Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Intel's 730 Series 2.5-inch SATA III SSD is available in two capacity sizes, 240GB and 480GB. Specifications list the 2.5-inch 730 Series SSDs as having a bandwidth performance of up to 540MB/s sequential reads and 490MB/s sequential writes. 4KB random read performance is listed at up to 89,000 IOPS, and 4KB random write performance is listed at up to 74,000 IOPS.
When you purchase a retail packaged Intel SSD, you not only get a fine product, but you get value added features like an accessory kit, Intel's SSD Toolbox, and Intel's Data Migration Software for easy maintenance and easy drive cloning. Our test drives came in bare OEM packaging, but the retail packaged 2.5-inch 730 ships with an accessory kit that includes SATA power and data cables, a sticker, and a software disk. Intel warranties the 730 Series SSD for an industry-leading 5 years.
Since this is a RAID review, we are going to focus on performance rather than features. For a more in-depth look at the Intel 730's feature set, I will refer you to Chris Ramseyer's extensive review of Intel's 730 Series SSD.
Drive Details - Intel 730 Series 480GB SSD
Our drives arrived bare, so we do not have anything to show you as far as packaging goes. The top of the drive's enclosure is formed from a piece of sheet aluminum, which is left natural in color. There is a cool looking white swoosh shaped sticker with a skull emblazoned on it. There are four screws that affix the top of the drive's enclosure to bottom and sides of the enclosure. Three of the screws are visible, and the fourth is located under the drive's swoosh shaped sticker, providing evidence of tampering.
The bottom and sides of the drives enclosure are formed from a single piece of cast aluminum. There is a manufacturer's sticker located on the bottom of the drive's enclosure. The sticker lists the drive's capacity, shipping firmware, model number, serial number, and various other relevant information.
Here's what the drive looks like completely disassembled. On this side of the PCB, there are eight Intel branded 20nm BGA NAND packages, 2 DRAM packages, 2 capacitors, and an Intel Flash Processor. Both halves of the drive's enclosure have what appear to be some sort of Mylar material affixed to the inside.
On the opposite side of the PCB are an additional eight Intel branded 20nm BGA NAND Packages.
Test System Setup
- Drive Properties
The majority of our testing will be done with our test drive/array as our boot volume. Our boot volume is 75 percent full for all OS Disk "C" drive testing, to mimic a typical consumer OS volume implementation. We are using 64K stripes for all our arrays. Write caching is enabled.
All of our testing includes charting the performance of a single drive as well as a RAID 0 array of our test subjects. We are utilizing the Windows 8.1 64-bit OS for all of our testing.
PRICING: You can find the Intel 730 Series SSD (480GB) for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Intel 730 Series SSD (480GB) retails for $437.27 at Amazon.
New Zealand: The Intel 730 Series SSD (480GB) retails for $689.99 NZD at Mighty Ape NZ.