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Intel 730 Series 480GB SSD Review - the Skulltrail of SSDs?

Intel 730 Series 480GB SSD Review - the Skulltrail of SSDs?
With LSI running late on SF3700, Intel had to reach into the enterprise bin to bring a new performance SSD to market. Let's check out the 730 Series. (NASDAQ:INTC)

By: | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 5:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Intel

Introduction

 

intel_730_series_480gb_ssd_review_the_skulltrail_of_ssds_01

 

Intel has a history of bringing datacenter products to market as high-end prosumer products. The first time this occurred to my knowledge was Skulltrail, a special dual socket LGA771 motherboard paired with two QX9775 processors for the ultimate, at the time, performance experience. The Intel Extreme Edition Skull was born.

 

It's not a secret that LSI's SF3700 controller is late or will be late to market, depending on who you talk to. Companies in the LSI camp are loyal for the most part. This is because either they really love the SandForce technology, lack the experience to write custom SSD firmware or they put all of their eggs in one basket. Intel is rarely in a single basket position, but when it became clear that SandForce wouldn't have a PCIe based offering ready for CeBIT, the company only had a few options ready to come off the burner.

 

The Intel 730 Series is the same drive Intel displayed at a gaming event a few months back with an overclocking option. Everyone was buzzing about the world's first overclocking SSD and just days ago another news report hit the web about overclocking the 730 Series. Too bad it was wrong - and for good reason. If every drive could hit the 600MHz controller speed and 100MHz NAND speed, who would run the drive at a lower speed? Thus, the 730 Series does not get the knobs and switches, but instead every drive ships with a 600MHz controller and 100MHz NAND flash - no knobs, no switches, and no fuss.

 

What we get instead is a performance SSD based on Intel's DC S3500 datacenter SSD with higher clock speeds, lower price and a really cool graphic that pays tribute to Intel's Extreme heritage. Although Intel calls this Tisdale, I call it the "Skulltrail of SSDs". Let's take a close look now.

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