Intel SSD 760p 512 GB Review 13

Intel SSD 760p 512 GB Review

(13 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The 512 GB Intel SSD 760p currently retails for $153.
  • Good performance
  • 3 GB/s sequential reads!
  • Reasonable pricing
  • 5-year warranty
  • Very small pSLC write buffer
  • Some thermal throttling when heavily loaded and not cooled
Today, we tested the Intel 760p SSD, which comes from probably the most reputable manufacturer in the hardware industry. The combination of Intel/Micron 3D TLC NAND and the Silicon Motion SM2262 controller competes well with other drives in our test group. It does fall short against the ADATA SX8200, though, which offers significantly better performance despite using the same SM2262 controller and IMFT flash. The difference is especially big when it comes to writes. The underlying reason seems to be that Intel has given the 760p only a tiny 4 GB pseudo-SLC write buffer. The idea behind pSLC is to mask the slow write speeds of TLC by soaking up bursts of incoming data quickly, which get flushed to TLC later when the drive is idle. However, modern workloads, even in the consumer space, often exceed those 4 GB, at which point write speeds drop from 1,600 MB/s to "just" 600 MB/s, which is still much faster than any SATA SSD. To put these 4 GB into perspective, competing drives have 8–32 GB of pSLC, with the top performer, the ADATA SX8200, having 128 GB.

I reached out to Intel to confirm the small pSLC cache and get some thoughts on why they went with such a small size. It's been over two weeks now without a response, which to me suggests that they are aware of this and have nothing further to say.

Read performance of the 760p is great, especially the sequential reads of 3,000 MB/s are impressive. With 380,000 IOPS in random read, the drive got the second best result we've ever seen, behind the ADATA SX8200. Real-life performance is decent, especially when workloads are mostly reads or writes are smaller than 4 GB. When averaged, the real-life performance of the 760p is about 10% better than with typical SATA drives. The current leader in our test group, the ADATA SX8200, is 6% faster.

Overall, the 760p is a decent entry-level SSD that comes with a five-year warranty and is not unreasonably priced. At its current retail price of $153 for the 512 GB version, the 760p is significantly cheaper than the Samsung 970 EVO ($172) and 970 Pro ($240). The ADATA SX8200 is only $140, though, beats the 760p in all our tests, and includes a basic heatsink, which greatly reduces the chance of thermal throttling when heavily loaded.
Next Page »(13 User Comments)