Intel's 730 Series 2.5" SATA III SSD is available in two capacity sizes, 240GB and 480GB. Specifications list the 2.5" 730 Series SSD's 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 89,000 IOPS and 4KB random write performance is listed at up to 74,000 IOPS.
When you purchase a retail packaged Intel SSD, you not only get a fine product, you get value added features like an accessory kit, Intel's SSD Toolbox as well as 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" 730 ships with an accessory kit that includes SATA power and data cables, a sticker and a software disk. Intel warranties the 730 Series SSD for an industry leading 5 years.
Because this is a RAID review, we are going to focus on performance rather than features. For a more in-depth look at the Intel 730's feature set, I will refer you to Chris Ramseyer's extensive review of Intel's 730 Series SSD.
Drive Details - Intel 730 480GB SSD
Our drives arrived in plain brown cardboard-boxed OEM packaging. On the top of the box is a manufacturer's sticker that lets us know that our drives are designated 730 series and are 480GB in capacity. The drives date of manufacture is listed along with various product codes, serial number, batch number, etc.
Inside the box, the drive is enclosed in an anti-static envelope that we removed for our photograph. A protective foam insert keeps the drive from sliding around inside the box. Also included is a silver and blue sticker that says "Speed Demon"
The top of the drives enclosure is formed from a piece of sheet aluminum, natural in color. There is a cool looking white swoosh shaped sticker with a skull emblazoned on it. There are four screws that affix the top of the drives enclosure to bottom and sides of the enclosure. Three of the screws are visible, the fourth is located under the drives swoosh shaped sticker providing evidence of tampering.
The bottom and sides of the drives enclosure are formed from a single piece of cast aluminum. There is a manufacturer's sticker located on the bottom of the drives enclosure. The sticker lists the drives capacity, shipping firmware, model number, serial number and various other relevant information.
Here's what the drive looks like completely dis-assembled. On this side of the PCB there are (8) Intel branded 20nm BGA NAND packages, 2 DRAM packages, 2 capacitors and an Intel Flash Processor. Both halves of the drives enclosure have what appears to be some sort of Mylar based material affixed to the inside.
On the opposite side of the PCB are an additional (8) Intel branded 20nm BGA NAND Packages.
Test System Setup
- Drive Properties
The majority of our testing is performed with our test drive/array as our boot volume. Our boot volume is 75% full for all OS Disk "C" drive testing to mimic a typical consumer OS volume implementation. We are using 64k stripes for our 2-3 drive arrays, 32k stripes for our 4-6 drive arrays. Write caching is enabled, and Windows buffer flushing is disabled.
All of our testing includes charting the performance of a single drive as well as RAID 0 arrays of our test subjects. We are utilizing Windows 8.1 64-bit for all of our testing. We will be posting screen shots of our 6 drive arrays benchmarks.
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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