REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
When considering whether purchase of the Intel 730 SSD (or two) is a viable one, we think that one of the most important things to consider is where Intel’s 3rd Generation controller was conceived. It’s first appearance was way back in December 2012 when we reviewed it in the enterprise variant SSD DC S3700 Series family, followed by its use once again in the Data center S3500 SSD that we reviewed in June of 2013. That SSD is practically the twin of this release, right down to the odd memory capacities. This provides us with something that is not always present in new release SSDs and that is a controller that has been proven reliable at the enterprise level for quite some time.
Intel is introducing the 730 as having ‘Intel Data Center DNA’ which it definitely does, overclocks the controller and memory, places a five-year warranty on it and then let’s us know that the 730 can sustain up to 70GB writes per day for that five years of its warranty. Everything seen so far makes this an ideal SSD for a workstation environment, the media professional, avid gamer or just the PC enthusiast. Rather than relying on the controllers reputation or drive features, Intel then suggests that the SSD 730 has been fine tuned for use in a RAID environment where it will perform at a much higher level.
As well as the Intel SSD 730 did on its own, we couldn’t resist throwing it into a RAID environment and right beside a set of Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSDs. The two were neck and neck in transferring 25GB of HD and Blu-Ray movies, the Intel performing the best with a 57 second transfer speed. Considering many HD movies are somewhere in the area of 800MB, that means that the 730 in RAID 0 transferred a HD movie every 1.78 seconds. That’s just plain fast and supports the performance results of over 1GB/s transfer speeds and 130K IOPS we achieved with Anvil Storage Utilities (not published but available on request).
With performance, reliability, endurance and warranty covered, all that is left is pricing. At the time of this report, the word is that pricing of the SSD 730 will be right on the $1/GB mark and availability may be as late as March 18, 2014. Considering everything we know about this SSD, it will definitely be a contender with the gaming and enthusiast crowd, as much as it may be with the media professional. Let’s face it; the Intel SSD 730 scales very well in RAID 0, has very low latency and high endurance.
Oh and LSI being the manufacturer of Intel’s 3rd Gen controller…who knew?
Equipped with a controller that has had its feet on the ground for some time and is proven reliable, high endurance of 70GB writes per day for the five-year warranty of the SSD, along with great performance and a fair introductory price, make it a very easy recommendation on our part. We have elected to award the Intel SSD 730 our Gold Seal.