Intel’s dynamic cache 665p SSD goes faster, lasts longer

Intel has refreshed its PCIe consumer SSD line, with the new 665p going a little faster and a lot longer than the previous 660p drive.

The chip giant pre-announced the 665P SSD drive at a press event in Seoul in September, And here it is, along with more tech details. 

The M.2 single-sided format 665p drive (captured by iPhone, from a Skype briefing).

This single-sided M.2 drive uses 96-layer 3D NAND with a 1024Gb die, organised into quad-level flash format. 1TB and 2TB capacities are available and the performance numbers are:

  • Random read/write IOPS – up to 250,000/250,000 – up to 13.6 per cent faster than the 660p drive
  • Sequential read/write – up to 2GB/sec/2GB/sec – up to1 1.1 per cent faster than the 660p.

These are useful albeit slight speed increases. More interestingly, endurance is increased from 0.1 drive writes per day to 0.2 drive writes per day. To put it another way this is a jump from up to 300TB written to 600TB written over the lifetime of the drive.

Dynamic cache

The 665p has a dynamic SLC cache to speed IO. The cache gets smaller as the drive fills up with data past the halfway point, as the chart below shows.

It reduces from a maximum 280GB cache size to a fixed, static 24GB cache in the 2TB drive and 12GB cache in the 1TB drive. The release of SLC cache cells enables the longer endurance of the 665p. If drive content is deleted to less than 50 her cent full, empty QLC cells are returned to the cache in SLC (1bit/cell) format.

The 665p has a 5-year warranty and features AES-256 bit encryption. The 1TB version arrives this year and the 2TB model will follow in the first 2020 quarter. Intel is marketing these gumstick format drives at everyday PCs, notebooks and gaming systems, 

3D NAND layer count

Intel today revealed that its 144-layer 3D NAND technology will launch next year. The die capacity is 1024Gb, the same as used in the 600p and 665p SSDs – so Intel could produce a 665p follow-on drive with the same 1TB and 2TB capacity levels. Intel, like SK hynix with its 128-layer NAND, will probably look at higher capacity, ruler-type format drives. We are thinking 30TB or more.

The 665p is available via newegg and retail outlets. At newegg a 1TB 665p costs $124.99.