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

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

Specifications, Pricing and Availability




Offered in only two capacity sizes, 240GB and 480GB, the 730 Series is unlike any of Intel's previous consumer SSD products. The drive will use 12 volts of power if available, but is also capable of running on 5 volts as well, like in a notebook. The 480GB model has an endurance rating of 70GB per day, while the 240GB model has a 50GB per day rating. Host power loss protection capacitors are also in the drive, just like the DC S3500, an enterprise feature that we rarely see in a consumer SSD.


The 730 Series uses Intel's third-generation SSD controller with eight channels. The controller clock is 600MHz, a significant increase over the enterprise DC S3500. Intel paired the controller with Intel 20nm NAND flash running at 100MHz. The combination gives a claimed sequential read speed of 550 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 470 MB/s. 4K random reads are 89,000 IOPS with 4K writes at 74,000 IOPS for the 480GB model we're testing today. The 240GB model has slightly lower IOPS performance, but the sequential write speed drops to just 270 MB/s.


In the value-add category, Intel's SSD Toolbox and Data Migration software works with the 730 Series. This is also the first SSD advertised to run in RAID 0 on Intel chipsets. Intel is pushing RAID for power users, enthusiasts and prosumers. If you frequently work with 4K video, then RAID is one of the few options available to view video without frame loss.


We've shown in the past that RAID also reduces game load times and works amazingly well when dealing with sequential data. Our two 480GB drives are already on the way to Jon - look for a full RAID Report soon at TweakTown.


When released to the public on March 17 2014, the 730 Series should come just under $1 per GB. Amazon briefly had a preorder page online. Newegg didn't follow tradition and post a product page before the NDA lifts.

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