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Intel 520 240GB

RH Numbers

When the 520 series appeared, Intel surprised a great number of people by ditching the Marvell controller it had used previously. Yet, instead of using one of its own controller designs – which most assumed it would – Intel switched to using a SandForce chip.

Indeed, this was one reason why the drive was so late to market, together with Intel's efforts to iron out any controller reliability issues.
 In the process, Intel co-wrote the controller’s firmware with Sandforce to get the best out of the 25nm Intel MLC NAND the drives use. The write speeds could be better though, which suggests there's still some work to do here, especially given the price.

Intel 520 240GB SSD

Reg Rating 75%
Price £260
More info Intel

Kingston Hyper X 3K 240GB


RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

Kingston’s Hyper X family of drives were the company’s first to use a SandForce controller and just like Intel’s 520 drives, the original Hyper X drives were late to market because of Kingston’s insistence that the controller and firmware was as bullet proof as possible. 
The latest 3K range of the HyperX drives still have the SandForce SF-2281controller but use a lower Program-Erase (P/E) cycle of NAND memory – 3,000 P/E cycles instead of 5,000, hence the 3K name tag.

By using this lower cycling NAND – which is cheaper than the standard memory – Kingston has been able to reduce the price of the drive making it more competitive in an increasingly cut throat market segment. If you're after bang for buck with bullet proof reliability and support, then the Kingston Hyper X 3K is for you.

Kingston Hyper X 3K 240GB
 SSD

Reg Rating 85%
Price £200
More info Kingston

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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