Review: Intel's new 'Cherryville' SSD 520 drive

Solid state drive offers lower price, higher performance than predecessor offering, along with encryption and compression -- what's not to like?

By , Computerworld |  Storage, Intel, solid state drives

Unlike the predecessor offering, Intel's new SSD offers data compression, which amounts to a rate of about 60% for 75% of file types. For example, email on Microsoft Outlook can be compressed at a rate of 60%, Intel's spec sheets show, while Microsoft documents can be compressed at rates of up to 85%.

Benchmark tests

There's aren't a lot of laptops out there that sport a SATA 6.0 disk drive interface, though they have started tricking out.

To test the new drive, I used a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.6.8, or Snow Leopard, with a 2.8 Ghz Intel Core i7 processor and 4GB of memory.

In my first test, I used Xbench v1.3 benchmarking software.

The results were good, but not "Intel spec sheet" good. Xbench showed the SSD had sequential read/write speed of 303MB/sec and 324MB/sec, respectively. It had a random read/write speed of 303MB/sec and 338MB/sec, respectively.

Xbench benchmark results

Blackmagic benchmarking tests revealed a maximum read rate of 456MB/sec and a write rate of 241MB/sec using 4K blocks.

Blackmagic benchmark results

In the next test, I transferred a 1.19GB file with 327 .jpg photos in just 9 seconds.

I saved the best results -- boot times -- for last.

In three separate tests, I came up with a cold start-up that took just 16 seconds and a system reboot that took just 15 seconds.

Overall, Intel has come out with a very fast drive that will save your battery, save your wallet (at least in terms of SSD cost) and provide some great data protection and compression features.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and healthcare IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His email address is .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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