Intel enterprise ssd 710: The Intel SSD 710 (200GB) Review

The Intel SSD 710 (200GB) Review

by Anand Lal Shimpion September 30, 2011 8:53 PM EST

  • Posted in
  • Storage
  • SSDs
  • Intel
  • Intel SSD 710



The DriveNAND RecapTotal Bytes Written & Spare AreaRandom & Sequential Read/Write SpeedAS-SSD Incompressible Sequential PerformanceEnterprise Storage Bench — Oracle SwingbenchEnterprise Storage Bench — Microsoft SQL UpdateDailyStatsEnterprise Storage Bench — Microsoft SQL WeeklyMaintenanceAnandTech Storage Bench 2011AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 — Light WorkloadPower ConsumptionFinal Words

When Intel entered the SSD market one of its declared goals was to bring the technology into the mainstream. The goal was so important to Intel that its consumer drive was branded X25-M, with the M standing for mainstream. Intel’s desire for SSD ubiquity wasn’t entirely altruistic however. Mechanical storage acted as a potential gate to increasing CPU performance. Eventually, without significant improvements in IO performance, CPU improvements would be less visible to most users. SSDs would help alleviate this bottleneck.

It wouldn’t be untrue to say that Intel accomplished its mission. The client SSD market was in a state of disarray before Intel arrived on the scene. Although we still have problems today, there are a number of affordable options for end users and lots of competition. Samsung, Marvell, Indilinx, JMicron and even SanDisk are now vying for control of the market.

With healthy competition, significant performance improvements and (hopefully) improved reliability in the consumer SSD space, Intel will actually begin defocusing itself from this market over the coming years. Intel needs to keep margins as high as possible to appease shareholders, and the consumer SSD business is in a race to the bottom. Dollars per GB are all that matter here once you deliver a certain level of performance and reliability.

Intel won’t abandon the consumer SSD market completely, it will still compete in the high end space but there’s a good reason that the mainstream moniker has been dropped from Intel’s product names. Intel will shift more of its attention to the enterprise space, bringing that technology to the high end desktop/workstation users where it can (e.g. Cherryville will be focused on both enterprise and enthusiast desktop users). But as you have already seen, I wouldn’t expect Intel to actively compete in driving mainstream SSD pricing down further. That market now belongs to the players I mentioned above.

What better way to kick off the shift in focus than with a new enterprise drive: Intel’s SSD 710, the long awaited successor to the X25-E. Unlike previous Intel SSDs however the 710 isn’t aimed at significantly improving performance. Instead the 710 attempts to offer larger capacities than the X25-E, at similar endurance and performance levels. That’s right, the 710 shouldn’t outperform the X25-E, it’ll just be cheaper.

At first glance that’s not a very impressive claim. The X25-E came out in 2008 (available in early 2009) and hasn’t been updated since. Delivering performance similar to that of a three-year-old SSD doesn’t sound all that exciting. If huge performance gains are what you’re after, the SSD 710 isn’t for you.

The 710 is built off the same architecture as the Intel SSD 320. It uses the same controller but with a newer firmware revision. The firmware is obviously also tuned for enterprise workloads.

Enterprise SSD Comparison


Intel SSD 710

Intel X25-E

Intel SSD 320


100 / 200 / 300GB

32 / 64GB

80 / 120 / 160 / 300 / 600GB


25nm HET MLC

50nm SLC

25nm MLC

Max Sequential Performance (Reads/Writes)

270 / 210 MBps

250 / 170 MBps

270 / 220 MBps

Max Random Performance (Reads/Writes)

38. 5K / 2.7K IOPS

35K / 3.3K IOPS

39.5K / 600 IOPS

Endurance (Max Data Written)

500TB — 1.5PB

1 — 2PB

5 — 60TB




Power Safe Write Cache




Temp Sensor




Since it uses the same controller as the 320, you get the same benefits. There’s still no 6Gbps support, but you do get full disk encryption (enabled via ATA password). Intel also outfits the 710 with capacitors to ensure any data stored in the controller’s caches can be committed to NAND in the event of a power failure. The 710 also includes surplus NAND arrays (and data redundancy). In the event of a full NAND die failure, you shouldn’t see any data loss.

What Intel promises with the 710 is reliability and a clear upgrade path from the X25-E. The idea here is most enterprise workloads exist on mechanical drives today. Moving to a small array of SSDs quickly alleviates any IO bottlenecks, then the only issues that remain are cost, capacity and reliability. It’s the three of these areas that the SSD 710 looks to address.

Don’t get too excited about the cost angle though. While the Intel SSD 710 drives cost-per-GB down much lower than the old X25-E, it is still an enterprise drive so expect to pay more than what you’d find as a consumer.

The pricing breakdown is below:

Intel SSD 710 Pricing Comparison


X25-E 64GB









Price per GB



$6. 25


At $6.50/GB the 710 is significantly cheaper than the outgoing X25-E which is still priced at over $11/GB today. When it first launched the X25-E commanded over $15/GB. Regardless of performance, these prices alone are enough to drive away consumers. If you haven’t gotten the hint by now, the 710 is strictly for enterprise customers.

Capacities are also significantly higher. While the X25-E topped out at 64GB, the 710 will take you all the way up to 300GB.

Reliability wasn’t an issue with the X25-E, thus it mustn’t be an issue with the 710 either. There’s just one problem: the X25-E could depend on 50nm SLC NAND, boasting an endurance rating of 100,000 program/erase cycles per cell, the 710 however needs to somehow equal that with 25nm MLC NAND. As a reference, consumer-grade MLC NAND is good for 3000 — 5000 p/e cycles.

Why use MLC NAND? The shift to MLC is what gives the 710 its cost and capacity advantages over the X25-E. How does Intel have its cake and eat it too? By using something it calls MLC-HET NAND.

NAND Recap
The DriveNAND RecapTotal Bytes Written & Spare AreaRandom & Sequential Read/Write SpeedAS-SSD Incompressible Sequential PerformanceEnterprise Storage Bench — Oracle SwingbenchEnterprise Storage Bench — Microsoft SQL UpdateDailyStatsEnterprise Storage Bench — Microsoft SQL WeeklyMaintenanceAnandTech Storage Bench 2011AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 — Light WorkloadPower ConsumptionFinal Words



Intel Solid-State Drive 710 Series Product Brief

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2011-09-07T09:11:12ZMicrosoft® Office Word 20072011-09-07T11:51:46-07:002011-09-07T11:51:46-07:00application/pdf

  • Intel Corporation
  • Intel Solid-State Drive 710 Series Product Brief
  • Intel SSD 710 Series Product Brief
  • Solid-State Drive
  • SSD
  • High Endurance Technology
  • HET
  • Intel SSD 710 Series
  • Intel Solid-State Drive 710 Series
  • enhanced power-loss data protection
  • advanced encryption standard
  • AES
  • data security
  • 25 nanometer
  • 25nm
  • temperature monitoring
  • temperature logging
  • Microsoft® Office Word 2007; modified using iText® 5. 1.2-SNAPSHOT ©2000-2011 1T3XT BVBASolid-State Drive, SSD, High Endurance Technology, HET, Intel SSD 710 Series, Intel Solid-State Drive 710 Series, enhanced power-loss data protection, advanced encryption standard, AES, data security, 25 nanometer, 25nm, temperature monitoring, temperature logginguuid:78ca34b9-677a-4ad5-97e6-a0038a50e4c1uuid:4fa4dd7a-17e4-4a4c-9431-935896a5cbf0

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    5 0 obj
    x}r6{[email protected]*[̮̎ۙSԖu»[Jl헩}

    Characteristics of Intel SSD 710 Series

    Very little time remains before the release of a new series of solid state drives manufactured by Intel. Already in early July, drives belonging to the new 710 series will appear on the market. The code designation of the 710th series — Lyndonville — owes its name to a small town in the US state of Vermont with a population of just over 1,200 inhabitants.

    The chips used in the new Intel® SSD 710 Series are manufactured using a 25nm process and are, according to the manufacturer, «very competitive in the SSD market.» If you do without unnecessary politeness, Intel’s competitors will have to work hard to find a worthy answer, both in terms of performance and capacity of drives, and in terms of their service life and the number of cell rewrite cycles. Intel compares the performance of the Intel® SSD 710 Series to the previous generation of SSDs. nine0003

    For the first time, Intel uses HET technology in SSDs. This feature is highlighted in the way the chips are referred to in the specifications of solid state drives: MLC-HET NAND. The purpose of using proprietary HET (High Endurance Technology) technology is to increase the number of memory cell rewriting cycles, and as a result, increase the durability of drives and increase their service life. Quantitatively, the change in durability parameters is expressed as the maximum amount of information that can be written to the drive during its service life. Previously, Intel did not indicate such a parameter, but now please: for a 200-gigabyte Intel® SSD 710, it will be 1300 terebytes. nine0003

    The capacity of the new Intel® SSD 710 Series will be 100, 200 and 300 gigabytes. Physical version — 2.5 inches.

    All devices like the 710 series support 3Gb/s SATA interface.

    The full line of Intel® SSD 710 Series drives so far looks like this:

    Product code





    SSDSA2BZ100G301 SSDSA2BZ100G3

    710 Series, 100GB, MLC

    2. 5”, 7.0mm




    710 Series, 100GB, MLC

    2.5”, 7.0mm



    SSDSA2BZ200G301 SSDSA2BZ200G3

    710 Series, 200GB, MLC

    2.5”, 7.0mm




    710 Series, 200GB, MLC

    2.5”, 7.0mm



    SSDSA2BZ300G301 SSDSA2BZ300G3

    710 Series, 300GB, MLC

    2.5”, 7.0mm




    710 Series, 300GB, MLC

    2. 5”, 7.0mm



    Intel® SSD 710 Series Specifications:




    SSD 710 Series

    codename Lyndonville



    NAND Litho

    25nm HET MLC


    Up to 270/210 MBs sust.


    Up to 36K/2.4K IOPs 4K

    Random Read/Write1

    nine0002 Latency

    75/95µs Read Write


    100 GB : 500 TB, 900 TB

    (with 20% over-provisioning)

    200 GB : 1 PB, 1. 3 PB

    (with 20% over-provisioning)


    SATA 3Gbps (ATA8)


    2.0M Hrs MTBF




    4.0W Active /0.095W Standby

    Form Factor




    AES-128 encryption

    Data Path


    LBA Tag Checking

    Power Safe

    Write Cache


    Temp Sensor


    In-Rush Limiter


    HPE ProLiant m710x Blade Servers — availability, pricing, specifications


    • RAM
    • nine0471
      Memory type
      64 GB DDR4 SODIMM Low Voltage Dual Channel ECC (2133 MHz)

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