Review Index:

Intel SSD 525 Series Full Capacity Roundup - Intel Sweeps mSATA

Subject: Storage
Tagged: Intel, ssd, 525, msata

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


It has been just under a year since Intel released their 520 Series SSD, which was their second 6 Gb/sec SATA unit. Sporting a SandForce controller, that release helped bridge a high speed storage gap in their product lineup. One year prior, Intel dabbled in the mSATA form factor, releasing a 310 Series model under that moniker. The 310 showed up here and there, but never really caught on as the physical interface was admittedly before its time. While in hindsight it was a very good way to go towards establishing a fixed standard, the industry had already begun fragmenting on these smaller interfaces. The MacBook Air had already launched with a longer 'GumStick' shaped SSD, and Ultrabook makers were following suit with units that were physically identical yet not pin-compatible with that used in the Apple product.

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The Intel 520 Series SSD helped push Intel into 6Gb/sec SATA territory.

It's taken a while for the industry to favor defragmentation (pun intended) enough for mSATA to really start catching on, and that time appears to be nearing with Intel's launch of the SSD 525 Series:

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Read on for the full review!


  • Capacity: 30, 60, 120, 180, 240GB
  • Sequential read: 500, 550, 550, 550, 550 MB/sec (respectively)
  • Sequential write: 275, 475, 500, 520, 520 MB/sec
  • Random read IOPS: 5, 15, 25, 50, 50 k-IOPS (respectively)
  • Random write IOPS (typical): 10, 23, 40, 60, 60 k-IOPS

Kudos to Intel for listing *typical* 4k IOPS figures on their spec sheet. Sure they also state that all capacities have a maximum of 80,000 random write IOPS, but that is purely theoretical and assumes a best case scenario including maximum compressibility of the incoming data.


Our samples arrived in OEM Intel brown boxes. There may be a more colorful retail packaging, but this is what we can show you for now:

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Video News

January 31, 2013 | 07:48 PM - Posted by David (not verified)

Huh. An mSATA SSD that doesn't suck!

February 1, 2013 | 04:20 PM - Posted by eastbayrae

They need to be bigger.

February 2, 2013 | 05:12 AM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

I can't wait till the 480s come down in price then maybe ill remove the 20gb slc one that came with my gigabyte mb and install the 480gb one for my main drive and use my 500gb black as a external back up for game files like Steam.

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