Intel 520 Series SSD review: SandForce on steroids, kinda

CNET editor Dong Ngo reviews Intel's latest consumer-grade solid-state drive, the 520 Series.

It wouldn't be a huge stretch to call the new Intel 520 Series solid-state drive (SSD) SandForce on steroids.

The new Intel 520 Series SSD comes with all you need to install it in any computer, be it a ultrabook, a laptop, or a desktop.
The new Intel 520 Series SSD comes with all you need to install it in any computer, be it a ultrabook, a laptop, or a desktop. Dong Ngo/CNET

The new drive uses the popular SandForce SSD controller but now with a little tweak: Intel's special 400i firmware.

And that makes a big difference. The new drive offered great performance in my testing, faster than most all other SSDs I've seen that use the same controller.

However, that's not the most special thing about the drive. It's the first I've seen that comes in the new 7mm thickness, meaning that it will fit in one of those ultrabooks that Intel has been pimping flash-mob-style. .

The drive will also fit in any laptops that use the standard 2.5-inch drive with the traditional 9.5mm design, thanks to a frame piece that adds another 2.5mm to its thickness.

And if you are using a desktop, the drives comes with all necessary accessories to fit in a 3.5-inch drive bay, too.

The only thing left to worry about the new drive is the price, and unfortunately it's pretty hefty, at around $2 per gigabyte.

To find out if the drive is still worth investing in, check out the full review of Intel 520 Series SSD here.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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