Its transfer rates aren’t anything to write home about on the surface: 550MB/s sequential reads and 500MB/s sequential writes are good, but they’re not too far off of last year’s 540s. Sustainable performance is another story, however. AnandTech notes that the 540s and some rival budget drives tend to bog down when they’re pushed to their limits, but the 545s keeps chugging along at nearly the same speed as it would muster under ideal conditions. You probably won’t regret saving a few bucks on a lower-cost drive, then.
There will be more capacities available in the weeks ahead, ranging from a modest 128GB to a hefty 2TB. The biggest problem: the competition isn’t standing still. Samsung, Toshiba and Western Digital have all signaled that their own 64-layer 3D drives are on the way. Intel may have an edge right now, but it might not last long. Not that we can complain too loudly. The fierce rivalry could easily lead to price wars and push down the cost of SSDs — it’d take us one step closer to ditching old-fashioned spinning hard disks.