Typically when most individuals think of Intel, their thoughts drift to that of Intel’s superiority in the CPU market, even though their product diversity is far more vast then some can imagine. Intel’s products range from CPU’s to chipsets, integrated graphics processing units, server components, and solid-state drives. Today, Technology X has the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the new Intel SSD 730 Series (480GB), as both an individual drive and as part of a RAID 0 setup with another Intel 730 Series SSD.
Intel’s SSD 730 Series belongs to the Intel SSD Consumer Family target market, meaning that Intel is gearing these SSD’s towards PC enthusiasts, meanwhile ensuring that these drives have excellent performance at an affordable price. The Intel SSD 730 Series also features Intel’s Data Center DNA, which adds the phenomenal endurance of 70GB writes per day for five years. The SSD 730 Series has a preliminary release date set to be March 18th, 2014, and will be available in 240 and 480GB capacities at prices of $249 and $489, which is quite exceptional considering the listed performance and feature set. Never mind the fact that the exterior of the Intel SSD 730 Series has one of the most interesting designs for the 2.5″ form factor, as it sports what it appears to be an alien skull on the front of the drive.
Check out another Intel SSD 730 Series RAID Report at The SSD Review.
INTEL SSD 730 SERIES SPECIFICATIONS
The expected SSD 730 owner might be a PC enthusiast, hardcore gamer or a digital media professional, all of whom expect their SATA 3 solid-state drive to perform at it’s maximal level, slow data transfer hindering their work. The performance for the 240GB Intel SSD 730 Series is listed at 550 MB/s read and 270 MB/s write. The 480GB capacity, however, has the same read speeds, but writes speeds of up to 470 MB/s. Furthermore, to again appeal to the PC enthusiast, the Intel SSD 730 Series scales very well at over 1GB/s throughput in a two drive RAID set up.
INTEL SSD 730 SERIES COMPONENTS
The Intel SSD 730 Series features the Intel third generation 6 Gbps eight channel controller, with the product number PC29AS21CA0.
This controller is accompanied by two modules of Micron’s DRAM cache memory. Additionally, this controller is architected by Intel with Intel firmware. The 3rd generation Intel controller is manufactured exclusively for Intel. Intel contracts LSI for the manufacturing of this controller.
On each side of the PCB, one can see that there are eight 20nm MLC memory modules. What is a little more uncommon to see under the hood of an SSD is this memory configuration, as one can typically expect to find sixteen identical NAND memory modules. In the case of the Intel SSD 730 Series, we find that there are fourteen 32GB modules (29F32BO8MCMF2), one 64GB module (29F64B08NCMF2) and one 16Gb module (29F16B08LCMF2). Upon adding each module, we can calculate the total RAW capacity of the Intel SSD 730 Series to be 528 GB.
On the side of the PCB, you will also find two capacitors that will serve to provide UPS protection should there be a power failure.