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.
It's easy to see why Intel's 730 is our current RAID champion. When it comes to the ultimate OS disk it has to be SATA RAID; a single SSD or current PCIe drives just cannot deliver performance that is enthusiast class in an OS environment. Most enthusiasts probably don't know this so it's our job to inform you.
When choosing SSD's for a RAID array, the drives that perform best in a single drive scenario do not translate directly to the drives that perform best in a RAID 0 array. SSD's with enterprise DNA like Intel's 730 in particular; come alive when utilized in RAID 0 delivering performance that far exceeds what SSD's with consumer DNA are capable of delivering in RAID 0.
It goes even deeper when we take an array and subject it to steady state testing. Suddenly arrays that have the same performance in an FOB state, deliver vastly different performance in a steady state. A steady state is eventually where every flash-based storage device is going to settle into and remain, so how a drive/array performs in a steady state is the single most important bit of information you need to know when choosing your next SSD. We wrote between 20 and 30 terabytes of data to each of our test drives, or approximately 150 terabytes combined to obtain our steady-state results. Our extended testing alone took approximately 81 hours to complete.
Intel designed their DC S3500 SSD for the data center where RAID scaling, endurance and steady state performance are paramount. The 730 is a DC S3500 on steroids. The 730 retains the DC S3500's enterprise DNA and brings it to the enthusiast sector. Intel's 730 is the real deal, it just takes a RAID 0 array to really bring out the inner beast that's capable of dominating the competition.
RAIDing two or more drives together 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 Intel's 730 (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 (480GB) retails for $445.00 at Amazon.
New Zealand: The Intel 730 (480GB) retails for $689.99 NZD at Mighty Ape NZ.
- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Drive Details, Test System Setup, Drive Properties, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 3 [Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO, Anvil Storage Utilities, CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks (Trace Based OS Volume) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - Disk Response & Transfer Rates]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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