P1040050 First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

Intel's first LSI-Sandforce based Solid State Drive launched with much fanfare last week, with pundits raving about the extra enterprise class reliability brought about by Intel's historically stringent firmware validation, on one of the fastest controllers around with a much storied (BSOD ridden) history. We take a quick look at the new 520 series now running on our primary test rig…

Like previous SSD families from Intel, the 520 uses the same blue box theme from its mainstream line of products.

P1040050 First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

Accessories and Documentation – the "Speed Demon" sticker and the 2.5-3.5 inch bracket remains as well, although we're a tad disappointed that it is still not compatible with regular hotswap bays, forcing such users to buy additional mounting.

P1040054 First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

The 9.5mm thick drive still comes with the usual black 2.5mm spacer which can be removed for use in laptops

P1040056 First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

 

Unsurprisingly. the 520 is the 2nd SSD from Intel after the 510 (Marvell) series to support native 6Gb/s operation, which is fast becoming the de facto SATA signalling standard

P1040058 First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

Stripped: The LSI-Sandforce SF-2281V drives sixteen 25nm MLC Intel NAND, which is usually used on premium SSDs like OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPs.

P1040061 First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

P1040062 First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

 

We loaded the SSD with an Operating System and some applications on our reference Rampage IV Extreme setup (using a 6GB/s port from the PCH in AHCI mode) and ran CrystalDiskMark. The numbers are similar to other SSDs in the same performance class and price bracket.

520aligned First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville

Stay tuned for our full review of the Intel 520 240GB!