I consider buying Intel SSD 510 250GB and I have a question if it is possible and how to check how many GB was written on this SSD throughout its life? Or is there other way to check drive wear? I will be just curious to know how many GB I have written to the device during "set-up" and perhaps will check it at the begining of drive usage. The drive will be for Windows 7 installation and Program Files.
On the X25, 310, and 510 series, SMART attribute 241 (0xF1) will provide this. You can use Intel's SSD Toolbox if you want to keep it as simple as possible, otherwise you can use any SMART utility of your choice; the RAW_VALUE field increments every 32MBytes that has been written (e.g. RAW_VALUE = 2200, 2200 * 32 = 70400, or approximately 70GBytes).
Please be aware that it is possible to erase/reset said attribute, either via a vendor-specific SMART test code (0x40), or by upgrading or re-flashing the firmware.
Also be aware that this attribute just tracks the total amount of writes to the drive. It does not indicate "wear-out"; it's just a counter. There are other SMART attributes to help you determine the actual health of the SSD (such as attributes 5, 172, and 225), and if wear levelling isn't working well for you or there's a large number of LBA remaps. I strongly recommend you familiarise yourself with the technology and the documentation Intel provides for these attributes.
By now most likely you've got your SSD already, just in case somebody else has got same question:
In case of Intel SSD 510, there is a bug in the firmware, which overflows Host Write value after 4GB, which renders total writes information useless. For more details, see:
/message/196502# 196502 http://communities.intel.com/message/196502# 196502
You can use Intel® SSD Toolbox to check Host Writes (E1) or Media Wearout Indicator (E9) SMART attributes. The program actually shows a graphic bar in the main screen for Estimated Life Remaining based on the E9 attribute.