Intel 540s SSD Review (480GB) – SMI Controller With SK Hynix Memory

REAL WORLD FILE TRANSFER

Finally, we wanted to see how performance was in a real world use when transferring large files to the SSDs. For this test we are going to simply stress write performance by transferring over a 30GB folder of movies off of one SSD to this one and time how long it takes. Once complete we can calculate the average speed.

Intel 540s 480GB 30GB Write

Just as we have seen in the past with many of these TLC SSDs, the above results are not very impressive. Write speeds averaged around 130MB/s during the 30GB transfer. This result places it just under the standard HDD on the chart, but still head of the Crucial BX200s. Let’s see how well it performs in our power testing.

POWER CONSUMPTION

For our power consumption testing, we have the drive connected to the system as a secondary drive. To record the wattage, we are now utilizing a Quarch Technology Programmable Power Module. It allows us to accurately measure power consumption over time and is flexible enough to allow us to test any SSD that comes our way.

Quarch Technology Power Module Angle

Our power analysis may change as time goes on, but for now we are looking at just a few metrics with the main goal of measuring our results against the manufacturer’s ratings. One, idle power consumption. Because most consumer systems are at idle for about 80% of the time, idle power consumption is an important measure to look at when understanding the efficiency of a drive. Next we look at startup consumption. This tells you how much power the device needs during startup and while it is usually more important when looking at HDDs and enterprise class storage, it is still something worth quantifying. After that we did averaged out the active power consumption from the 30GB file transfer. Finally, we went through our power logs during testing and listed the maximum power draw.

Intel 540s 480GB Power Consumption

Power test results of the Intel 540s are average with similar drives in this capacity and performance bracket. The max power consumption is well regulated,maxing out at 4.3W. The File Transfer consumption was also good with a result of 3.2W.

Finally, we wanted to post up a graph of the difference in idle power consumption between many of the current SSD options in the market. Again, idle accounts for the majority power draw of a drive and considering the use a drive in laptop, idle power consumption can greatly affect battery life, therefore we feel we should compare it in its own graph.

Intel 540s 480GG Idle Power Consumption

In the chart above we cn see that SSDs are magnitudes more efficient than standard HDDs. The Intel 540s shows very well controlled idle power consumption consuming only 51 milliwatts, which is spot on with the PNY CS1211 120GB model. Not too bad for a 480GB drive, even though the lower performing Crucial BX200s just beat it in this comparison.

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Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

>ut why Intel would not be relying on their own fabs for memory is more than a bit curious.

Not really. Intel didn’t invest in 16nm NAND, so they have to source it somewhere else to be price competitive.

Les@TheSSDReview
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It is the bigger question with respect to memory in Intel’s future that we elude to…just adding an air of suspense. lol

HERETIC
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HERETIC

Guess-Just a stop-gap until they can get their 3D out..
They couldn’t go to their partner Micron-their TLC is borderline LEMON.

For the average Joe that don’t regularly transfer large files-as long as it’s responsive enough it’ll be fine.

TLC has benefited us all-bringing down the cost of owning a SSD.
The sooner everyone goes 3D can’t come quick enough-we can then send planer TLC into history………………………………………….

dzezik
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dzezik

I cant understatnd the overprovisioning. The drive is RAW 512GiB, usable space is 480GB, it means 447GiB. How do You calculate 7%. There is 7% overprovisioning and another 7% is gone. please use proper GiB and GB then everything will be clear.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Trying to explain the difference between GB and GiB to the typical person wanting this drive would make the report extremely confusing and would serve no purpose but to turn away the reader. GiB has no purpose in a consumer/client report and, IMO, really has no place whatsoever in current day reports, regardless of the target audience intended. Thanks for the input!

Gary Barnet
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Gary Barnet

Easiest way to explain GB and GIB is that they are my initials 🙂
Keep smiling

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

Actually, internally NAND dies are even bigger than 128Gbit (so drive even has more than 512GiB flash) but thats just getting way too technical 🙂

Scour
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Scour

Hm, no sequential write speed test all over the capacity?

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

It would make the drive look bad 🙂

Scour
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Scour

Nothing is harder than the truth 😉

Les@TheSSDReview
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Our report is the same format that we have used for some time and is actually very telling of the drives ability.

Scour
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Scour

Well, on my Laptop with USB2.0 the write speed of the SSD is not that important.

But for some other usecases the sequential write speed with large files is a criteria for me which says: Buy or buy not.

I mean files which are larger than the SLC-caches.

Spunjji
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Spunjji

Because that’s a likely use case. /s

Scour
Guest
Scour

In most cases 30GB is enough to see the real write speed with SSDs that uses SLC-Cache-tricks.
It seems that all SSD-manufacturers choose the write cache size which is enough for standard-benchmark-tools.

And yeah, I use SSDs also for my movie-cutting-PC and copy more than 100GB in a row, so it´s a usecase for me

Spunjji
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Spunjji

That’s fair, although surely as that’s highly sequential SATA III SSDs over a certain size are going to hit the interface ceiling regardless of the use of TLC?

I guess what I’m getting at is that I’d have thought that if the use case is mission critical and speed is /required/ then the investment in MLC PCIe drives would be justified.

Scour
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Scour

Well, I use external USB3.0-drives to copy my DVB-S(2)-recordings for cutting to my PC. It depends on the external case how fast I can copy. Some TLC-drives like the 850 Evo or Sandisk Ultra 2 offer speed >200MB/s with 500GB/480GB-versions, thats still OK as far I don´t start more than one copy at one time

But TLC-drives like Crucial BX200 which going down to ~75MB/s (960GB-version) are shitty for that usecase

Spunjji
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Spunjji

Oh wow. Yeah, that’s a pretty substantial difference and knowing that comparison between drives would obviously be useful. Fair enough!

Spunjji
Guest
Spunjji

Incidentally the Crucial MX300 looks like it would be more your style. PC Perspective have a review including full drive writes and latency measurements.

ghccalanzani
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ghccalanzani

What are the SSD’s better than this for the same price? I don’t have much knowlegde about it and in my country (Brazil) I don’t have too much options…

OG
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OG

Sandisk x400 512MB — better performance, lower price.
Samsung 850 EVO 500MB — best performance in class, about the same price.

kozaki
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kozaki

Nice test: inducted me to buy the 120GB for a Linux-powered netbook given 1. Its idle consumption, 2. Price and 3. Perfs vs HDD.
Before proper set-up (e.g. pcie_ASPM and so on) the little box total consumption was the *same* than with a 5400 Momentus. After set-up, I got a very slightly lower consumption when systems idle. And to my surprise, a 10-15% lower battery consumption when surfing, (or even with just the wireless chipset On and connected) reapeatedly on two OS.

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