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Intel 520 Series 240GB Review



Any which way you cut it, the Intel 520 series drives deliver performance that allows it to fit right into the upper crust of the Sandforce-equipped comparison field. In many of the tests the drive was in the top two or three drives tested and seemed to excel in the write testing. In the ATTO testing the drive easily reached its rated speeds of up to 550MB/s reads and 520MB/s write. The Sandforce controller and low cost 25nm NAND have proven to be an excellent combination so far. Long term reliability has been a concern with the lower total life cycles of the cells in the NAND. Intel worked closely with LSI, who now owns Sandforce, to develop a firmware that delivered long-term reliability and has confidence enough in the product and process that they offer the 520 series drives with a 5 year warranty. Something that brings a little peace of mind to the thought of spending just over $500 for a 240GB drive. At that point the MTBF and a real lifespan of 5 years with running a 20GB client workload daily. The 520 series are offered in capacities ranging from 60 to 480GB with pricing that is competitive at $149 for the 60GB, $509 for the 240GB version tested here, and $999 for the 480GB version that shows to be much like the Extreme Edition CPUs. One thing that I found interesting is a feature that I have not seen on an SSD yet in the ability to shrink from 9mm to 7mm in thickness to fit into a thinner form factor device. It's something that is not a plus for the desktop market but for mobile devices it is a plus. Intel has delivered a drive that does not disappoint on many fronts and offers yet another avenue for performance straight out of Intel's doors.



  • Performance
  • Capacity
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Toolbox and Migration Software



  • Pricing


OCC Gold

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Continued
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup
  5. Testing: HDTune 4.60
  6. Testing: HD Tach, SiSoft Sandra
  7. Testing: Crystal Diskmark
  8. Testing: ATTO
  9. Testing: AS SSD
  10. Testing: IO Meter
  11. Testing: PCMark Vantage
  12. Testing: Startup & Shutdown
  13. Conclusion:
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