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Intel 520 240GB SSD

Sandforce inside

Tooling around

The read/write figures drop in the more demanding AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark results – both of which use incompressible data, which can be a bit of an Achilles heel for Sandforce equipped drives. Still, the read figures in both benchmarks hold up quite well, which is no doubt a sign of Intel’s hand on the firmware.

CrystalDiskMark 3 Results

Intel 520 series SSD

Data throughput in Megabytes per Second (MB/s)
Longer bars are better

The 520 series supports 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and better password protection for better security than previous Intel drive ranges. The new drives also work with the latest version of Intel’s excellent SSD Toolbox utility. SSD Toolbox offers a host of routines to keep the drive running as close to fresh out-of-the-box as possible; drive optimisation, system tuner, firmware updater and, if all else fails, Secure Erase. Intel also backs the drive with a five year warranty.

Intel 520 series SSD

Performance comes at a price

Verdict


For many, the fact that there is the Intel name on a Sandforce controllers drive will allay some of the fears that people might have over the controller's sometimes notorious reliability issues in previous incarnations. It’s a fast drive all right but it does come with a hefty price tag that impacts on its overall rating here. ®

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Intel 520 series SSD

Intel 520 240GB SSD

Fast performance SSD from Intel, the company's first to feature a Sandforce controller.
Price: £350 RRP