There are a vast number of SATA-600 solid state drives on the market at the moment, so there have never been more choices for the people who want to give their system a performance boost. Today we are going to look at the latest SSD from Intel, the 520 Series 240 GB, which is designed with performance users in mind.

Presently, 120 GB SSDs offer the best compromise between price and performance for desktop users, as there is almost always the option of installing a capacious mechanical drive alongside the SSD for storage of media files in a desktop. But those with a looser budget may be tempted by the extra capacity of a 240 GB system drive. In a laptop, however, there is usually room for only one storage drive so a 240 GB capacity unit is preferable.

Intel SSD 520 Series 240 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 1: Intel 520 Series SSD

Our sample of the 520 Series included a “desktop bundle” which includes a number of complementary accessories that facilitate installation. These include a 2.5” to 3.5” drive adapter, a SATA cable, an adaptor to convert a standard peripheral power connector to a SATA power connector, a software CD and all the screws required for installation. We expect that the drive will also be made available as a standalone unit.

Intel SSD 520 Series 240 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 2: Intel 520 Series SSD Desktop Bundle

In the table below, we are comparing the Intel 520 Series SSD with the three comparison drives we will be using: the Intel 510 Series 250 GB, OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS 240 GB and Kingston HyperX 240 GB.

Manufacturer Model Model # Capacity Price
Intel 520 Series


240 GB USD 509
Intel 510 Series


250 GB USD 566
OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS VTX3MI-25SAT3-240G 240 GB USD 480
Kingston HyperX SH100S3B/240G 240 GB USD 440

Prices were researched at on the day we published this review, with the following observations:

  • Newegg offers a USD 30 rebate on the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS, which brings the price down to USD 450.
  • Newegg also offers a USD 60 mail-in rebate on the Kingston HyperX 240 GB, which brings the price down to USD 380.
  • The Intel 520 Series isn’t yet available for sale online, and Intel has only made volume pricing information available to us. We expect the retail price of the unit to exceed the listed price

In the table below, we provide a more in-depth technical overview of the reviewed units. For some reason, most chip manufacturers don’t put specific information about these chips on their websites, so we are linking only what we found.





Intel 520 Series

Sandforce SF-2281


Intel 29F16B08CCME2 (16 x 16 GB)

Intel 510 Series

Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2

Hynix H5TQ1G63BFR (128 MB)

Intel 29F16B08JAMDD (16 x 16 GB)

OCZ Vertex 3 (MI)

Sandforce SF-2281


Toshiba TH58TAG7D2FBAS9 (16 x 16 GB)

Kingston HyperX

Sandforce SF-2281


Intel 29F64G08ACME2 (16 x 16 GB)

Henry has been taking apart computers since the age of 10, which eventually lead to a career in technology journalism. He's written for numerous leading UK technology websites as well as writing advisory articles for Best Buy.