Quantcast Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

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  1. #1
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    Default Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    Hello,

    I've been reading through the posts. Here is the issue. I am going to swap an SSD into my optical drive on my x7200. My boot drive is an Intel X-25 M (80gb). The SSD going into the Optical Drive will be used only for gaming (just a few games where I want faster load times).

    I do not want to mess with my boot drive as it is running great - the extra SSD is therefore going in the Optical Drive as the boot drive is so small. As I have an Intel SSD already installed (and like them), I am planning to get an Intel SSD.

    The issue is - which model for my needs. Obviously I can't take advantage of all the speed of the 520, but its newer tech and would theoretically have long shelf life even if I moved on from my machine. The 320 is of course cheaper, and SATAII.

    So, my rationale is that the 520 is worth the extra cost even though at present I can't take advantage of all its potential.

    What are your thoughts? Does this make sense - should I look towards a cheaper alternative - either the M4 or the Samsung 830?

    Thanks
    NP7280/X7200 - i7-970, 580m Sli, 12gb RAM, Intel X-25 SSD 80gb, Intel 320 SSD 160gb, 320gb HDD

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    Hmmm, just read a very similar thread. Looks like the 320 is actually the way to go for my needs if I want to stick with Intel, and I'd rather have reliability over speed. Please close the thread, sorry for the duplicate post.

    Thanks
    NP7280/X7200 - i7-970, 580m Sli, 12gb RAM, Intel X-25 SSD 80gb, Intel 320 SSD 160gb, 320gb HDD

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    The 320 is a solid drive though there are a smattering of people having the 8MB issue which you ought to be aware of. The 520 I personally would steer clear of until it can be shown for sure if Intel fixed the issues with the Sandforce controller. Early indications are that some issues are fixed, but not all.

    If you want a modern drive, the M4 or 830 are great options. The Intel 510 is last year's model and is still a solid drive. It uses the same excellent Marvell controller as the M4.
    Laptop: XPS l702x | i7-2720QM | Nvidia 555m + Intel HD 3000 (Optimus) | 8GB 1333MHz (Corsair) | 1080p AG (no-3D) | Intel 6230 WiFi | Crucial M4 256GB SSD | Seagate 500GB 7200RPM | Backlit KB | 9-cell Battery | Blu-Ray Reader/DVD+CD Burner

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    Still an awesome system!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    I'm on my 7th Intel 320 series SSD, 2 purchased before the 8 MB bug, the rest since. Never had an issue, rock solid. I would avoid 520 series, SandForce and reliability should never be used together in the same sentence.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    Thanks for the info. It seems the more I read the more confused I get. Prices seem relatively close for these at the moment, the issue noted on the 320 (which fortunately you haven't experienced) gets me somewhat concerned the more reviews I read on the drive on newegg, amazon, etc.

    Update: Picked up a 160gb, Intel 320 from Amazon, Used - Like New Condition for $180. Seemed like a good price so thought I'd take a chance.
    Last edited by Azeroth; 3rd April 2012 at 11:45 AM.
    NP7280/X7200 - i7-970, 580m Sli, 12gb RAM, Intel X-25 SSD 80gb, Intel 320 SSD 160gb, 320gb HDD

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    Az... It is a bit to late (as you already picked up the 320), but in case of the 520, I was going to suggest you talk to BobMitch -
    I was warned off the Intel 520 series from the Intel forums. Seems that the drive suffers from BSOD like typical Sandforce.
    - Gonna throw another SSD into the Mix-Intel 520 Series
    Clevo x7200 from AVA Direct | intel i7 - 970 Hexcore 12MB L3 Cache, @ 3.20GHz (stock) | 12 GB Corsair RAM DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333MHz | nVidia GTX 460M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 | Crucial C300 256 GB SSD system disk | 500 GB (2 x RAID-1) Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid data disk
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    Default Re: Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by jclausius View Post
    Az... It is a bit to late (as you already picked up the 320), but in case of the 520, I was going to suggest you talk to BobMitch - - Gonna throw another SSD into the Mix-Intel 520 Series
    Thanks, still interesting to read about what others are seeing and hearing. It is somewhat funny, as the first professional review I read about the 520 - think it was Anandtech - talked extensively over the extra full year or so Intel spent QCing and testing the technology/controller in the new 520 and how reliable it was. I've had two X-25Ms - one in a MBP, the other in my x7200, which have been great, which is why I was expecting the same from the newer Intel drives. Just strange to me that the newer stuff continues to have seemingly serious (though relatively isolated) issues. Just goes against my own perceptions, which have always held Intel in higher regard than other in terms of quality - which to me was always worth the extra cost that goes along with that.
    NP7280/X7200 - i7-970, 580m Sli, 12gb RAM, Intel X-25 SSD 80gb, Intel 320 SSD 160gb, 320gb HDD

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Intel 320 vs 520 - For a SATA2 Optical Drive

    Who knows what may have caused this drive to continue. My guess is at the time of the partnership, no one (including intel/SandForce) knew of these issues. Besides, yhe benches looked really, really good. But as problems occurred during the QA cycle, intel wasn't ready to throw away the $$$ spent on R&D, and tried to do the best it could given the issues with the controller.

    And to my knowledge the problems still dog some people today. The BobMitch post along with my take on that same review - Intel`s next SSD, 520 - Includes Sandforce leads me to believe people should not be blindly looking at the 520, and they must do their research.
    Clevo x7200 from AVA Direct | intel i7 - 970 Hexcore 12MB L3 Cache, @ 3.20GHz (stock) | 12 GB Corsair RAM DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333MHz | nVidia GTX 460M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 | Crucial C300 256 GB SSD system disk | 500 GB (2 x RAID-1) Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid data disk
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