Meet the next great budget SSD. Intel’s 545s is an affordable yet reasonably fast SSD that finally demotes Samsung’s EVO from the top spot in the consumer space. At $180 for 512GB, the 545s offers all the capacity and cost advantages of TLC NAND plus the sustained write speed of MLC NAND.
Design and specs
Our first glimpse of the 545s with its raised edges had us thinking ‘sardine tin’ in a positive way: sleek and shiny. The drive’s 7mm profile appears thinner thanks to the indented upper and lower surfaces.
Inside our test unit was a Silicon Motion SM2259 controller and 512GB of Intel’s new 256-gigabit, 64-layer stacked (3D) floating-gate type NAND. Perhaps it’s the gate that’s responsible for the performance—Intel wasn’t saying, and in fact the company didn’’t play up performance as much as it played up the longevity and reliability behind the five-year warranty. Most drives this price are warrantied for only three years. The 288 TBW (TeraBytes Written) rating is also exceptional—the company apparently has a lot of faith in the controller and its NAND.