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Intel SSD 520 Series 240 GB Solid State Drive Review

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Main Features

Intel has chosen to use a brushed aluminum enclosure for the 520 Series which will provide a decent level of protection to the internals of the unit. Our sample of this drive is 9.5 mm tall, featuring a plastic spacer on the top, but there is also a 7 mm variant available if required.

Intel SSD 520 Series 240 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 3: Intel 520 Series SSD

The top side of the PCB features eight of the 16 total Intel 29F16B08CCME2 memory chips. The physical capacity of the drive is 256 GB. However, only 240 GB is usable, as 16 GB is reserved for over-provisioning which improves the longevity of the drive.

Intel SSD 520 Series 240 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 4: Intel 520 Series SSD PCB (top)

On the other side of the PCB, we find the eight further memory chips alongside the Sandforce SF-2281 controller. This is the same controller used in the Kingston HyperX and OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS drives which we are using for comparison. Intel claims that the drive is capable of sequential read speeds of 550 MB/s and sequential write speeds of 520 MB/s.

Intel SSD 520 Series 240 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 5: Intel 520 Series SSD PCB (bottom)