Intel 520 Series SSD Full Review - SandForce on Steroids?
Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup
Opening the standard Intel housing we find the guts.
A thermal pad seems out of place, but it's necessary as the SandForce controller draws ~5x the power as compared to the super-efficient Intel controllers. Even with the added power draw, it remains lower than spinning disks. Intel claims a 5-10 minute difference in battery depletion time on a typical 15" notebook.
Blowing up the controller side of the PCB we see Intel has went with their own PCB design.
At the rear we see another set of 8 TSOP's.
Comparing with the 320 Series (left) and 510 Series (right), the only thing common to these models is the Synchronous IMFT flash memory and the Intel label.
Our tests are a good mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark, IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!
Test System Setup
We're breaking in a new Sandy Bridge test bed. Necessary for properly testing these new drives, even with the known issues. To get around this, we are using only the Intel SATA 6Gb/sec ports, which are known to not exhibit the inconsistent performance / connectivity issues.
PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rig.
|Hard Drive Test System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-2500K|
|Motherboard||Asus P8Z68-V Pro|
|Memory||Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9|
|Hard Drive||G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD|
|Video Card||Intel® HD Graphics 3000|
|Power Supply||Corsair CMPSU-650TX|
|Operating System||Windows 7 X64|
- PCPer File Copy Test
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