With the 600 series SSDs, hard disk manufacturer Seagate wants to make a dent in the booming SSD market. Do the established brands need to worry?
The company acquired a lot of knowledge and expertise before launching the 600 series for consumers earlier this year, and the 600 Pro series for professional use. We tested the 240GB ann 480GB versions of the 600 series.
Both SSDs are based on the Link A Media Devices (LAMD) LM87800 controller, which we've seen earlier in the Corsair Neutron and Neutron GTX SSDs. When we reviewed those it was clear that the controller can measure itself with the top of the segment. By now the firmware has likely been updated, and Seagate has probably had some input as well. It's unclear what the exact nature is of the collaboration between Seagate and LAMD, and we don't know how much R&D Seagate has done for these SSDs.
The 600 series has an indicated read speed of 550 MB/s and a write speed of 450 MB/s. Seagate promises 80,000 and 70,000 4k random read and write Iops. The 7mm thin SSDs use 19nm MLC flash memory from Toshiba. There is 256MB of cache in the 240GB model and 512MB in the 480GB model. They're also available in a 5mm version, but these aren't for sale in all territories.
The 240 GB version costs an average of £169, and the 480 GB models costs an average of £325. That translates to £0.70 per gigabyte and £0.68 per GB, respectively. Those are average prices compared to the competition. Seagate is aiming at the budget segment, but would rather have the 600 Series compete with the likes of the Samsung 840 Pro, Plextor M5 Pro and OCZ Vector.
Seagate provides three years of warranty at 40 GB of writes per day, and guarantees that you can write at least 72 TB of data to the SSD. That's a pretty conservative, it would mean that the flash chips only support roughly 250 p/e cycles, while 19nm MLC memory is probably capable of 10 times more.