Review Index:

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

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

Performance Over Time, TRIM, and Temperature

Performance Over Time and TRIM:

After a brief fragmentation run and without TRIM in use, here is the first sequential scrub:

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The SSD 730 is clearly intended to be used with TRIM, and when optimizing as such, you can see the drive having to work harder to defragment its memory space on-the-fly, which negatively impacts write speeds.

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The second pass shows the SSD 730 had no issues cleaning itself up. Intel has clearly come a long way on this since the original X25-M.


Modern SSDs can no longer achieve the groundbreaking step increases in performance that we saw years ago when the technology was still developing. As such, Intel chose to include RAID as part of their marketing drive to justify the potential gains from the SSD 730. Here's an excerpt from their preso:

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It's no secret that Intel's chipsets excel at the scaling of RAID SSD performance. A RAID-0 of a matched pair of SSDs will perform almost exactly double in every spec across the board. The IOPS scaling of Intel's RST implementation outclasses even modern enterprise RAID solutions. That being said, Intel applying this argument to the hypothetical staggering performance potential of RAIDed SSD 730's is a bit of a fallacy, as that same exact argument applies to every other SSD model on the market - Intel's RST accelerates and scales Samsung 840's, OCZ Vertex's and just about everything else out there just the same as it would accelerate a pair (or more) of their own SSD 730's.


We don't normally iunclude this block, but before this SSD came out, the next highest consumer SSD power draw came from the SandForce-controller SSD 520, which drew approx. 0.75 watts. Sure it would get warm under use, but nothing major. The SSD 730 draws a whopping 5.5W. That's 7x the power draw, which leads to some real-world differences worth noting. I'll just let this pic speak for itself:

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Let's just say I wouldn't recommend putting this SSD in a laptop. In Intel's defense, they are marketing the SSD 730 as an enthusiast desktop SSD and have made no claim to mobile usage. Good thing, too.

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 ..

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