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Old 02-06-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Default Meet Intel's Cherryville: 520 Series 240GB SSD Review

SandForce is back in town and it's here to stay. Intel's 520 Series is a full replacement for the 510 Series, but utilize the SF-2281 controller and custom Intel firmware to deliver one of the best SSDs we seen to date. If you already want an Intel SSD but donít know which to get, we can answer that. Oh, and did we mention the 5 year warranty?

Read through Robert's in-depth look at Intel's 520 Series SSD and then discuss it here!
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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A 4 pin molex to SATA... It was a nice thought by intel but if you dont have a SATA connector, you might need to spend the money on a machine first. At least a power supply.

I'll wait for someone to insert the comment about how many SATA connectors theyre using and why they needed more while I stare at the 16 I could plug into my PSU.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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It could prove useful depending on your cable routing, but it is an interesting inclusion nonetheless.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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I don't think the inclusion of an power adapter is all that strange. You don't see them very often but it does allow the very small amount of users who have open SATA ports on their motherboard and DON'T have an available SATA power connector. I'm sure that this group of users is more than likely small, the inclusion of this adapter allows them to upgrade without doing a complete system overhaul.

I don't think Intel included this without doing some form of research. Worst case scenario you have one laying around if you ever do need it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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I know but we are not talking about the 60 GB model here. This is a 500 dollar upgrade. They ought to include an entire power supply at that price.

Back to my point while running the drive off a 4 pin molex is no problem. It just seems unlikely someone would make a 500 dollar upgrade to a 500 dollar system, etc. So many scenarios to describe why this drive would need the adapter for all the wrong reasons. If you don't have one at all your system likely can't even take advantage of 1/4 the speed the drive has to offer.

The system worthy of this drive that lacks a power connector will be a server or some other overloaded system and yeah its nice that they put it in there. Its not as irresponsible and idiotic as what the graphics card manufacturers are doing. I am just poking fun at Intel.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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If there's one thing you can count on, it's that an SSD user is going to have 1 or likely multiple SATA drives in their system. I don't think it's unreasonable to include the connector just in case if someone is adding an SSD to give new life to older system that has 3-4 drives already in it.

I've personally had a few PSU's where using an adapter would've been much easier than re-routing another rail of cables as well, often because the AUX connector I'm using elsewhere was stuck on the end of a string of SATA cables. I'd be unable to use 2-3 SATA connectors just because I needed an AUX connector for the fan controller or sound card.

I generally don't like molex-to-SATA adapter connectors because they lack the required 3.3v power cable SATA cables require, and so some drives that use the 3.3v to power the controller board fail to work correctly. Intel states the 520 Series utilize the 5v rail only, but it's something to keep aware of.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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Regarding the add-in connector, I look at it this way. Some people might want to add this thing to an HTPC, or a PC in general that already has a lot of hard drives hooked up. With this adapter, it could allow some people the ability of mounting the drive in a non-conventional spot, such as behind the motherboard tray, without having to add in another SATA power cable (which usually contain 3 different connectors, adding a lot of needless mess).

Hey, at least it's an option. To me this is better than GPU vendors including VGA adapters with their graphics cards.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Hey, at least it's an option. To me this is better than GPU vendors including VGA adapters with their graphics cards.
VGA adapters are fine, walmart doesnt fckn sell DVI cables here and when I picked up this 24 inch led backlit Samsung for even cheaper than internet retailers I was kinda screwed for the night. Not that I didn't have 39 or 40 vga adapters before i bought this card.

The GPU manufacturers are being idiotic and depending on the card down right irresponsible including 4 pin molex to 6 pin PCI-E power connectors. Let people be idiots and buy the adapters for a dollar, maybe the time it takes for them to acquire it someone will clue them in on the larger problem they might face. I just dont think its right to sell someone an overclocked GTX 570 and throw 2 adapters in the box without even a slight attempt to educate them. Any one can assemble a computer, at least half your customers do not have the level of understand they should. I know its a value added item for those that will use it properly.

4 pin to 8 would almost be considered acceptable because of the situation it might put someone in if their otherwise capable PSU doesnt have the 2 extra grounds.... not sure if I could argue 6 Pin to 8 Pin would be better/worse an idea. Considering my 8 pins 2 extra pins share connectors on the PSU side id have to hope that pin can carry the current. I am no electrical engineer but I still dont understand why the extra 2 pins are both grounds, the overall current capacity is still limited.

I just see too many people ready to do something stupid until they post a picture of the machine and we all read how many amps are on the 12 volt rail of this PSU that doesn't have a single 6 pin on it.

Considering the SSD doesn't draw even an amp I wasn't concerned about the SSD.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
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I love how we have spent the past couple of days speaking to the questionable merits of the included adapter, a < $1 bit of kit, and not once discussed the actual drive itself.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I love how we have spent the past couple of days speaking to the questionable merits of the included adapter, a < $1 bit of kit, and not once discussed the actual drive itself.
Well half of you have an SSD, not going to buy the 60 GB and the rest of us dont have 500 bucks .

Besides I can derail even an Austrailian road train and the only one of us with a 520 series wrote a review on it. Its an SSD, Its blazing fast, comes with everything you need. For the right price it comes in any size you need. It might fail on you. Enuf said j/k.

As far as THG's assessment of it being oh so bad on power consumption.... Yeah sure my power bill just went soooooo high. Only complaint might be on laptops but its around the same as a mechanical. The time saved due to speed probably would make up for its consumption when doing tasks on the go.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:18 PM   #11
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Back on track, I have one word: I want this SSD.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:52 AM   #12
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I have a friend in UK who will be returning in late March. I am seriously considering to ask him to bring me one of these babies! The 120GB will suffice me thinks, its also in my affordable range!
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:29 PM   #13
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I'll let you guys in on a secret I didn't explicitly mention in the review... Intel mentioned during their conference call (while discussing NAND grading) that they save the highest grade NAND flash for their own products.

So there very likely is better quality 25nm IMFT compute NAND in the 520's than in competing SF-2281 drives, given many also utilize the same chips. The only question is how much better this higher grade NAND is, and if the drives explicitly utilize only the highest grade stuff. But it's another thing to keep in mind about these drives, the NAND is indeed supposed to be better quality on the 520's.
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