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Intel says its 600p solid-state drives live a good, long life

Solid state drives (SSDs) offer some real advantages over older spinning disk hard disk drive (HDD) technology. They’re significantly faster, quieter, and more power-efficient. SSD’s aren’t without their limitations, however.

Intel’s 600p series was a case in point. While 600p SSDs were fairly well-received as entry-level drives with good performance for the price, they were introduced with one major disadvantage, as Tom’s Hardware reports. Simply put, 600p drives suffered from stunningly low write endurance compared to the competition, a situation that has fortunately been resolved.

In general, SSDs have theoretically shorter lifespans than HDDs, particularly in terms of writing data. Measured as Terabytes Written (TBW), an SSD’s endurance can be a limiting factor for users who run applications that write a lot of data such as in corporate data centers. When the 600p series was first introduced, Intel listed their write endurance at 72TBW compared to the usual 500TBW or more offered by competing drives at 1TB capacities.

Now, it seems that Intel has made some changes to the series’ specifications, as the line’s documentation has been updated with much-improved endurance levels that are far more competitive. It’s entirely possible that Intel had initially listed lower endurance ratings for the 600p series to avoid creating overpromising to customers and potentially inviting warranty issues as drives aged.

Whatever the reason, the 600p documentation now lists 72TBW for the 128GB version and up to 576TBW for the 1TB version, which is more in line with expectations for this class of SSD. As David Lundell, Intel’s Director, Client SSD Strategic Planning and Product Marketing, indicated:

“Based on continued evaluation and review of the 600p, Intel has updated the write endurance specification to better reflect the endurance of the product at each of the capacity points. The initial specification was a conservative figure and with further testing we were able to prove we can increase the endurance limit on higher capacities.”

If you’re in the market for a low-cost SSD that nevertheless offers decent performance for the price, you can now feel more confident selecting from the 600p series. You no longer need to be so concerned that your shiny new SSD will fail before you’re ready to retire the machine in which it’s installed.

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