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 Post subject: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Can anyone explain the benefits of paying $149.99 for the Intel 520 over the $109.99 Intel 330?
Newegg Pricing:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productco ... -042-05%23

Or why the Intel 510 is selling for $249.60 on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-Vers ... B004OR0GRC
While they are selling the Intel 520 for $141.99 (and the Intel 330 for $119.66)
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-2-5- ... B006VCP7NQ
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Solid-State ... B007P71J9W

Which should you buy and why? Which should you not buy and why?

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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:58 am 
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Can anyone help me here?

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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:29 am 
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http://www.anandtech.com/show/5751/inte ... -sandforce

The Intel 330 and 520 series use a Sandforce controller, while the 510 uses a Marvell controller. The 330 and 520 will give higher peak performance and probably higher real-world performance. Their only weakness is incompressible data, but they'd still probably outperform the 510.

The 510 was one of Intel's first 6Gb/s-capable drives, so that's probably why it's so overpriced.

Between the 520 and the 330, the only difference is the NAND used. Both use top-quality Intel NAND, but the 520 uses NAND rated for at least 5k writes. The 330 uses NAND rated for at least 3k writes. Even 3k is more than most will ever use, but it's something to consider. the 520 comes with a 5-year warranty, and the 330 comes with a 3-year warranty.

Lastly, the 330 has slightly lower IOPS ratings due to the NAND configuration. Nothing drastic, but it's something to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:58 am 
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Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:06 pm 
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I'd buy the Samsung 830. It is even a bit faster in normal desktop usage and reliability seems to be at least as good as with Intel 520.


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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:08 pm 
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An Intel fanboi though I may be, I am inclined to agree with paapaa. A good benchmark to look at is Anandtech's 2011 Light and Heavy workload -- it's a very fair assessment of drive competency. The 240GB Intel 520 scores 218.1 on the heavy workload and 298.3 on the light workload. The 256GB Samsung 830 scores 231.1 and 300.9, respectively. The performance delta is more pronounced at smaller capacities.

If I had to pick one or the other, I would have to do it based on the price of the drives. Reliability is pretty much a tie between the two drive companies.


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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:30 am 
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It might be not fully rational, but safety is my top priority and I just feel safer with Intel.

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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:45 am 
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How has the situation changed now, in 2013?

I, too, feel safer with Intel. I've bought 120GB '520 for my Thinkpad and I'm happy with it, but I'm thinking of buying another one to install another operating system on it. Are there any newer, better options on the horizon? (from Intel, mostly, or from other contenders that can be called tried and true by now)

Will 180GB '330 perform better than 120GB '520?


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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:50 am 
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Regarding the current state of Intel SSD's, have a look at this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel#Soli ... _.28SSD.29

Samsung is another major player on the market. The used to only sell their CPU's to OEM's, but they have been very successful with the 470 and the 830. Currently, they sell the 840 and the 840 Pro, but the 830 can still be found. They have proven to be very reliable.

The Crucial m4 has also proven its worth and it has been on the market for a long time now. Good and cheap option. I have two myself and couldn't be happier.

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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:09 pm 
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kuzzia wrote:

Thanks so much for the link! So, it seems that 240GB '330 has been superceded by a faster '335. Meanwhile, '525 will not be a replacement for '520, but mSATA. Weird.

I'm wary of using Crucial because it seems they can have show-stopping bugs in their firmware and I won't bother updating firmware because that probably requires an operating system I don't use.

Can't find any Samsung's in online stores here.

The info at that link, however, implies that drives of differend capacity have the same performance characteristics, which is a simplified view. I remember from reading the benchmarks that the lowest capacity is usually the slowest, and highest capacity (or second highest, that is 240GB in case of '320 and '520) the fastest. That's why I asked whether 180GB '330 is faster than 120GB '520. Gotta find those benchmarks.

So, it looks like if stability and peace of mind while using non-default operating systems is an issue, I still can't go wrong if I will choose between variants of Intel '520 and '330.


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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Nickolai wrote:
I'm wary of using Crucial because it seems they can have show-stopping bugs in their firmware

huh?

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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:14 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Nickolai wrote:
I'm wary of using Crucial because it seems they can have show-stopping bugs in their firmware

huh?

I think Nickolai must have put in the wrong link. It was firmware version 0309 that fixed the "show-stopping" bug. They have actually had quite a few issues with the M4, of varying severity.

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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:23 pm 
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Crucial has had its share of firmware bugs. As the m4 was one of the first SATAIII drives on the market, it's had plenty of time to work out the kinks, and they seem reliable enough at this time. It's not that Intel or Samsung haven't had any bad firmware bugs, either (Intel's 8MB issue and a preproduction issue with the new Samsung 840 Pro).

^^I'm not trying to discourage anybody from any of the SSDs mentioned above, since they are all quite good.

Anyways, if you are looking for the best-performing consumer SSD on the market, the Samsung 840 Pro is it. Overall, it's about 20% faster than the last generation drives (e.g. Samsung 830, Intel 520, etc.). Its high performance does come at a price premium, but it is the best performing drive.

If you are feeling particularly brave, The OCZ Vector is a new drive from OCZ with similar performance to the 840 Pro. OCZ has had A LOT of turmoil in the past few years with reliability concerns and bad management (the company's founder and CEO was booted, and the company was investigated for "creative accounting"). The new drive does seem quite solid, however.

If you were looking for a slightly cheaper drive, the Samsung 840 (non-pro version), Samsung 830, Intel 520, and Intel 330/335 series are still viable. Regarding the Samsung 840, the difference between it and the Pro version is that the vanilla uses TLC memory. This means each NAND cell holds 3 bits of data (instead of the more common 2-bit MLC). This makes it cheaper to produce at the expense of some performance and durability. The performance is about the same as the 830, and Samsung has said that durability shouldn't be a problem for typical client workloads.

Honorable mention goes to an enterprise drive Intel just released, the DC S3700. The performance is a little lower than the Samsung 840 Pro, but they really targeted performance consistency. The drive can be tortured in any way possible (filling it up with random data, no TRIM, hammering at high queue depths for extended periods of time) and the drive just keeps on chugging along. It is an enterprise drive so it's very resilient and expensive, so probably not what any consumer is looking for, but it is just awesome :)

So, to sum up, if you're looking for the best of the best (client workloads):
Samsung 840 Pro. OCZ Vector if you are feeling brave.

Good bang for your buck:
Samsung 840 (vanilla version), Samsung 830 (slowly going out of stock), Intel 520/330/335 (520 is more durable, not sure if this will be needed on client workloads. 335 uses smaller NAND, should be a little cheaper than 330 at the theoretical loss of some durability)


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 Post subject: Re: Intel SSDs - 330 vs. 520 vs. 510
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:45 pm 
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When I bought the Crucial m4 a long time ago, Crucial had already updated the firmware. At the time, the firmware was quite new so it was a nice surprise for me.

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