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Intel launches 520 Series SSD drives

Chipmaker gets more adventurous
Mon Feb 06 2012, 16:00

CHIPMAKER Intel has released its 520 Series solid-state disk (SSD) drives barely a year after it launched its 510 Series SSDs.

intel-520-coverIntel's three unit SSD range has been given a jolt with the firm releasing the 520 Series SATA3 SSD drives. The drives, available in 60GB, 120GB, 180GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities, are the first Intel units to have Sandforce controllers, and while the line doesn't feature headline grabbing jumps in sequential read and write rates over the year-old 510 Series, it does bring a couple of new tricks to the party.

Sandforce, which is now part of long-time storage vendor LSI, has been working with Intel to validate its Sandforce SSD controller in the 520 Series. Many remember the poor reliability that SSD buyers were forced to put up with when the first Sandforce equipped drives hit the shelves in 2010, however the firm clearly impressed Intel, as the chipmaker has slapped a five year warranty on its 520 Series SSDs.

Intel has put its 25nm NAND flash chips in the 520 Series drives and makes the now ubiquitous claims of 550MB/sec and 520MB/sec for sequential read and write transfer rates, respectively, though our testing on Linux showed slightly different results. Intel also quotes up to 80,000 random write IOPS and 50,000 random read IOPS.

Michael Raam, VP and GM of LSI's Flash Components Division said, "Working through Intel's extensive validation process ensures the Intel 520 SSD will raise the bar in delivering top-tier performance and superior quality and reliability over the life of the drive." Intel also claims to have co-defined and validated the firmware that is running on the Sandforce controller.

We have posted our review of Intel's 240GB 520 Series SSD drive to see whether it is worthy for replacing the original must-have SSD, Intel's X25-M. µ


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