms of pricing.
MP510 and 660P is my goto's.
1tb mp510 + 2tb 660P is one of the best combinations i've seen in a long while!
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#8
TheLostSwede
gamefoo21
As an owner of an MP510...

I flashed Phison generic firmware onto it...

Corsair has an absolutely horrible Toolbox application. It hasn't been updated in ages and looks like it was made during XP SP2 era...

It's also a buggy piece of s...

I really like my drive but even Adata has better software. -_-
My comment was with regards to pricing. Not owned a Corsair SSD for years, as they're overpriced locally.

stimpy88
Why is it so slow? It's not like its cheap or anything... In a time where SSD's are hitting over 6GB/s, Intel are here with barely 2GB/s! They really must hate not having that nasty PCI Express x4.
QLC, that's why.
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#9
kings
stimpy88
Why is it so slow? It's not like its cheap or anything... In a time where SSD's are hitting over 6GB/s, Intel are here with barely 2GB/s! They really must hate not having that nasty PCI Express x4.
It´s a budget line SSD, budget line MVMe from other brands are also in the 2GB/s ballpark.
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#10
Tsukiyomi91
price for this "refresh" is not worth, like their Cascade Lake-X i9 HEDTs, which is essentially a Skylake-X refresh.
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#11
kenkickr
For that price id recommend Silicon Powers P34A80 2Tb model. TLC, 5yr warranty and almost 970 Evo plus speeds for under 300.
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#12
kapone32
stimpy88
Why is it so slow? It's not like its cheap or anything... In a time where SSD's are hitting over 6GB/s, Intel are here with barely 2GB/s! They really must hate not having that nasty PCI Express x4.
It is because of the type of NAND. I am actually surprised they increased speeds vs the 660P which used less dense NAND chips.

Well if nothing else these should further drive down the price of the 660P. Hopefully someday we can see a 2TB NVME drive for less than $200 Canadian....c'mon BLack Friday!!!
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#13
Chrispy_
The 660p has been out in the wild for over a year now. Has anyone heard of endurance/degradation issues at all yet?

QLC may suck for writes and endurance compared to MLC and TLC but if an SLC cache can hide the write amplifcation and performance issues from users it's still better than, say, buying a TLC SATA drive that will be frequently limited by its 550MB/s SATA bottleneck. At least budget NVMe drives are 3-4x faster than that for the typical bursty consumer use-case.

I'm more concerned about how these hold up as OS drives (with heavier write IO than an application, games drive, or video editing drive) since a common use case is to dump one into the sole M.2 slot of a typical laptop.
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#14
kapone32
Chrispy_
The 660p has been out in the wild for over a year now. Has anyone heard of endurance/degradation issues at all yet?

QLC may suck for writes and endurance compared to MLC and TLC but if an SLC cache can hide the write amplifcation and performance issues from users it's still better than, say, buying a TLC SATA drive that will be frequently limited by its 550MB/s SATA bottleneck. At least budget NVMe drives are 3-4x faster than that for the typical bursty consumer use-case.

I'm more concerned about how these hold up as OS drives (with heavier write IO than an application, games drive, or video editing drive) since a common use case is to dump one into the sole M.2 slot of a typical laptop.
A lot of the negative hit on the 660P is because of the perceived write and read speeds. I personally have a few of the 660Ps in RAID 0 and they are really quite nice. I even posted a thread as to why in my opinion the 660P 2TB is the most cost effective 2TB SSD you can buy in Canada. Even as boot drives they should be pretty much in line with anything in the sector of QLC but the 5 year warranty is nothing to snuff at. Having used mine for a while I would say that they are rock solid and would work well going from even an SSD for a laptop upgrade. In terms of the OP I honestly thought that we would be seeing higher densities of drives at the outset. I fully expect a 4TB drive to be released under this 665P lineup. Hopefully the price will not be too eye watering.
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#16
Chrispy_
kapone32
A lot of the negative hit on the 660P is because of the perceived write and read speeds.
Ah okay, I can't help it if people are ignorant, stupid, or maybe even both.

It's priced and advertised as a consumer drive that is cheaper than SATA, and faster SATA. It's supposed to be the gateway product to transition people away from the dated, limited SATA and AHCI interface without costing them anything extra.

It succeeds at all of those goals, whilst also being cheaper AND faster. That's a triple-win with no disadvantage. The only cloud on the horizon is that QLC has unknown endurance, hence my question. Nobody wants a repeat of the 840EVO fiasco!

Realistically, few consumers are ever going to be writing to a 660p in anything other than SLC mode. They've just bought one of the cheapest drives on the market and it's effectively an SLC drive to them with quadruple the bandwidth of SATA. What's not to like?
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#17
Tomorrow
Chrispy_
Ah okay, I can't help it if people are ignorant, stupid, or maybe even both.

It's priced and advertised as cheaper than SATA, better than SATA. It's supposed to be the gateway product to transition people away from the dated SATA and AHCI interface that were finalised before SSDs even existed.

It succeeds at all of those goals, whilst also being cheaper AND faster. That's a triple-win with no disadvantage.

If people want to compare it to a flagship NVMe drive costing 2-3x more, then that's their own stupid problem :p
True but i needs to be cheaper. If i have choice between a $200 660p and a $250 TLC based SSD when both are 2TB i would choose TLC. At $150 for 2TB of QLC i could see this thing being a killer. But at $200+ and supposed $250 for 665p it's just not enticing enough.

Like the saying goes. There is no bad product. Just wrong price.
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#18
kapone32
Tomorrow
True but i needs to be cheaper. If i have choice between a $200 660p and a $250 TLC based SSD when both are 2TB i would choose TLC. At $150 for 2TB of QLC i could see this thing being a killer. But at $200+ and supposed $250 for 665p it's just not enticing enough.

Like the saying goes. There is no bad product. Just wrong price.
I actually made that decision a few weeks ago. I wanted the 660P 2TB and it was $275.99 on Amazon Canada. the AData SX8200 PRO 2TB was $395 with a $100 coupon. So I paid the extra $20 to get TLC NAND. I do agree that they need to be priced better as those prices are a little high for what this is.
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#19
Chrispy_
Tomorrow
True but i needs to be cheaper. If i have choice between a $200 660p and a $250 TLC based SSD when both are 2TB i would choose TLC. At $150 for 2TB of QLC i could see this thing being a killer. But at $200+ and supposed $250 for 665p it's just not enticing enough.

Like the saying goes. There is no bad product. Just wrong price.
Yeah, regional pricing can have a big impact.

For me in the UK, France and Germany I'm seeing the 1TB 660p at about 25% cheaper than the cheapest TLC drive (the ADATA SX6000). If you get lucky with promotions and stock-clearance deals like Kapone did, you can find decent drives undercut the ADATA, but realistically, you're paying 33% more for TLC and that entry-level TLC isn't really any better than the 660p - reads/writes of up to 2100/1500 MB/s. Don't forget, the 660p has seen its fair share of deep discounts and pricing incentives too. I'm just comparing normal MSRPs for now.

If you want fast, good TLC you're probably looking at a WD Black or Samsung 970EVO which is another 20% more expensive on top of that.
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#20
Tomorrow
WD Black and 970 EVO are overkills for most people in terms of TLC choice. If you are paying those prices for TLC then you can afford MLC instead. Or you are just overpaying for TLC.
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#21
QUANTUMPHYSICS
1 TB should be no more than $100.

2TB should be no more than $199.

Anything higher than that and I'm not looking - especially when there are so many competitors - including intel's own 660p 2TB SSD which I've seen in Microcenter as low as $180

SSD is already significantly better than HDDby default. All I focus on now is price-for-capacity.
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#22
Chrispy_
Tomorrow
WD Black and 970 EVO are overkills for most people in terms of TLC choice. If you are paying those prices for TLC then you can afford MLC instead. Or you are just overpaying for TLC.
Again, must be regional pricing variations, and there are different versions of the black, but one of the WD black variants is cheaper than the SX8200 and the EVO is on sale more often than not so it undercuts both of them at the moment. I have it in my laptop at the moment because it was the cheapest 1TB NVMe drive I could buy back in August last year.
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#23
kapone32
Chrispy_
Again, must be regional pricing variations, and there are different versions of the black, but one of the WD black variants is cheaper than the SX8200 and the EVO is on sale more often than not so it undercuts both of them at the moment. I have it in my laptop at the moment because it was the cheapest 1TB NVMe drive I could buy back in August last year.
In terms of regional pricing the Samsung drives rarely go on sale while in Canada the Adata drives are almost always on some type of promotion. The only drive(s) that are better than TLC in my opinion are the 970 Pro from Samsung or (if you have more money than brains) the Intel 905P. The caveat to all of that is it will be difficult for the average user to notice the difference between the 660P, 8200 Pro,970 Evo, 970 Pro in everyday use case scenarios even though the pricing covers a wide gamut of specs.
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#24
bonehead123
Hello intel, it's 2011 calling and we want our slow-ass, pathetic, wimpy ssd's back, like, yesterday, as they all are belong to us anyways :)
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#25
Assimilator
Inb4 people whining about 2GB/s being slow when people with actual brains know that it's random R/W that's the most important metric, and that Intel has done an incredible job on their SLC cache.

... damn, too late.

Inb4 people complaining about QLC because it's new and new things scare them?

Damn again.
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