Intel 525 Multi-Capacity SSD Review – mSATA SSDs Just Became Mainstream

TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

Our analysis today will be conducted with our Asus Z77 Premium Test Bench. Clicking on any pictures or benchmarks will bring up a more easily viewable high resolution image.

In testing, our main objective is to obtain results as pure and as accurate as possible and we want to ensure that no anomalies slip through. Simply put, we want to provide you with the absolute best results the tested hardware can provide. Repetition in testing is standard and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.

In order to validate and confirm our findings, testing is supported by industry accepted benchmark programs. All results are displayed through capture of the actual benchmark for better understanding of the testing process by the reader.

We would like to thank ASUS (P8Z77-V Premium), Intel (Core i7-3770K), Crucial (Ballistix), Corsair (H100) and Be Quiet (PSU/Fans) for supporting the build of our Z77 Premium Test Bench.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities and PCMark Vantage.  We rely on these as they each have a way of supporting one another yet, at the same time, adding a new performance benchmark to the total picture.  Much of the software is free and can be downloaded simply by clicking on the linked title.

THE LSI SANDFORCE SF-2281 CONTROLLER

All SSDs are not created equal and many new SSD enthusiasts realize that when they test their new drive to confirm specifications and ensure all is in order. SandForce controlled SSDs, as in the Intel SSD 525 mSATA SSD we are testing today, use compression techniques in storage whereas many others do not. This creates a bit of confusion when enthusiasts test the drive with random data through benchmarking programs such as AS SSD and Crystal DiskMark. The results seem to be lower than the listed specifications.

Intel525 SF Controller

The results actually present a false portrayal of the drives ability when compared to other drives such as Samsung, Crucial or Intel. It is for this reason that all of our comparison testing is done through PCMark Vantage. PCMark Vantage HDD Suite simply provides evaluation results based on transfer speeds reached through typical user patterns. Vantage provides a better testing medium, in that, it sees through the typical synthetic benchmarks and provides us with ‘true to life’ results of the drive.

INTEL DRIVE SUMMARY AND SMART INFORMATION

The Intel Solid State Toolbox provides a vast number of tools with respect to your Intel SSD, including system and drive information and SMART attributes.  Taking a look at the first screen, we see Intel’s designation of their firmware as ‘LLKi’.  This firmware is custom and the result of Intel’s partnership with LSI SandForce.  Little is known of the firmware, other than the fact that a great deal of validation testing has resulted in a proprietary Intel firmware that provides for greater stability.

Intel Toolbox

Intel 525 SMART

4
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
florispCarLes@TheSSDReviewpcuser98 Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
pcuser98
Guest
pcuser98

Which brand and model of mSATA to SATA did Intel supply?

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

It is just a generic adapter with the Intel name on it and is not available for purchase that I am aware of.

pCar
Guest
pCar

That is all nice but Mushkin is shipping a 480 GB mSATA that will outperform any of the Intel drives.

floris
Guest
floris

Wanna buy my first ssd and I’ m going crazy with all those bench.

Which one would be better between an old samsung 830 64gb and an intel 525 30gb for my T420 with Ubuntu? – I already have a 500gb hdd in ultrabay for storage –

According to various sites benchmarks, the first one seems to have better performance in heavy/light workload 2011 write test, the second one is way better in desktop iometer 4k random write…