On the surface, it's pretty clear the Intel 530 Series 240GB is slower than the majority of its rivals, and equal pricing doesn't make up for the deficit. When you start peeling back the layers, the picture starts to change. Until we move past SATA III, and controller designers move beyond 8-channel controllers, most of the SSDs on the market will perform about the same in day-to-day, real-world tasks.
We observed this with PCMark 8, a test that displays the results in time, and not just megabytes per second. A tenth of a second here and a hundredth of a second there can look like a massive difference when looking at megabytes per second, but most would be hard pressed to actually feel that performance difference.
Intel's 530 Series might be slower than its two closest competitors (840 EVO and M500), but it also carries the longest warranty. Both the M500 and the EVO ship with three years of coverage, while the 530 Series has a five-year warranty. The 530 Series also has a full accessory package, as does the 840 EVO, but Crucial's M500 is naked in the accessory department.
Personally, I wouldn't use an Intel 530 Series, but I write a lot of data to my computers from other drives, and need all of the performance I can get. With that said, I would get one for my mother, wife, or another regular computer user in my life. Then again, nah...I wouldn't. I'd get them a Samsung 840 EVO, with 10GB more user available space, and RAPID Mode, but only as long as I could install the drive for them. I couldn't imagine trying to explain over the phone how to setup the software, and without RAPID, the 840 EVO has write latency issues in the capacity sizes we're talking about today.
The Intel 530 Series is a good product for some users, actually a majority of computer users, just not the ones that read tech websites.
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