Intel 320s v 510s - SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iPhoneAppMan, May 18, 2011.

  1. iPhoneAppMan macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2011
    What's the difference between the two Intel SSDs on the market?

    Which would be better for a 2011 13' MacBook Pro?
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    The short version is that the 320 is the consumer version while the 510 is the professional version.

    Some folks have been having some compatibility issues with the 510 because the interface is uses is such a new standard. The interface it uses (SATAIII) is faster than the 320's (SATAII), and your new MBP has a SATAIII interface so it is compatible with the 510. It is much faster than the 320 theoretically, but both are so fast a lot of folks don't even notice a difference. The 510 also uses flash memory that is rated for more read/write cycles than the 320. In practical use though, both the 320 and 510 are rated to last longer than most people would ever use them for.

    For what it's worth, after doing a whole lot of research, I decided to get the 320 for my 2011 MBP and having been using it for about a month now, I feel like I made the right choice for myself.
  3. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    I believe that the 510 is a sata 3 - 6gb/s so will offer much faster performance on your sata-3 interface on the hdd bay.

    The intel 320 is sata 2, 3gb/s thus will utilise the full potential of ure sata 3 port.

    saying that, it seems from forumers on MR that the 320 has been consistently reliable, where as the intel 510 has been riddled wih issues when negotiating the full sata 3 link speeds - and does not play ball all to well with the MBP sata-3.
    Also the intel 510 elmcrest uses the Marvell 88SS9174 - which is what the crucial c300 uses -which is so 2010 :p - but does utilise the more costly, and arguably robust 34nm NAND flash
    The 320 utilises an intel controller - which is even older school than the marvell, paired with 25nm NAND flash, as opposed to 34nm in the old x25 series.

    If you really want a sata3 drive id recommend the vertex 3 - if you are not all that bothered with speeds and prefer *rock solid reliability - go with the intel 320 - its arguably the best sata-2 ssd currently available in terms of reliability - if you believe the word of a random, single SSD study done in France!

    Also, you should appreciate that with the intel 320 - size does matter, when equating to speed:

    Intel 320 series Storage Seq. read Seq. write
    SSDSA2CW600G310 600 GB (as below)
    SSDSA2CW300G310 300 GB 270 MB/s 205 MB/s
    SSDSA2CW160G310 160 GB 270 MB/s 165 MB/s
    SSDSA2CW120G310 120 GB 270 MB/s 130 MB/s
    SSDSA2CW080G310 80 GB 270 MB/s 90 MB/s
    SSDSA2CT040G310 40 GB 200 MB/s 45 MB/s

    Anand Lal Shilpi review - 3/28/2011
  4. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    the 320 is the successor to the x-25M and is meant for the mainstream market. The 510 is meant for "pros" has better sequential write speeds (copying very large files and moving them around for example-at least that's the theory, not really corroborated by anands benchmarks but...).

    The 320 is SATA 2, 3Gbps the 510 is SATA 3, 6Gbps but really suffers in performance when only hooked up to SATA 2 (like the vertex 3)
  5. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    These guys have pretty much summed it up. The 320 is geared more towards the mainstream market and the 510 is for the pros/enthusiasts. I have a 2011 13" and just installed a 320 and it flies. If you're worried about it not being fast enough...don't. It's plenty fast unless you are moving large amounts of data around on a regular basis (HD video, RAW photos, etc.), then the 510's SATA III interface will be beneficial. Otherwise, one would be hard-pressed to notice a difference in any modern SSD from a reputable company.
  6. ApplePu macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    I recognised yesterday, that there is more than one firmware version in the wild for the 510 Series.

    I've got a new 250GB 510 with the firmware "PWG4" packed in April 2011 while a friend of mine has the same 250GB 510 but his was packed in February and has the firmware "PWG2". There is no download available to update to the PWG4 firmware. So this could be an explanation why some users have issues with the 510 and others don't.

    Couldn't try it myself unfortunately, I'm looking forward to testing it today.
  7. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    Personally I wouldn't call the Sata II drives slow. I don't work with large files either so that may be why I've never noticed it being slow. My computer boots in 17 seconds and everything opens instantly

    I'm currently looking at the 320 300 gb for my 15 inch 2011 MBP. I realize it's not the fastest, but I'm more concerned with the size and stability vs the faster 510. I want Intel because I want to be able to update the FW when needed. Can anyone with a 320 comment on the process? Does Intel provide an easy way on Macs?

    Last week I ordered a 7200 rpm HD and ended up canceling it. I already had a ssd drive that is just too small for my needs and I just can't see myself being happy with a normal HD again.
  8. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Intel has a downloadable ISO to make a boot CDRom that will update FW on a Mac.
  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Wrong. 510 is enthusiast. 710 is professional.
  10. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    LOL. I stand corrected.
  11. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    710 isn't even out yet....
  12. Eddyisgreat, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Wrong. 510 is enthusiast. 710 is enterprise. ;)

    Anywho OP i've owned five intel SSDs; Two First Gen X25-M's, One 2nd Gen X25-M and two 3rd Gen X25-M/320s (120 GB and 40 GB Variants). The two first gen X25-Ms failed on me (still haven't figured that one out) and i'm using the last three drives in various setups. Overall I like the new drives as they feel alot better than the x25-Ms I bought that were several times more expensive for several times less storage :D.
    As far as experience goes I haven't had anything negative happen, as expected. Day to day is unchanged. I'm certainly not a performance junky since i have to have my disks fully encrypted, and my disk speed is negatively impacted, but it still performs well in this worst case scenario of no trim and no garbage collection.

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