Solid state storage is the most important performance component found in a modern system today. Without it, you do not even have a performance system.
I really love Intel's decision to go for broke in the enthusiast sector. The 730 is an exquisite piece of hardware. Tapping an enterprise SSD like the DC S3500 is doing things the right way. I will gladly pay a premium to own superior hardware. Enterprise SSDs are engineered for performance in a steady state, a state that is inevitably reached by all solid state storage devices that are used on a regular basis. Because drives with an enterprise pedigree provide the best steady state performance, they make for a superior enthusiast class SSD, because enthusiasts will spend most of their cyber-lives with their solid state storage devices in a steady state.
Performance as measured in a steady state while running a workload is really the only metric that matters. Every major SSD manufacturer subscribes to this testing methodology as the true measure of solid state storage performance; however, at the same time, all we ever get from a consumer drive's spec sheet is its performance in an empty secondary attached FOB state. We need to go beyond the spec sheet to find true performance; the Revo 350 is a perfect example.
Most people look at the Revo's spec of 1800MB/s and think it is faster than everybody else when in reality it's one of the worst performing SSDs you could ever choose to load your operating system on. Sequential performance is actually one of the least important performance metrics for an operating system drive. Random 4k performance and low latency are what matters in an OS environment.
Right now, if you want bleeding edge performance, you will need to be running RAID; period. In fact, if you want to be the boss, you will need to be running at least a three-drive array on an Intel board. RAID is all about performance; I would never have my OS on anything but an array. Intel is pushing consumer based RAID with their 730 series. It makes sense that they would be pushing RAID because IMFT Flash scales so well.
The 730 is more expensive than most SSDs, and it does take an array to really deliver the goods, but deliver it does. As I look through my vast expanse of RAID data, I can tell you unequivocally that a 730 array is the fastest consumer based OS disk you can own at this time.
Putting two or more drives together in RAID provides you with storage that takes performance to the next level and is something I recommend you try. Think of it as the SLI of storage. Once you go RAID, there's no going back!
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.