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Data Storage Intel Hardware

New Intel 520 Series SSD Taps SandForce Controller 72

crookedvulture writes "Intel continues to partner with third-party controller makers for high-end SSDs. Its new 520 Series drives pair the latest SandForce controller with Intel's own firmware and 25-nm NAND. HotHardware, Tech Report, and PC Perspective all have reviews of the drive, and the verdict is pretty consistent. While the Intel 520 Series offers slightly better performance than competing SandForce solutions, it also costs 30-40% more. That's a steep margin even considering the Intel SSD's five-year warranty."
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New Intel 520 Series SSD Taps SandForce Controller

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  • by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @07:54PM (#38947819) Homepage

    I just returned an OCZ Agility 3 due to it dying after 2 weeks of light use as my Linux root partition running XFS. Since their office was local I drove it there to save shipping charges and had to laugh in their lobby since they're touting reliability. Sadly Sandforce has gained a reputation for not being the most reliable controller out there. I have never had a hard drive fail except after years of use until this one died. Fortunately it's being replaced under warranty.

    Also, unlike other drives I've had fail, this one died suddenly and completely. Suddenly Linux couldn't access the root filesystem and after rebooting the drive could not be found by the SATA controller. Fortunately I had my old Western Digital Velociraptor drive I had replaced so I swapped that back in.

    I have another Sandforce SSD that would often not show up when my computer woke up from standby until after a firmware update. Intel might be better, having written their own firmware, but at this point I think SSDs have a way to go in terms of reliability. There's no excuse for the issues that have been reported with the various Sandforce drives. The problem is either insufficient Q/A testing of the firmware or management pushing out the firmware before it's ready. It's also possible that there might be some hardware glitch causing these drives to fail.


  • by EjectButton ( 618561 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @08:17PM (#38947983)

    When I bought my 2nd SSD a few weeks ago (first was an M4 for my laptop, this being for my desktop), I opted for a 128GB Samsung SSD 830. It's a great little drive, and was ~30% cheaper than Intel SSD 510.

    I went for the 830 over a Sandforce-based drive because of their reliability. There's a reason why Apple use Samsung SSDs in their laptops.

    Intel care more about reliability than anyone else in the SSD game and they are now using the exact same sandforce controller (SF-2200) in this new drive that others have been using for a while now (OCZ Vertex 3 for example). The problems in the past were more with the firmware than the controllers.

  • Pfft Sandforce (Score:4, Informative)

    by Vegemeister ( 1259976 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @08:31PM (#38948069)
    The Sandforce controllers use compression to increase speeds and reduce write amplifications. Thus, they choke on encrypted (incompressible) data. They also have a horrible record of reliability. No thanks.

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