Intel 520 Series 240GB Reviewccokeman - February 6, 2012
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Solid State drives are becoming more and more popular as a way to increase system performance. Intel has traditionally had its hand in developing high performance solid state drives and now have another to add to the fray. Boot times and general product loading times can be substantially decreased with the addition of an SSD to a system. With the introduction of the 520 series drives, Intel has jumped onto the LSI Sandforce bandwagon and co-developed a drive equipped with the Sandforce 2281 NAND controller coupled with low cost 25nm NAND flash memory. The drive is built to deliver performance without breaking the bank. Reliability and performance are goals set for the this drive that has a MTBF of 1.2 million hours. AES 256-bit encryption, data compression, and end-to-end data protection also come with the addition of the Sandforce controller. The Intel 520 series comes in capacities from 60 to 480GB with pricing and specifications dependent on the density of the 25nm NAND flash used on each drive. Pricing starts at $149 for the 60GB version and a cool 1 grand, well $999, for the 480GB version. Let's take a look and see if Intel hit a home run with its partnership with LSI (Sandforce).
As a full retail drive the Intel 520 series 240GB drive comes in the retail box all decked out for a trip to the local big-box store. The graphic fits into its packaging design philosophy. The front states that the drive is ready to be used in both mobile and desktop applications and is 240GB in capacity. The back panel has an illustration of the drive and an explanation of what comes with it inside the package.
Inside the outer sleeve is the box that holds the drive and the accessory bundle. The Intel 520 series drive is packed tightly in a box separate from the accessories to prevent any damage to the drive in transit. The accessories are stored underneath the drive.
The accessory bundle that Intel has included is quite out of the norm for an SSD as it addresses just about any barrier to installation by providing all the items needed to get this drive installed in a notebook or desktop application. Included are a 2.5 to 3.5 inch drive bay adapter, a SATA power and data cable, mounting screws, a product guide, and a disk that includes the install guide and software applications to help migrate your data to the drive.
Intel has included everything needed to get the 520 series drive installed so let's have a look at the drive in particular.