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

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

IOMeter - IOps

Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and announced at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) on February 17, 1998 - since then it got wide spread within the industry.

Meanwhile Intel has discontinued to work on Iometer and it was given to the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL). In November 2001, a project was registered at SourceForge.net and an initial drop was provided. Since the relaunch in February 2003, the project is driven by an international group of individuals who are continuesly improving, porting and extend the product.

We are running new version of IOMeter, but with a similar configuration as compared with prior versions (i.e. compressibility of data, etc), as to maintain consistency across the test data pool.

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Light desktop usage sees QD figures between 1 and 4. Heavy / power user loads run at 8 and higher. Most SSD's are not capable of effectively handling anything higher than QD=32, which explains the plateaus.

Regarding why we use this test as opposed to single-tasker tests like 4KB random reads or 4KB random writes, well, computers are just not single taskers. Writes take place at the same time as reads. We call this mixed-mode testing, and while a given SSD comes with side-of-box specs that boast what it can do while being a uni-tasker, the tests above tend to paint a very different picture.

As hinted earlier during the HDTach runs, the SSD 730 demonstrates excellent low-latency and high-IOPS performance at low queue depths. While the 730 does fall off earlier than the competition, it is less likely to enter those higher QD regions as it would have been able to power through the stream of IO requests at a faster rate earlier in the game (i.e. higher QD's are usually a result of requests 'piling up' on the SSD, and the 730 is less likely to let them do so in the first place).

February 27, 2014 | 12:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That lel so gamer skull is killing me.

February 27, 2014 | 12:29 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 | 01:24 PM - Posted by Esso (not verified)

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

February 27, 2014 | 02:52 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 | 08:15 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 27, 2014 | 09:28 PM - 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 | 08:14 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 | 10:42 AM - 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 | 01:19 PM - Posted by G5 (not verified)

Crucial M500 480GB

March 1, 2014 | 07:54 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 | 11:59 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Harbor Freight :)

March 1, 2014 | 11:12 PM - 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 | 11:58 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

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

March 10, 2014 | 05:59 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 | 01:36 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 28, 2014 | 11:17 PM - 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/

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