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Intel SSD 520 Review Discussion


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#1 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:29 AM

In this review we look at the latest Intel SSD, previously known as Cherryville.

Intel SSD 520 Review

#2 mike2h

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:53 PM

screw u guys :) just made up my mind to go with either a samsung 830 128/64 combo or the 256 vers & you throw this thing at me... bad kevin! tho i would probably wait a couple of months for the new intel to 'shake out' a little.
thx for the work

#3 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:56 PM

Well if it makes you feel any better, the Samsung SSD 830 is still an excellent choice. At the upper level it is kind of like comparing a Ferrari to a high-end Porsche to a Lamborghini and so on. All top-end performers with strengths in certain areas.

#4 mike2h

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:04 PM

ok, i feel a little better. still going to take a good look at the 180 vers of the intel.

cpl of questions
intel has always pushed OP. how come none on these drives. i know SF controller has built in stuff but OP is still desirable.

if u set aside som space for op on a partioned drive does it apply t othe whole drive or just 1 partition? know that is probably a silly question but...

Edited by mike2h, 06 February 2012 - 02:24 PM.

#5 Beenthere

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:58 PM

I'm not a believer... yet in Intel's validation of SSDs.

We all know about their past SSD issues that required a firmware update. We also know about Intel mobos, chipsets and even CPUs being recalled - so while Intel may have the resources, history has shown that they still ship defective products. I'll take AnandTech's advice and wait 6-12 months to see if they have issues with the SSD 520 series.

#6 Brian

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:03 PM

Yes, some of it has to be taken on faith or over time. I will say, in our briefings, no other SF users have boasted of measures this robust.

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#7 Beenthere

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:56 PM

Yes, some of it has to be taken on faith or over time. I will say, in our briefings, no other SF users have boasted of measures this robust.



IME Intel always boost about their validation process be it on mobos, chipsets, CPUs or whatever. Funny how history tends to repeat itself at Intel... ;)

Edited by Beenthere, 06 February 2012 - 09:56 PM.

#8 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:14 AM

Sure, you can never be 100% sure that there won't be an error creeping up somewhere. However, I think the possibility of this happening is lower with Intels products than elsewhere. Just consider on which massive scales e.g. their chipsets are deployed. And how remarkably few errors occured during all those years. And recalling CPUs? Are you referring to the FDIV bug in the first Pentiums 20 years ago?

BTW: I like the new graph style :)

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#9 Beenthere

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:50 PM

Well there is already one user (at the Intel customer support forum), with a new Intel 520 getting BSODs after installation so we'll have to wait a bit to see if this is an exception to the rule or if the 520 is subject to similar Bugs like most all of the consumer grade SSDs released to date have been.

#10 stevecs

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:39 PM

Nice write up on the drive, and I'm glad intel/you have included the UBER rates which is something very lacking from other vendors.

For me though the big killer here is the pathetically low 36TB write endurance or 20GB/day. That just rules it out completely (heck In the time I've written this message I've already written ~2GB per drive * 4 drives (or actually 8 as it's a raid 1+0). For the price points they're looking at (say $500 for the 240GB version) that's more expensive than a 2.5" 15K rpm SAS 300GB drive which has a latency of ~2ms). Unless these become significantly cheaper than the sas drives and at least come up an order of magnitude or more for write endurance I just don't see it.

(and yes, I have intel 320's and 510's in my laptops, though frankly haven't really seen any 'big' improvement there at least under linux where you have the system already optimized and enough ram for your applications (i.e. no swap)).

#11 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:26 AM

Nice write up on the drive, and I'm glad intel/you have included the UBER rates which is something very lacking from other vendors.

For me though the big killer here is the pathetically low 36TB write endurance or 20GB/day. That just rules it out completely (heck In the time I've written this message I've already written ~2GB per drive * 4 drives (or actually 8 as it's a raid 1+0). For the price points they're looking at (say $500 for the 240GB version) that's more expensive than a 2.5" 15K rpm SAS 300GB drive which has a latency of ~2ms). Unless these become significantly cheaper than the sas drives and at least come up an order of magnitude or more for write endurance I just don't see it.

(and yes, I have intel 320's and 510's in my laptops, though frankly haven't really seen any 'big' improvement there at least under linux where you have the system already optimized and enough ram for your applications (i.e. no swap)).


On the TBW front, the 36TB figure was extrapolated out of their lifespan expectations. With many 120GB SF models being plotted around 80TB, this model should easily get into the 100+TB range with 25nm NAND.

#12 stevecs

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:30 PM

On the TBW front, the 36TB figure was extrapolated out of their lifespan expectations. With many 120GB SF models being plotted around 80TB, this model should easily get into the 100+TB range with 25nm NAND.


Yes, I know from testing that you can extend that sometimes up to an order of magnitude but still that's 1) not the design spec, and 2) much lower than what you can get from server classed drives which are at the same or lower price points. Just looked at one of my workstations here that I've just moved over from a 4-drive to an 8-drive raid10 (sas), and that's doing about 500GB/day in writes total (so about 125GB/day per drive assuming equal loading). The last system that I had running for about 5 years on sas was up into the multi-PB range of writes per drive. Just looking at some of my 'light use' drives and they are averaging about 4GB/hour of I/O.

#13 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:42 PM

Well Intel is known to first release consumer specs and then issue enterprise guidance information shortly after the release of a new product. The SSD 320 was a good example of that. The enterprise guidelines on that drive went more into detail on what the drive could actually handle in reliable fashion, just not under "warrantied" terms. We should see something from Intel soon on the SSD 520 covering the same topic.

#14 lightminer

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:43 PM

In this review we look at the latest Intel SSD, previously known as Cherryville.

Intel SSD 520 Review



Hey, great review. We may get a bunch of these at work. One small question - I thought the 2281/toogleNAND OWC drive was in the same class as these? You say "The Intel SSD 520 and Vertex 3 Max IOPS basically run hand-in-hand, leaving every other SSD behind." Doesn't the OWC belong in that list as well?

#15 floydstyle

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:32 AM

Did anyone try that SSD on a Macbook Pro early 2011? I want to change my old Sata2 Corsair 120GB with an Intel 520 240GB for more space and faster works.

Since OSX doesn't support TRIM with third party SSD, unless you hack the file with TRIM Enabler, I was wondering how this Intel was on OSX

NCIX.ca has a nice price right now and I am tempted http://www.ncix.ca/p...nufacture=Intel
thank you

Edited by floydstyle, 20 July 2012 - 11:34 AM.

#16 jgreen

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:36 PM

This drive has some serious issues this was my post in Intel Support Community:

Last Thursday I received my brand new Dell Precision M6600. Before I started to use the system I upgraded the hard drive to an Intel 520 Series..

After dropping in the SSD, I was ready to install Windows 7 Pro. I first went into the BIOS and left the setting on RAID. After reading tons of forums, this seemed like the right way on installing the hard drive. Once complete I installed all the necessary drivers (which is a story in its self!). After, I went on the Intel website and ran the driver utility make sure everything is up-to-date. I also installed the SSD toolbox to optimize the drive.

After dealing with the BIOS not always detecting the SSD and the occasional OS freeze, I made my way into the Intel control panel. I noticed the hard drive was only running at 3GB/s, I thought that was kind of odd since the computer is capable of running 6GB/s. I decided to change the BIOS to AHCI and reinstall 7..

Once complete, I still had to deal with the BIOS not detecting the SSD and 7 freezing up, every so often. Anywho, once I re-installed all drivers and utilities. I now see the hard drive running at 6GB/s. I was a happy camper until I started to use the computer. I noticed it freezed up the more I use it.

Intel (typing this while simultaneously shaking my pointer finger) you have a serious issue with your SSD. You need to post a firmware update. Not only to fix the issue with 7 but, also for folks who have M6600 and other affected laptop/desktops; who decide to buy your SSD.

#17 Kdawgca

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

That sucks that you can't fully use the powerful M6600 :(

Have you checked if there are any issues while using the hard drive? Since it is a new machine, there could be a problem with it or even a lemon with the SSD(possible for any manufacture).

If you want some more troubleshooting help, head over to the SSD or Notebook/Desktop forum.

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#18 stevecs

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:58 PM

Check to make sure you have the latest firmware on the dell as well as the ssd. I don't have a dell here, but I do have 10 of the intel 520 240GB ssd's here in various systems (native in laptops, as well as raided with LSI and areca) no issues on any. Albeit, this is a small sample size



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