Intel 520 SSD Review (Round Two) – RAID Testing at 1.5GB/s With Highpoint 2720SGL RAID Controller


Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of raw (0/1 Fill/compressible) or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Many new SandForce Driven SSD owners who can’t wait to test the performance of their SSD often grab this program and run a quick test, not realizing that they are testing with incompressible data rather than compressible data used in testing by manufacturers.  We have provided compressible (oFill) results for CDM, choosing to leave random results for AS SSD below.

For three drives in RAID 0, speeds in excess of 1200MB/s on CDM with low 4k writes of 118MB/s are pretty incredible.


We continue our testing with AS SSD, the benchmark that typically makes SandForce-based SSDs cringe. Many users will get considerably discouraged when first using this benchmark to test SandForce drives, as it uses incompressible data which is a considerable weakness of SandForce SSDs. In contrast, SSDs utilizing the SandForce processor work very well with compressible data, better than all of the competition in fact.

Due to the incompressibility of the data and the stripe size used, the sequential results with three Intel 520s in RAID 0 are a bit lower than the anticipated scaling that we usually see with SSDs. The random read and write speeds are especially encouraging, however, with 34.91 MB/s read and 104.51 MB/s write speed.

The scaling of the higher QD random read results, 4k-64Thrd, is simply superb. The result of 740 MD/s represents an almost better-than-perfect scaling of single drive results. These impressive numbers are overshadowed by a ridiculously good read access time of .037 which is partially the result of placing these drives directly on the PCIe bus utilizing a soft-type RAID that the HighPoint controller provides.

Since the two most important metrics to user-perceivable performance improvements is 4k and the access time, this is a huge score.  Superb results, especially considering the fact that this is with a benchmark that SandForce drives typically suffer with. So much so that this test was ran several times to confirm the validity of the results.


ASU is benchmark for us ‘gearheads’ and comprises many great features. Still in Beta testing, not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and utilize, even for the layman. Anvils benchmark does relay the 4K latency as .155 which is higher than AS SSD and AIDA 64 are reporting.