Intel recently announced the series 730 SSD, and here we review it. The arrival of the new 730 series for consumers and is interesting as it is a product that uses the server slash data-center SSD DNA from Intel's current gen enterprise class products, and that my fellow gurus means reliability, durability and very fast performance. Let's check out the product in a nice lengthy review.
So, this is the arrival of new 20nm MLC based 730 series for consumers, it is aimed at high-end and enthusiast class consumers. The product tested today is in fact Intel's new flagship SSD. The new 730 SSDs debut in storage capacities of 240 and a whopping 480 GB, perhaps we'll see a 960 GB version in the future as well. The series 730 will be based on a 3rd generation Intel controller. The biggest change is to be found in the transition of using newer NAND flash memory which is now 20nm based on MLC, performance tweaks and endurance improvements.
Now, we've been testing NAND Flash based storage ever since the very beginning. And I've stated it a couple of times already, it really is surprising to see where we have gotten. The SSD market is fierce and crowded though. While stability and safety of your data have become a number one priority for the manufacturers, the technology keeps advancing at a fast pace as it does, the performance numbers a good SSD offers these days are simply breathtaking. 450 to 550 MB/sec on SATA3 is the norm for a single controller based SSD. Next to that, over the past year NAND flash memory (the storage memory used inside an SSD) has become much cheaper as well. Prices now roughly settle well under 1 USD per GB. That was two to threefold two years ago. As such SSD technology and NAND storage has gone mainstream. The market is huge, fierce and competitive, but it brought us to where we are today... nice volume SSDs at acceptable prices with very fast performance. Not one test system in my lab has an HDD, everything runs on SSD while I receive and retrieve my bigger chunks of data from a NAS server here in the office. The benefits are performance, speed, low power consumption and no noise. You can say that I evangelize SSDs, yes Sir... I am a fan, an SSD addict if you will.
Some features that Intel markets with this product series are:
Optimized Performance. We specially qualified components and pushed factory performance tuning limits by boosting the controller speed by 50 percent and NAND bus speed 20 percent. The result, 50µs read latencies, consistently high transfer rates of up to 550 MB/s sequential reads, and up to 89,000 IOPS random reads.
Data Center DNA. Gain extreme endurance—up to 70 GB of writes per day compared to the industry typical 20 GB per day—and enjoy peace-of-mind dependability throughout the life of the drive with advanced firmware algorithms, delivering performance consistency across all data types.2
RAID Performance Scaling. Achieve extreme storage performance for the most demanding usage models with RAID 0 configurations combining two or more Intel SSD 730 Series drives with an Intel platform supporting Intel Rapid Storage Technology for throughput exceeding 1,000 MB/s.
Quality and Reliability. 3rd generation Intel controller, optimized Intel firmware, and 20nm NAND technology provide dependable up-time for intensive storage workloads—backed by a limited five-year warranty.
For today's review we'll put the successor of the Intel 530 series under the microscope. Intel’s new 730 ships in capacities up to 480GB depending on the form factor. Armed with a 5 year warranty Intel provides reliability and endurance. Two models are released:
Intel SSD 730 Series
20 nm IMFT , 64 Gb Die
Sequential Read / Write
550 / 270 MB/s
550 / 470 MB/s
Random 4 KB Read / Write
86,000 / 56,000 IOPS
89,000 / 74,000 IOPS
50 GB writes/day
70 GB writes/day
7 mm, 2.5" SATA
Very decent specs. The drives also feature power modes to reduce power consumption and are quoted with low active (typical) rates at just 1.3W for the 2.5" form factor. Tagged as the SSD 730 Series these SSDs leverage the very same platform as Intel's DC S3700 and S3500 SSDs. But nuff said... let's start up the review shall we?
Intel 730 SSD with 480 GB 20nm NAND and the 3rd Gen Intel controller
Intel 730 SSD review Intel recently announced the the series 730 SSD, and we review it. This is the arrival of the new 730 series for consumers is interesting as it is a product that uses the server SSD DNA from Intel, a...