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REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE
A Windows 7 image loaded with our test suite was cloned to a 50GB partition
at the beginning of each drive after a complete format. Our entire
test suite was run start to finish three times with a defragmentation (SSDs and hybrid drives excluded) and reboot
Average times were collected for comparison.
The Intel 520 exhibited subpar performance in our loading tests. Though it had one of the fastest boot-up times, it lagged behind most of the other SSDs in our game tests.
In our application tests the Intel 520 delivered middling time results thanks to a slight slowdown in our TrueCrypt test, suggesting the drive's write performance isn't quite up to snuff.
The Intel 520 put on a better show in our file copy tests, being a bit slow with large files but incredibly quick with small ones.
Lackluster results were attained in our installation tests. The 520 took about four seconds longer to install PowerDVD than most of the tougher competition.
To accurately represent the overall results of our real world performance tests, we gave each model a proportional score in each benchmark series (loading, application, file copy, and installation) with each benchmark set equally weighted. The scale has been adjusted so that among the drives compared, a perfectly average model scores 100 points.
The Intel 520 120GB scored 108.1 points on our scale, eking out a win over the ADATA SX910 128GB. Compared to other SandForce SSDs, it isn't particularly impressive performance-wise, but the the difference is quite small and difficult to notice in real life situations.
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