Intel releases its most reliable pro SSD

But the Pro 2500 only has a 5-year warranty at a time when 10-year warranties are becoming common

Intel today unveiled what it called its most reliable solid-state drive (SSD) series to date; the drives are aimed at enterprise client users and small businesses.

The new Intel SSD Pro 2500 drives are Intel's first "Pro" series SSDs to be sold through third-party channels. The previous model, the Pro 1500, was sold exclusively by Intel to equipment makers.

The Intel Pro 2500 series. The 2.5-in SSD is on the left. The M.2 80mm form factor card is on the right (Image: Intel).

The new drives come in a 7mm high, 2.5 in. form factor and 80mm and 60mm M.2 form-factor cards.

The 2.5-in Pro 2500 SSD comes in 120GB ($95), 180GB ($130), 240GB ($160), 360GB (no pricing available) and 480GB ($305) capacities. The M.2 800mm card comes in 180GB, 240GB and 360GB capacities, and the M.2 60mm card comes in 180GB and 240GB models. The prices remain the same for the M.2 models.

The 2.5-in SSD uses a SATA 6Gbps interface, while the M.2 cards use a PCIe 4.0 interface. The drives have peak random performance of 48,000 reads and 80,000 writes input/output per second (IOPS). The drives have a top sequential read performance of 540MB/s and a top write performance of 490MB/s.

"Our performance, quite honestly, is not industry leading, but this drive is not about performance," said James Slattery, an Intel SSD product marketing manager.

The Pro 2500 series is all about reliability, power efficiency and security, which make them standouts from previous products, Slattery said.

But at a time when Samsung and other vendors are offering 10-year warranties for their flash drives, Intel has stuck with a five-year warranty for the Pro 2500 series.

The drives use a hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption algorithm.

Intel also upgraded from the Opal 1.0 encryption standard on its previous Pro 1500 series SSDs to Opal 2.0 on the Pro 2500 drives. Opal 2.0 is a standard for managing self-encrypting drives.

The Pro 2500 SSDs are also compatible with Microsoft's eDrive standard for Windows 8, which accelerates cryptographic processing (i.e. speeds up the encryption algorithm so performance doesn't suffer).

The new drives come with Intel's SSD Pro Administrator toolset, which allows remote configuration of the drives as well as monitoring of hardware health. The Pro Administrator tool was also available on the Pro 1500 series SSDs.

Intel said it put the Pro 2500 series drives though a more stringent validation cycle that included testing on about 120 client systems using 5,000 unique setups.

The Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series also features five power modes to enable longer battery life and better mobile use. The power modes include active (using 195 milliwatts (mW) of power), Idle (using 55mW) and sleep mode (using just 5mW of power).

Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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This story, "Intel releases its most reliable pro SSD" was originally published by Computerworld.

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