Review Index:
Feedback

Intel SSD 730 480GB Full Review - Overclocked Data Center SSD for the Enthusiast

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel
Tagged: SSD 730, ssd, Intel

Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts

Conclusion:

PROS:

  • Excellent performance, especially IOPS at low QD
  • Data Center pedigree and reliability
  • Data Center grade power loss protection
  • Good cost/GB (se below)

CONS:

  • High power draw and corresponding high temps may be an issue for some

View Full Size

Pricing and Availability:

During our press briefing, Intel stated the 240 and 480GB SSD 730 models will be available for "less than $1/GB". That's good pricing considering you're basically getting their Data Center SSD in a consumer wrapper.

As for availability, the SSD 730 will be available for preorder on March 18th. Until then you should be able to check out Intel.com/SSD730Series (due to go live in tandem with this review) for a taste of what's to come.

UPDATE: Amazon.com has pre-order pages live for both retail and OEM versions of the Intel 730 Series SSDs.

Warranty:

The Intel SSD 730 carries a 5-year warranty, rated at 70GB of writes per day. This is possible as the 730 uses the same High Endurance Technology (HET) MLC flash found in the DC S3500.

Firmware:

Intel firmwares have been rock solid for a long time now. Nothing to worry about here.

Final Thoughts:

Intel has a track record of overlapping parts among their consumer and enterprise lines. They did it with the X25-E / X25-M, with the SSD 710 / SSD 320, and now they've repeated that trend with the DC S3500 and SSD 730. The big difference this time around is that instead of the consumer unit carrying lower specs and warranty, the SSD 730 carries a 5-year warranty matching the enterprise part and actually beats its enterprise cousin thanks to its controller running at a 50% overclock. Unfortunately for the SSD 730, that formula also caused it to inherit the S3500's power consumption, which may lead to uncomfortable temperatures when used in low-airflow environments. The SSD 730 performs very well, with the highest IOPS figures we've seen at low queue depths. That said, we are left wondering if a 7-10x power draw as compared to the closest competitor is worth the marginal gain in performance.

View Full Size

I'm going with our Gold award for this one. Kudos to Intel for bringing such a beefy enterprise SSD to the consumer / power user, but I have reservations about a consumer SSD drawing this much power. We're also unsure of the market cost/GB, which remains to be seen.

February 27, 2014 | 03:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That lel so gamer skull is killing me.

February 27, 2014 | 03:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I like the Intel Skull logo! They haven't used it on a lot of things outside their desktop boards, but I think it's awesome.

February 27, 2014 | 04:24 PM - Posted by Esso (not verified)

Allyn, your reviews are the bee's knees. <3's

February 27, 2014 | 05:52 PM - Posted by eddie (not verified)

So can I OC this drive past what intel has already done. I would like that.

February 28, 2014 | 11:15 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Nope. I wouldn't want to push this any further. Intel can guarantee no data loss due to the overclock but only at as high as they have chosen to clock it. 

February 28, 2014 | 12:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks Allen. Count me still in the same boat with firmware should be solid out of the box *cough* OCZ *cough* where flashing shouldn't be necessary, and overclocking storage solutions being a bad idea.

Enthusiasts may find some fun out of this, but I can't get it out of my head that its just a bad idea to do it on storage. That's taking overclocking a little too far lol.

February 28, 2014 | 11:14 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

You're right in that SSDs with user selectable over clocks are a bad idea and would be difficult to implement well / safely. As such, Intel chose to set these overclock speeds from the factory. They are not adjustable. It also means those speeds are covered by the same 5 year warranty. 

February 28, 2014 | 01:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually I tend to trust Intel as far as the overclocking goes. I don't mind this, no different than overclocking anything else. Then again, I may be wrong. The Intel of today is not quite in the same position as the Intel of 10 years ago. Who's to say they aren't willing to gamble a bit.

March 1, 2014 | 04:19 PM - Posted by G5 (not verified)

Crucial M500 480GB

March 1, 2014 | 10:54 PM - Posted by PhoneyVirus

Really at 122F that is kinda warm, three years from now if that the drive will be dead. That's of course depending on the amount of tear the cells go through before then.

Nevertheless nice review and still thinking about the Samsung EVO 256GB for the new system build.

Also where did you get that Digital Infrared Thermometer?

March 3, 2014 | 02:59 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Harbor Freight :)

March 2, 2014 | 02:12 AM - Posted by CrisisHawk

At 16:58 in the video, why did Ryan say the most popular SSDs are "unfortunately" the 840 evo? I was under the impression that that was a pretty good drive, what is wrong with it?

March 3, 2014 | 02:58 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Not a thing! It's 'unfortunate' for the SSD 730.

March 10, 2014 | 08:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not to be mean here ... but I am trying to decide on this vs. an 840 evo. Why would I buy this when the spec's are better on an evo and the price is much lower? It seems like such a price hike for a 730 for marginally better performance. Or am I completely missing something?

March 17, 2014 | 04:36 PM - Posted by ExploitedPixels (not verified)

So - it wouldn't advisable to put this in an Icy Dock? It would have a fan on the side of it and I had planned on getting this drive. but the heat is a little worrisome.

March 29, 2014 | 02:17 AM - Posted by sarasota (not verified)

Well it think Mobile data centers offers numerous benefits over regular data centers such as makeshift storage, disaster management, colocation alternative, and competitive costs. source .. http://www.cloudwedge.com/

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.