by Robert Tanner on February 6, 2012 in Solid-State Drives
SandForce is back in town and it’s here to stay. Intel’s 520 Series is a full replacement for the 510 Series, but utilize the SF-2281 controller and custom Intel firmware to deliver one of the best SSDs we seen to date. If you already want an Intel SSD but donâ€™t know which to get, we can answer that. Oh, and did we mention the 5 year warranty?
Futuremark’s PCMark benchmarking suite should need no introduction as it has been a staple of PC benchmarks for the better half of a decade. PCMark offers a range of tests to gauge every aspect of a computer’s performance and presents it in a neat simple final result. Thankfully it also breaks down the overall score with individual subsystem scores (such as Memory, Storage, etc) in addition to given individual test results.
With the latest 2011 release of PCMark 7 we should hopefully see quite a few changes to how SSDs are handled, and the resulting scores computed, as previously, results were biased towards sequential read and write performance. With its Windows 7 focus PCMark 7 offers a variety of storage system tests, such as simulating a Windows Defender scan and using Windows Media Center to using other built-in programs for video and music file manipulation. But for those that just want a nice overarching score, it has those too.
Immediately, we know Intel has finally decided to play serious here. While the HyperX utilizes the same SF-2281 controller, same synchronous 25nm NAND, and held the title as the most powerful SSD we’ve seen, Intel’s 520 Series actually manages to distance itself by 119 points of difference!
If that does not seem like a lot, consider that the m4 (similar to the Intel 510 Series) and every other SF-2281 powered SSD all fall within 55 points of each other. This performance gap we are seeing can be attributed purely to Intel’s firmware.