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520 Series

Intel’s 520 series of SSDs includes capacities of 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB. The maximum sequential read speed for this drive is 550 MB/s while the maximum sequential write speed is 520 MB/s. The 520 is the first ever Intel SSD with a SandForce controller. This SATA III drive runs SF-2281 controller similar to Kingston’s Hyper X and Silicon Power’s Velox V30. However, Intel uses a proprietary firmware that has been through extensive testing.

Inside the 520 series are modules of Intel’s very own 25 nm synchronous NAND Flash memory. This drive also comes with a Intel’s AES-NI 256 encryption capabilities that are said to be the best security feature among all Intel SSDs. The 520 can reach a maximum IOPS of 50,000 for read and 80,000 for write. Its Mean Time Between Failure is at 1,200,000 hours and comes with a limited warranty of five years.

The reception of the 520 series has been positive overall, with several critics remarking that it is likely the best SandForce-based SSD on the market.


  • Sequential Read: Up to 550 MB/second
  • Sequential Write: Up to 520 MB/second
  • NAND type: MLC
  • Interface: SATA 3 6GBps
  • Controller: SandForce SF-2281
  • Form Factor: 2.5 inches
  • DRAM Cache: None
  • Power Consumption (Active): 0.85W
  • Power Consumption (Idle): 0.6W
  • TRIM support: Yes
  • SMART support: Yes
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • MTBF: 1,200,000 hours

Part Numbers:


Best Prices:

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[…] the 520 is now the ‘King of Performance’, has an industry high five year warranty, is available in an array of capacities and it’s pricing will be such that the consumer will latch on to them regardless and Intel is guaranteed a winner with this SSD.


For those seeking the best balance between price and performance we still believe the Crucial m4 series is the way to go. However, if it is maximum performance you seek then the SF-2281 based SSDs are hard to go by and the new Intel SSD 520 Series has to have the best support of any SandForce drive out there.


Any which way you cut it, the Intel 520 series drives deliver performance that allows it to fit right into the upper crust of the Sandforce-equipped comparison field.

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