Intel released its first SF-based drive

Intel SSD 520That’s not the first time Intel has released a drive equipped with a third-party controller. Actually, the Santa Clara-based company has no 6Gbps controllers in its portfolio and so buys them from other manufacturers. That being said, the controller is a key component of a solid state drive but firmware is almost as important, if not more.

Intel develops its own firmwares and the SSD 520, the first SandForce based drive, is no exception. The unit is equipped with a SF-2281 controller, the same of the OCZ Vertex 3. But the company’s engineers worked hard on the software side to improve both reliability – no more BSODs – and performance. The former was the weak spot of the SandForce-based SSDs. Intel has a strong presence in the server market and it would be dangerous for it to ship unreliable SSDs.

SSD 520 is probably the best SandForce drive available in the market and so costs a little more than its competitors: $509 for a 240GB unit. If you are looking for a SSD cache for your server, the premium price is definitely worth it. For home use you don’t need such a powerful and expensive drive, at least if you aren’t a hardware enthusiast, and I suggest to look for a more affordable unit like Samsung 830.

I requested a sample of the SSD 520. I hope to review it as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

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