320 vs 520

Discussion in 'Memory and Storage' started by Magic Carpet, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Magic Carpet

    Magic Carpet Diamond Member

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  2. frostedflakes

    frostedflakes Diamond Member

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    Intel 320 uses essentially the same controller as the X25-M G1 and G2, it's tried and true and has proven itself over the years to be a very solid and reliable controller. The 520 on the other hand is a relatively new and untested drive using a controller that has had a fair amount of issues in SSDs from other vendors. The 520 has gone through Intel's rigorous testing and validation so there's no reason it shouldn't have the same high reliability as Intel's other SSDs, but it's also only been out what, a month? Still kind of early to say for sure.

    It's not the fastest SSD out there (although it's no slowpoke either and will still be a ton faster than any HDD), but Intel 320 is your best bet IMO if you want a very reliable SSD.
     
    #2 frostedflakes, Mar 6, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  3. groberts101

    groberts101 Golden Member

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    I'd take the faster Sandforce myself.. but I would have to agree with frosted flakes for the most part from a reliability standpoint.
     
  4. bryanW1995

    bryanW1995 Lifer

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    For the most part? If the only issue is reliability, I'd take the 320 for sure.
     
  5. BFG10K

    BFG10K Lifer

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    I tend to echo the previous sentiments. The 320 has the known 8 GB issue but otherwise it’s generally tried and tested.

    520 has Intel, but it also has SandForce. It could be the case of the immovable rock meeting the infinite force.
     
  6. Magic Carpet

    Magic Carpet Diamond Member

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    Thanks guys. Very informative.

    Hasn't the 8GB issue been resolved yet? I am leaning towards 320 now. Mainly due to 100% Intel design, 6 caps to deal with power failure and lower power consumption. Mainly looking for low latency rather than maximum speed.

    Also, the less maintenance (the need to run Toolbox) the better. Working laptop on the go.
     
  7. BFG10K

    BFG10K Lifer

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    Some people are reporting the problem even after the latest firmware.

    I ended up getting an Intel 320 SSD (120 GB) – I’ll post a mini review in this forum in a few days.
     
  8. Magic Carpet

    Magic Carpet Diamond Member

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    That would be awesome. Looking forward to it :thumbsup:
     
  9. Jman13

    Jman13 Senior member

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    Any SSD will have extremely low latency. Even the 'slow' SSDs have latencies 50 times faster than a typical hard drive, and at least 10 times faster than even the fastest 10,000 RPM hard drives. A low latency SSD is going to be much faster than that.

    And the Intel 320 has very low latency. 0.07ms read and 0.1ms write.
     
  10. Magic Carpet

    Magic Carpet Diamond Member

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    [​IMG]

    What these IOPS really mean and why I should be paying attention to the 8GB one, for example? Is it Input Output Per Second? Does this make 320 a better "read" drive?
     
    #10 Magic Carpet, Mar 7, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  11. NP Complete

    NP Complete Member

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    I think people misquoted the "8 GB" issue. Quick google reveals that the bug is a "8 MB" issue. Drives that experience unexpected power loss sometimes report their size as 8 MB on reboot.

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Intel-320-Series-SSDs-Affected-by-Firmware-Bug-that-Causes-Data-Loss-210809.shtml

    This seems like an edge case bug that is unlikely to cause issues for the majority of users (but still sucks if it hits you).

    From a reliability stand point, I'd also agree that based on review/personal experience the 320 seems more "reliable", but that's just a gut feeling. The 520 could be just as reliable than the 320 if not more so - it just hasn't been around as long so it's hard to get a "feel" for it.

    For most typical consumer "real world" use, there will be very little noticable in performance between the 320 and the 520. Random access latency on both is comparable, which has the largest impact on consumer performance.


    Not sure what exactly you're asking about IOPS, so I'll answer it as fully as possible:

    IOPS is the measure of Input/Ouput Operations per Second. More/second is better in terms of performance. The chart you linked seems to show the IOPS over an 8 GB span vs the full drive - this shows how the drive handles reads and writes to a small portion of the drive vs the full drive. You'll see a bigger discrepency across a mechanical HDD since random operations will be faster on the inside of the platter than the outside (due to rotational latency, primarily). For SSDs, the span shows how well the SSD is able to balance reads/writes across the drive for best performance - ideally there should be no difference between a full drive span and an 8 GB span. Since the 8GB issue was misquoted, the results you linked don't really show anything.

    As far as a better "read drive", IOPS are an artificial benchmark and should not be used to extrapolated determine the overall performance characteristics of a drive without considering other benchmarks. Yes, the 320 is faster for random IO, but unless all you plan on doing with your drive is 512 byte random reads/writes all day, the 520 will likely be faster since it handles large writes/reads faster due to it's SATA III interface and SandForce controller's data compression/deduplication.


    Long story short - 320 "seems" more reliable, while the 520 is faster (in most benchmarks/real world use).
     
  12. nanaki333

    nanaki333 Diamond Member

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    i never updated my 160GB 320s and never had the issue. if it ain't broke, dun fixit!
     
  13. Don Karnage

    Don Karnage Platinum Member

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    I picked up my 320 when best buy had them on sale for 149.99. Its really a nice drive and I haven't had any issues with it
     
  14. chin311

    chin311 Diamond Member

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    Had my 320 120gb since early December and love it!