Announced back in November 2019, the Intel 665p SSD (codenamed Neptune Harbor Refresh) was the company’s first 96-layer QLC-based PCIe SSD. The M.2 SSD was a more affordable solution to its predecessor, the Intel 660p. However, with just eight months into the product life cycle, Intel has closed the curtain on the storage device as it announced its discontinuation.
The Intel 665p leverages the QLC (quad-level cell) 3D NAND just like the Intel 660p but does so at a lower price while performing better. The M.2 SSD is Intel’s first QLC with 96 layers of stacked flash memory. Using the NVMe interface, the Intel 665p comes in 1TB and 2TB capacities.
- SSD Type: 96-layer QLC-based PCIe NVMe SSD
- Form Factor: M.2 2280-S3-M
- Capacity: 1TB, 2TB
- Performance: Up to 2,000 MB/s sequential read and write, Up to 250K IOPS 4KB read and write
- Endurance: 300 TBW for 1TB, 600 TBW for 2TB (higher the better)
- Power: 100mW when active, 40mW when idle
- Temperature: 0° C to 70° C
While the 665p is more like a refresh to the 660p, it increases both performance and endurance in the lineup. The SSD can achieve read and write speeds up to 2GB/s and up to 250K IOPS.
One of the reasons for the performance increase is the use of dynamic SLC cache in the SSD. The dynamic SLC cache allows the cache to grow or shrink to increase the IO’s speed and, in turn, gives the Intel 665p more endurance. With 300TBW (Terabytes Written) for 1TB and 600TBW for 2TB, the endurance for the 665p has increased by 50% compared to the 660p.
While the Intel 665p is more affordable than the 660p, there are many options with higher-performances at the price range. Aimed at “everyday computing” and mainstream gaming, the Intel 665p is a sold option in the M.2 QLC 3D NAND space, which is why the early discontinuation makes even less sense.
Intel’s announcement does not address the reason for discontinuing the series. It could be due to its upcoming 144-layer NAND technology (codenamed Keystone Harbor). Intel has recently announced that the Keystone Harbor will ship this year and that in 2021, they will transfer all SSDs to 144-layer NAND.
Scrapping the Intel 665p could be to make space for the upcoming drives. At least, that is a reasonable bet as to why they would discard a product that is not even a year old. The 144 layers will help Intel compete with other SSD manufacturers who are also working to increasing their flash memory stacks.
Intel has notified that the Intel 665p series is available to order until January 31, 2021, and the final shipment will take place on April 20, 2021.