Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Intel 520 Series SSD to Utilize SandForce Controller

By - Source: The SSD Review | B 32 comments

Today, we learned more information on the upcoming release of the Intel 520 Series SSD from information released by The SSD Review.

In September, we caught our first glimpse of the upcoming Intel 520 Series SSD, which is slated to replace the current Intel 510 Series SSD based on a Marvell controller. The initial report showed the the 520 series will utilize 25 nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory made by Intel and features support for TRIM, SMART, NCQ, and ACS-2 compliance. The capacities will range from 60 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB, 240 GB, to 480 GB and be based onĀ  2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s form-factor. The drive looked to be set to compete with current SandForce SF-22xx SSDs at each capacity level and price-point.

With the information being reported by The SSD Review, it looks like our initial report was right on the money based on the screenshots provided by Gathering of Tweakers. What this writer didn't expect is that these drives will utilize a SandForce SF-22xx controller. With the use of the SandForce controller, the performance numbers are better than originally reported back in September. If the visual materials are to be believed, it should have performance numbers of 550 MB/s read, 530 MB/s write sequential performance versus 530 MB/s read, 490 MB/s write sequential performance originally reported. The 4 KB random write performance is 40,000 IOPS (max 85,000 IOPS) reads and 70,000 IOPS writes random performance. We also see a nice jump in writes from 45,000 IOPS to 70,000 IOPS.

Image from Gathering of TweakersImage from Gathering of TweakersImage from Gathering of TweakersImage from Gathering of Tweakers

BouweenPC has provided a product brief that goes through the standard "marketing" breakdown of the overview of the drive and the benefits. The brief gives a breakdown on the specifications of the Intel 520 Series SSDs.

Image by BouweenPCImage by BouweenPCImage by BouweenPCImage by BouweenPC

The new Intel 520 Series SSD will be backed by Intel's 5-year warranty, upholding to Intel's long-standing reputation on reliability. This does question if Intel has modified the SandForce SF-22xx controller's firmware with its own "tweak" to help with its widely known random BSOD issues. The original release of the Intel 520 Series SSD was slated for November, now come and gone. This leaves us to believe the drive is set to be released any time--but based on the information provided by Softpedia, it looks more like a Q1 2012 release date.

Next up for Intel in 2012, is codename "King Crest", a successor of SSD 520 "Cherryville" series. The drive is set to utilize a SATA 6.0 Gb/s interface and 25 nm HET-MLC NAND flash instead of regular 25 nm NAND flash found on SSD 520 series.

Discuss
Display all 32 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 8 Hide
    lordvj , December 6, 2011 2:28 PM
    PRICING?
  • 9 Hide
    wolfram23 , December 6, 2011 2:38 PM
    So basically all SSDs are going to be nearly identical, with a small variation in flash type used?
  • 5 Hide
    Zenthar , December 6, 2011 2:45 PM
    Given the number of issues reported with many vendors using SF (the more widely known being OCZ), is that a good move on Intel's part which has a good track record (except the 8MB bug perhaps)?
  • 2 Hide
    perfectblue , December 6, 2011 2:47 PM
    But sadly intel is not the only one offering reliable SSDs nowadays. With the likes of crucial, samsung, etc it is a tough market for intel.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , December 6, 2011 2:47 PM
    I hope the 520 comes with a decent SandForce controller free of any major issues. That would be a major accomplishment.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 6, 2011 2:49 PM
    makes me question intel on this part, as sandforce is cheap high performance, but not known for quality at least as far as i read.
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 6, 2011 2:50 PM
    Ummm... but this is awesome! I'm about to buy an SSD right now, getting it shipped from Taiwan. Price?! If that thing has a sensible price tag on it, I'm canceling my order!
  • 0 Hide
    willard , December 6, 2011 2:56 PM
    wolfram23So basically all SSDs are going to be nearly identical, with a small variation in flash type used?

    OCZ has its own controller it's getting ready to launch. We'll have to wait and see if it can compete with Sandforce.

    That said, if everyone is using essentially the same controller and delivering essentially the same speed, then they'll be forced to differentiate their products elsewhere. If I were a betting man, I'd say elsewhere is probably going to be price.

    New technology is always expensive (anybody else remember DVD burners going for $4k?), but standardizing parts of the process will usually drive costs down as manufacturing becomes more streamlined.
  • 2 Hide
    OntarioHero , December 6, 2011 3:14 PM
    willardOCZ has its own controller it's getting ready to launch. We'll have to wait and see if it can compete with Sandforce.


    You mean Octane with OCZ's own Indilynx controller. It's already released and the reviews are generally positive.

    Anyway I'm kinda disappointed with this news. I don't know why intel decided to give up on their own controller, in 510 and now 520. I wonder if the recent firmware problems with 320 series had anything to do with it.
  • 1 Hide
    megasamsung , December 6, 2011 3:28 PM
    Tomorrow RIM launches it's first Android phone
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , December 6, 2011 3:41 PM
    Looks like a good thing that i've put off buying an SSD for Q3 2012...only choice i had was Intel (due to warranty+reliability reasons), so it's kind of good that they're putting out fast SSDs...though i too wonder about the reliability of the SandForce thing, like others here have said as well.
  • 0 Hide
    nikorr , December 6, 2011 3:58 PM
    It looks good on the paper.
  • -1 Hide
    ahnilated , December 6, 2011 4:54 PM
    And the quality of Intel SSD's is going to go right out the window with the sandforce controller.
  • 0 Hide
    Filiprino , December 6, 2011 5:17 PM
    Crucial is another company that doesn't use SandForce, so not all will be using SandForce.
  • 1 Hide
    OntarioHero , December 6, 2011 5:18 PM
    What the hell - the only source for intel using SandForce is ramblings of thessdreview.com articles? Their first article on the subject speculated on intel+SandForce partnership on very flimsy evidences and downright false information (320's inhouse controller does encryption just fine!). Their second article is citing the fact that there are sandforce based SSDs out there that can do 120, 240 and 480GB, which happened to line up with intel's upcoming offerings. Their 3rd article is just reiterating the same thing, but somehow with more conviction.

    It could very well be that intel will use Sandforce or some other non-inhouse controller for 520, but I think it's too early for that headline.
  • -2 Hide
    yapchagi , December 6, 2011 5:19 PM
    what? r they stupid or something? no one is gonna buy sandforce.
  • 2 Hide
    resetrsx , December 6, 2011 6:08 PM
    yapchagiwhat? r they stupid or something? no one is gonna buy sandforce.


    Why? I personally like Sandforce. When it breaks, you get to throw it into the sand with a lot of force.
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , December 6, 2011 6:08 PM
    Sandforce is reliable nowadays and Intel needs a controller that can actually compete with Sandforce in terms of performance, Intel's 510 falls on it's face with performance. So, Intel has to use Sandforce until they can come up with a better controller themselves.
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , December 6, 2011 8:19 PM
    danwat1234Sandforce is reliable nowadays and Intel needs a controller that can actually compete with Sandforce in terms of performance, Intel's 510 falls on it's face with performance. So, Intel has to use Sandforce until they can come up with a better controller themselves.


    Atleast the Intel SSD's actually work without being erratic
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , December 6, 2011 8:22 PM
    willardOCZ has its own controller it's getting ready to launch. We'll have to wait and see if it can compete with Sandforce.That said, if everyone is using essentially the same controller and delivering essentially the same speed, then they'll be forced to differentiate their products elsewhere. If I were a betting man, I'd say elsewhere is probably going to be price.New technology is always expensive (anybody else remember DVD burners going for $4k?), but standardizing parts of the process will usually drive costs down as manufacturing becomes more streamlined.


    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5147/the-ocz-octane-review-512gb
Display more comments