Intel 520 240GB SSD RAID 0 Performance Review

Author: Anthony "AkG" Garland
Date: February 20, 2012
Product Name: 520 240GB
Part Number: SSDSC2CW240A3K5
Warranty: 5 Years
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In many ways Intel's new 520 240GB is one of the best SSDs currently on the market. With its unique mixture of large capacities, reasonable price – for a flagship SSD – and that amazing firmware which allows for near instant cleaning via the Toolbox, it’s almost impossible to find something to complain about. But like the benchmark junkies we are, with all of this performance on tap we were craving even more speed so the natural progression of things led us to a RAID setup. Intel was more than happy to feed our little fetish so what we’ve got for you today is a pair of 520 240GB drives

While the Intel RST driver team is hard at work fulfilling a promise to the enthusiast community to release a driver that allows for TRIM to be implemented regardless of how many drives are installed, the reality is that RAID still leads to a non-TRIM environment. More importantly it is a non-TRIM environment issue which cannot be alleviated via the Intel Toolbox. This means Intel’s 520 has to rely solely on the Idle Time / Background Garbage collection routines built into its custom firmware.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that two of these drives will bring some incredible benchmark numbers but there is one significant tradeoff. A single 520 series drive is currently the last word in SSD performance but at a shade over $1000, a RAID solution certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. And yet if you are willing to pay the price, the investment could bring your computing experience to a whole new level.


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