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Intel turns to SandForce: SSD 520 Series Review

By Julio Franco · 12 replies
Feb 6, 2012
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  1. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 846   +102

    That's really impressive results for an Intel SSD, as they've always played the slow and steady game while the competition screamed past them in terms of performance.

    But now Intel is right up there. The price being over $2 per GB is extreme, so hopefully they don't stay to comfortable there.

    I've used Intel, OCZ and Crucial drives in database servers for years now, and none of them have failed, and that's even with the first drives to market. So any increase in reliability is just backup parachute, but welcome.

    It will be interesting when SSD storage tech get's closer to RAM speeds. May eventually allow some devices to omit memory for solid storage.
  2. Intel's problem is that the competition (especially OCZ) in the SSD biz is up to half the price - OCZ alone has three drives that undercut Intel on price; worse for Intel, all three use the SF2281 controller - they are the Agility 3, Vertex 3, and Synapse Cache). Intel is used to collecting a price premium - however, in SSDs (as opposed to Ethernet controllers) it has yet to prove it's worth it, compared to identical-otherwise products from competitors.
  3. SSD's are still a bit too pricey for me; I need them to be in the 50 cent to 99 cent per gig before I think about one. They are getting there but maybe it will be another year for me. I have an SSD in my work computer and it brings a little more responsiveness to it however it’s not like a night and day performance improvement for an older general use computer.
  4. Not related to the article per se. But if anyone has thought of buying a SSD for their OS and/or games, I can guarantee you it's the best upgrade you can make to your PC. The difference is huge!
  5. Not worth the premium price over OCZ SSD. I just bought a 120GB vertex 3 for about the same price of the 520 60GB model. 169.99 CAD with a 20 CAD MIR for a great total of 149.99 for 120GB so the same price as the 60GB 520 once I'll have the MIR money.

    Intel might be more reliable (doubt it) but it's not worth having half the space for the same price.
  6. I have always been an Intel fan. However 3 out of 4 Intel Mobo's have been given me endless trouble..dead one day (luckily under warranty), RAM ISSUES galore,still have it..

    So being that these SSD's are slower and more expensive then others I will definitely look the other way!
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I think the TechSpot reviews are improving a little!
  8. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,358   +1,517

    Typically Intel motherboards are extremely reliable and have excellent hardware compatibility so you have been quite unlucky.

    Umm thanks ... I think :S
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Oh uhm, I mean they're good and getting better!
  10. Quote from Page 2: "However, the Intel three-year warranty should let customers sleep comfortably at night knowing they're covered for a reasonable timeframe."

    Everywhere else I've seen info on this series of SSDs lists them as including a 5-year warranty, otherwise, great review!
  11. champmanfan

    champmanfan TS Member Posts: 59

    I honestly wouldn't concern yourself with OCZ undercutting the competition since their SSDs are unreliable such as the Vertex range, and notably the Agility. There is clearly issues as from within the first 3 months people were reporting problems. They sell a considerable amount of SSDs and so there will be a higher proportion of people highlighting issues, some issues have eventually been solved with firmware update, storage drivers updates.

    Crucial, Corsair (Corsair Force Series 3 2nd gen as 1st gen was unreliable), Intel are the only three I would consider currently. If that means paying over the odds then so be it, their pedigree is unmatched. At least with Intel they've thoroughly tested theirs rather than doing limited testing and letting the consumer find out.

    Remember.... SSDs are by far more reliable than mechanical hard drives, leaving free space available (no less than 25% free) will help reliability and help the data move around without constant overwrites, MTBF tells you nothing about reliability, the AFR of what manufacturers claim is higher than what is reported, HDD fail gradually whilst SSDs die suddenly, read the instructions on the SSDs manufacturers forums and you'll substantially reduce any problems (such as tips to use HDDerase4.0 on reinstallation or whatever correct erasing/formatting tool is available for your SSD)
  12. ZachPA

    ZachPA TS Rookie

    Unless the world of storage, ICs and mathematics has completely passed me by, the math used in this article to describe the actual storage space available is incorrect.

    1. Sixteen 16GB (gibibyte, x1024) ICs make 256GB (gibibyte, x1024), or a total of 274,877,806,944 bytes.

    2. If Intel were an exacting bunch, they might choose exactly 240,000,000,000 as the user capacity (this is 240GB in marketing-speak, x1000), as it is evenly divisible into 4096-byte pages.

    3. The difference between the two figures is 34,877,806,944 bytes, or about 32.5GB (gibibytes, x1024).

    So, if my math is correct, isn't the overhead and reserved space consuming 12.6% of available bytes, and not 7%? And, isn't it irrelevant how the space gets reported, as long as the end user understands that 223.48GB (gibibytes, x1024) is the same as 240GB (SI unit, x1000)?

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