Intel 660p 1 TB M.2 QLC NVMe SSD $109.99 + tax @ MicroCenter

Discussion in 'Notebook and Tech Bargains' started by saturnotaku, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. pete962

    pete962 Notebook Evangelist

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    I would rather buy 128GB SSD and 7200RPM 1TB HDD for less money, than this Intel 660 1TB SSD. At least I would have say what to keep on fast SSD and what should be on much slower HDD, with Intel SSD you probably have no control what stays in a fast cache and what's dumped into much slower section of the drive, so it would be a gamble. And for those who think 130GB fast cache is enough, probably don't need 1TB drive to begin with. There are less expensive "normal" SSD (fast speed across whole drive) so I'm not sure what's the benefit of this crippled SSD is, because it's not the speed and it's not the price, at least not yet. Is it Intel logo?
     
  2. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

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    *Warning* I'm not absolutely positive about what's below, but this is my understanding from what I've read.

    The SLC cache is really a buffer not so much as a cache. It's actually the same silicon as the QLC, but I believe the controller treats it as SLC rather than QLC, and it can shift real estate back and forth between the two. When data is written to the device, it first goes to the SLC region, and when the device is idle it's then written to QLC. If the device is close to full, the SLC region is smaller, since there's less space available for it.

    The bottleneck is writing from the SLC buffer to QLC. That's normally done during idle time, but if too much data is being written very quickly, the SLC buffer has to be written out while data is also being written from the host to the SLC, and that's badly bottlenecked.

    Reading from QLC is slower than reading from SLC, but it's not too bad; the big problem is if there's still data in the SLC that needs to be flushed to the QLC while the QLC is also being read. So the big problem is when there's a lot of data being written to the 660p.

    Again, that's my understanding -- someone who knows this in more detail can amend that.
     
  3. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

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    That sounds about right. It's also the Samsung 970 Pro's hallmark benefit over the 970 EVO - the Pro uses MLC (2bit) all the way, without any SLC cache to exhaust. The 970EVO uses TLC (3bit) with SLC caching area, which means it will have better burst performance than the 970 Pro (until the SLC allocation runs out). I use a 970 Pro as a video scratchpad, one of a few instances where the Pro has any advantage over the EVO whatsoever (the other is theoretical longevity, though it's almost a nonissue given my upgrade cycle).
     
  4. Aivxtla

    Aivxtla Notebook Evangelist

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    That is correct you got it, the drive can use anywhere from the minimum 12GB of SLC cache (1TB version) all the way to 140GB depending on available free space. The controller is just treating that portion of the NAND as SLC by pretty much only writing 1 bit of data when asked rather than up to 4. Some people mistakenly think however that this minimum of 12GB SLC (48 GB of actual QLC NAND) cache is in addition to the 1TB of NAND, infact its actually deducted from the total space. The controller frees up the SLC cache to the QLC portion (and TLC portion in case of TLC drives) as you write to it, so unless you are doing a lot of large transfers constantly, for most users and gamers it will be just fine. Id still suggest TLC over QLC though.

    2 Bit MLC drives are fast enough to sustain full speed transfer rates however that they don't come with any SLC cache.(ie Samsung PRO drives)

    Look at my post at the end of this page if you want more info on NAND:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ews-and-advice.429972/page-1129#post-10735535
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  5. stamar

    stamar Notebook Prophet

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    I got the 2 tb version of this as well as an hp ex950 2tb
     
  6. yosv211

    yosv211 Notebook Consultant

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    For most people the 2tb version is pretty good or good enough. I once had 2 in my older laptop but I had to change them when I started doing editing work for a friend.
     
  7. Primes

    Primes Notebook Deity

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    Aivxtla likes this.
  8. Aivxtla

    Aivxtla Notebook Evangelist

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    Yeah when you have Phison E12 based TLC drives like the Inland at lower prices ($99.99 for 1 TB when it was on sale), no reason to get the 660p with it’s relatively terrible Silicon Motion controller and QLC NAND.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  9. yosv211

    yosv211 Notebook Consultant

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    Do they have a 1tb larger SSD.
     
  10. Aivxtla

    Aivxtla Notebook Evangelist

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    Cheapest 2TB Phison E12 drive I think is the MyDigitalSSD BPX at $225-$230. Inland only goes up to 1TB.

    The 660p if priced more aggressively vs TLC products would be pretty decent but I personally don’t think it’s all that competitive at the moment as it’s overpriced.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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