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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

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals:

After disassembly:

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Hmm, that looks familiar. Let's compare to a shot of the DC S3500 and S3700:

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Yup, safe to say the SSD 730 is based on Intel's Data Center units.

Lets move on to a closer shot of the controller:

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The part numbers of the controller is identical to the DC offerings, granted with a slightly tweaked revision. Flash is 20nm IMFT. Note the power-loss capacitors from the DC units have also carried over.

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More flash populates the rear of the 480GB unit.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a 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 currently employ a pair of testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and an ASUS Z87-PRO. Variance between both boards has been deemed negligible.

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

 
Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/TB / ASUS Z87-PRO
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel® HD Graphics 4600
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 8.1 X64
  • PCMark05
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • PCPer File Copy Test
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/

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