Intel 910 Series 800GB PCI-E SSD Review
Intelís SSD division has been on a roll as of late. Their 330 series has offered entry level consumers the possibility of stepping up to an affordable alternative to spindle based media and for enthusiasts, the 520 series holds some of the best mass market SSDs that money can buy. Both have garnered a huge following and competitors have constantly found themselves playing catch up in the SO/HO and high end markets. However this refreshed lineup did leave a rather conspicuous hole since Intelís Enterprise products lacked any meaningful steps forward. Well, thatís about to change with the introduction of the high performance, massively endowed 910-series.
In an effort to satisfy the needs of very demanding business IT administrators, Intel hasnít pulled any punches here. By sporting a capacity of 800GB, a PCI-E 2.0 interface, four individual controllers and a single RAID chip the 910 800GB should pack enough performance to satisfy anyone. Indeed, its on-paper specifications look a lot like those of the OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 but the two drives cater to completely separate markets. While the RevoDrive3 series is a prosumer model which is mainly meant for workstation environments and the 910 is a true enterprise grade storage device meant for servers and ultra high end workstations.
The difference in classification may sound subtle but unlike the OCZ option, the Intel 910 relies on extremely high end NAND modules and most importantly, is not bootable so you wonít be installing an OS onto it. Letís not forget that being an enterprise-class product, it comes with a staggering pricetag: $1,929 for 400GB and the 800GB SKU tips the scales at nearly $4,000. This puts the 910 well outside the reach of most consumers but for the Enterprise environment, it isnít overly expensive either.
While the price can be considered at best reasonable for its intended audience, the 910 does have many things which are clearly in its favor such as drastically reduced CPU overhead requirements and greater NAND longevity. On paper, this makes the Intel 910 a potentially great solution for the server environment and even workstations where the ability to boot an OS is of little concern. In order to prove its worth it will however have to deliver on its promises of stellar performance if there are any hopes of gaining traction with a consumer group thatís been notorious for their conservative approach towards new technology.
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