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Intel 530 180GB Two-Drive SSD RAID Report

By: Jon Coulter | RAID in Storage | Posted: May 2, 2014 2:00 pm

Specifications, Pricing and Availability




Intel's 530 Series 2.5-inch SATA III SSD is available in six capacity sizes: 80GB, 120GB, 180GB, 240GB, 360GB, and 480GB. The 180GB and 240GB variants will provide performance that is superior to the other capacity points in the series. Specifications list the 2.5-inch 530 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 41,000 IOPS, and 4 KB random write performance is listed at up to 80,000 IOPS. These performance figures are for compressible data.


We do not perform power testing for our RAID Reports, so we are not going to validate Intel's listed power usage. Intel lists power consumption at a very miserly 195 mW during workload, 125mW at idle, and 5mW in DevSleep.


When you purchase a retail packaged Intel SSD, you not only get a fine product, but you also 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 530 ships with an accessory kit that includes SATA power and data cables, a sticker, a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter, software disk, and a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch adapter. Intel warranties their 530 Series SSD for an industry leading five-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 530's feature set, I will refer you to Chris Ramseyer's extensive review of Intel's 530 Series SSD.



Drive Details - Intel 530 Series 180GB 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 chrome Intel logo stamped on the face and an attractive swoosh shaped sticker along the upper right corner. There are four screws that affix the top of the drive's enclosure to the bottom and sides of the enclosure. Three of the screws are visible, and the fourth screw is located under the drive's swoosh shaped sticker, providing evidence of tampering.




The bottom and sides of the drive's 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 six Intel branded 20nm TSOP NAND Packages and an LSI SandForce 2281 controller. The LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller with this product has an Intel part number of BF29AS41BB0. A thermal pad makes contact with the drive's controller to wick heat into the cast aluminum portion of the enclosure.




On the opposite side of the PCB, there are an additional six Intel branded 20nm TSOP NAND Packages.



Test System Setup


- Desktop Test System




- 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 530 Series SSD 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 530 Series SSD (180GB) retails for $145.85 at Amazon.


Canada: The Intel 530 Series SSD (180GB) retails for CDN$226.61 at Amazon Canada.


Australia: The Intel 530 Series SSD (120GB) retails for $141.99 AUD at Mighty Ape Australia.


New Zealand: The Intel 530 Series SSD (120GB) retails for $149.99 NZD at Mighty Ape NZ.

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