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The SSD 730 Series Review: Intel Is Back With Its Own Controller

Results: 128 KB Sequential Performance

Fantastic sequential read and write performance is a trademark of modern SSDs. To measure it, we use incompressible data over a 16 GB LBA space, and then test at queue depths from one to 16. We're reporting these numbers in binary (where 1 KB equals 1024) instead of decimal numbers (where 1 KB is 1000 bytes). When necessary, we're also limiting the scale of the chart to enhance readability.

128 KB Sequential Read

So long as we're limited by interface performance, there's not going to much interesting to see in an analysis of 128 KB sequential reads. It's fairly easy for each of these SSDs to serve up big numbers. The SSD 730 Series 480 GB edges out Intel's more enterprise-oriented drives, peaking in excess of 525 MB/s. And these are binary numbers, not decimal. If we switched up the units, we'd be reporting results closer to 560 MB/s.

128 KB Sequential Write

The SSD 730 Series beats the architecturally-similar SSD DC S3500 by a small margin, achieving almost 480 MB/s.

Granted, that's at higher queue depths. In the strictest sense, sequential accesses at high queue depths aren't really sequential. The operating system and drive see multiple threads performing sequential activity as random; consecutive requests are to logical block addresses more than one LBA away. 

Here's a break-down of the maximum observed 128 KB sequential read and write performance with Iometer:

Intel eschews the fancy emulated SLC schemes employed by Samsung, SanDisk, and OCZ in favor of brute strength (lots of dies, a powerful controller, and fast flash). As you can see, Intel drives armed with the company's own controller fare better than a lot of the competition, particularly when it comes to writes. The SSD 730 Series goes up against the fastest client-oriented drives out there, while its more enterprise-class SSD DC S3x00 models fall to mid-pack.