Customer Reviews: Intel 530 Series SSDSC2BW120A401 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Drive only
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on October 17, 2013
Intel is now a price leader in the 5-year warranty consumer space. This drive was (at Amazon's introductory price) almost the same price as the Samsung 840 Pro 128GB (before provisioning). Intel was giving 50% more space than the Samsung 840 Pro for nearly the same price. Even with the higher price, it's still a better deal per GB than the Samsung 840 Pro.

I have 5 SSDs on my personal computers. 3 of my 5 SSDs are Intel, my other 2 are Samsung 840 (Pro and non-Pro) drives. I have an Intel 330 120GB and 2 of these new 530 180GB drives. Synthetic benchmarks can show the advantages and disadvantages of all my different drives, but for all practical purposes, I can't tell the difference in my daily use. My backups show a small difference, but since my backups are automated weekly, it doesn't make any difference.

Both Intel and Samsung have excellent software packages.

Reliability and price rule my choices. Since flash drives wear out through the process of programming and erasing cells, and use wear-leveling to make the drives last longer, I did a search for these statistics.

A simple search of the reviews of my various drives shows my SSD's different program/erase (p/e) cycles. This is what I found:

Samsung 840 ~ 1,000 p/e cycles;
Samsung 840 Pro ~ 3,000 - 5,000 p/e cycles;

Intel 330 ~ 3,000 p/e cycles;
Intel 335 ~ 3,000 p/e cycles (I don't own this drive, but included it for comparative purposes);
Intel 520/525 ~ 5,000 p/e cycles (I don't own either of these drives, but included them for comparative purposes);
Intel 530 ~ I couldn't find any numbers on p/e cycles, but I would expect the drive to have between 3,000 - 5,000 p/e cycles.

I wouldn't be surprised if Intel is having difficulty keeping up their 520/525's 5,000 p/e cycles benchmark on the 530; Intel's 520/525 uses 25nm NAND and the 530 uses 20nm NAND.

I haven't seen any reports of Samsung moving to sub-20nm NAND, but Micron (Intel's partner in flash memory) has reported that IMFT (Intel Micron Flash Technologies) is already moving to 16nm production as I write this. I doubt if Samsung can keep up with Intel's semiconductor process technology; the Samsung 840 (non-Pro) uses TLC (triple level cell) NAND, and is already at 1,000 p/e cycles.

Although my Samsung 840 and 840 Pro have class leading controllers in the consumer space, the 840's (non-Pro) durability remains hugely questionable given that it's rated at 1,000 p/e cycles; I use this drive on my 85 year old father's computer -- he only uses his computer to browse the internet, and Win8 only uses about 35GB of space.

Samsung has a notorious customer service record. Even now, recent reviews on the Samsung 840 Pro show that there are plenty of conflicting reports on whether the 840 Pro has a 3-year or a 5-year warranty -- Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware), especially on the Samsung 840 (non-Pro) drive.

While Samsung may find it difficult to scale it's NAND process technology lower, consumers are benefiting from Intel's lower prices.
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on July 17, 2014
The 240GB Intel 530 Series is one of the most reliable consumer level SSD's on the market. For those of you who have not yet upgraded to Solid State, this would be the perfect drive. I can say this after working with other OCZ, PNY, ect. drives that I watched die within weeks. Ocz's customer support is pretty terrible replacing their drives with another one of the same failing devices. After doing a lot of research on the intel 530 series I chose to purchase 2 of these for a laptop that has dual bays. I have not had a single issue, my boot times are fast, my software that use to hang up due to 5200rpm laptop drive speeds no longer occurs. With that being said I have been running these for about 8 months without any issues, a single freeze, crash, NOTHING at all.

I have seen others complain about the price or the drive not being the fastest 240GB on the market. I find other OPINIONS to be very inaccurate for the following reason. This drive was built for reliability, which it amazingly is. Intel has been the only brand of SSD I have worked with to not have an issue. They also have a great 5 Year warranty in case anything were to go wrong. You cant beat it. The speeds are amazing, no mechanical drive is going to match it, so if you want speed but more importantly reliability, this is the drive for you.

To put the cherry on the top, the retail version of this drive does include your brackets, screws, and everything you need to mount the drive in the desktop. My package also came with some cool Intel stickers.

I can safely recommend this to anybody who wants to make he transition to Solid State Drives.
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on June 2, 2014
I upgraded a 2008 Dell laptop with the SSD with the 180 GB OEM version and everything is up and running and the performance improvement is quite nice but the cloning process was quite rocky. Intel provides access to an Acronis product to clone your HDD to the Intel SSD and the software requires an Intel device on the system or else it won't install. I used a cheap USB to SATA adapter and the software wouldn't recognize the drive as being an Intel drive. I looked around on support forums and it appears that this is a common problem. I contacted Intel support and they recommended updating software, BIOS, etc. (which would have done nothing) and some freeware programs that might help. I downloaded a bunch of freeware/trialware programs and eventually got up and running but it took about five hours to accomplish and my technical skills are quite a bit better than the average person. Intel support did follow up a few days later but I expect better from Intel. You have to download the software and they certainly could have fixed it by now. This is only a problem where you have to use an adapter. If you're upgrading on a desktop with multiple internal SATA cables, then you should be fine.
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on January 7, 2014
easy install ..comes with bracket, screws. connectors, and access to download migration software to assist the transfer of your data from your old hard drive ..could it get any easier? ..i'm happy with this purchase..noticeable performance boost ..
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on November 25, 2013
I noticed that not many people left reviews about this product and its compatibility with MacBook, so here's what i gathered so far based on my usage! =)

Laptop Model: MacBook Pro 13" (Mid 2012) Non-Retina
OS: Mac OSX 10.9 Mavericks AND Bootcamp Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

About the product:
Item came in a good sturdy box, and was easy to install. But there was no USB to SATA cable, so those of you who prefer installing the OS on the drive before physically mounting it into your MacBook, you may want to consider getting this cable first. For myself, I clean installed the OS 10.9 from a USB thumbdrive after fitting it into the MacBook.

Compatibility with MacBook Pro:
Boot time:6-8s
Shutdown time: 10-12s

I read on another forum that some other MacBook users experienced problems on a warm reboot (ie. the drive doesnt allow them to reboot after its been startup, and can only do a cold reboot), but so far I have not encountered any of such problems, even with both OSX and bootcamp installed.

Since installation (just a day ago), I'm liking every bit of it, especially the significantly faster bootup times, and that applications and processes are much snappier than before (I was previously using the stock Toshiba 500GB mechanical HDD that shipped with the MacBook).

So for those of you who have doubts over its compatibility with MacBook, i'd go as for to say that there certainly isnt any compatibility issues.. However, if optimisation for efficiency and power-saving features etc is your primary focus, I'm not so sure how well this performs just yet.. Certainly, the low price point (as compared to other brands of SSDs) is a heavy consideration that made me purchase this over the others..
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on November 24, 2014
This is my second Intel 530 Series SSD I have purchased. My first one was for a Desktop I built about nine months ago and I was quite happy with the performance. In the desktop it drastically reduced my start up times and gives me quick application open times. My laptop recently has seemed to perform slower and slower, especially the start up times so I thought I'd swap out the stock drive for this SSD. I purchased the Reseller kit which only half helped. The drive came with a help CD that contained a link to download the Imaging software needed to image the old drive to the new drive, but I had no way to connect both drives at the same time. When loading the software without the Intel drive present it will notify you that you are not permitted to use the software as the required drive is not present. I ran out to the local computer store and picked up a Sabrent Ultra Slim 2.5-Inch IDE to USB 2.0 External Aluminum Hard Drive Enclosure (which is available for a cheaper price here on Amazon). The Sabrent case allowed me to connect to my laptop and thus complete the drive image.

TIP: Get the drive enclosure and not the cable, with the enclosure you can put the old laptop drive in the enclosure and use it as an Ultra portable external hard drive on any computer, thus having a great way to either backup a drive or transfer very large files among computers!
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on October 11, 2013
Item COMES WITH 3.5" ADAPTER AND SATAIII cable (but with 180* angled head).
So no need to order an adapter for a desktop.
(No review of actual ssd yet)
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on October 27, 2014
This this is amazingly fast. With my own build, Intel i5 processor, 16 gig of gskill ddr3, decent video card, and Windows 8.1 it boots in less than one minute, Photoshop runs really fast. Worth the price over SanDisk and others. Connected to 6gig sata port. Much faster than the crucial (which I thought was fast) it replaced.
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on February 19, 2015
!update 3/3/2016 On the very bottom is the update (pretty important)!
Looking for vital information, below my experience review you'll probably find what you want.
So I bought this since I was tired of having my OS on a Terrabyte hard drive and I wanted my OS to be isolated from everything else so it won't be affected. i went to install my OS windows 8.1, on a normaly on a HDD it takes around 1hr and 30 min to 2hrs. With this SSD it took less than 30 minutes to install heck not even 20. Orginally with my HDD it took 30 sec to 1 min for my PC to boot up. now it's less than 10 SECONDS!!! Take note I have a Intel core i3 3.5GHz along with 32GB. Considering I'm a college student and in the field of Computer Software Engineering/cyber security I want to make sure I've got enough ram and a decent processor to handle everything. Along with the solid state came a sticker with the words SPEED DEMON, and I have to say, it looks beautiful on my pc.

Now to get to the important stuff.

-If you want to make sure you can put it into your Tower PC you'll need the reseller kit as it comes with an extention for fit a 3.5 HDD slot/tray (screws included) or a black plastic add on for your Laptop (I'd recommend getting a larger SSD for a laptop so you have something to work with instead of constant worry over storage space.) It also comes with a SATA cable and a power supply cable.

-Now some places it says that you need to do a few things in order to use a SSD. This is not the case, I simply hooked it up and installed my OS without any issues at all. (no there is no Driver and the disk that comes with the kit is only a bunch of manuals and warranty which you don't need to register it)

-This Intel 530 SSD 120GB is most certainly large enough for an Operating System like Windows 7,8,8.1 and so on. I even have all my drivers (motherboard and graphics card) installed along with McAfee, Microsoft Office 2013, Google Chrome, Printer Driver and with it all up to date (with a lot more programs that come with windows 8.1) I still have 62.1 Gb left on it.
*Size was my ultimate worry when it came to purchasing this product, which is why I am having this up for those with worry about storage space. you have enough space for essentials but I can't say you have enough for games.*

-Note that you can make a SSD faster with TRIM but not having TRIM turned on will NOT affect an SSD, it'll just allow it perform better when uninstalling and reinstalling. I can't say this is something to worry about when it comes to something of this size since 120GB is not really enough space for gamers. Are there any cons with TRIM active, I wouldn't know since I'm not planning on using it since I have an OS on mine. I don't want to chance it.

If you're asking, "Is buying this really worth the money I mean, it's seriously expensive?"
Yes it's expensive but for the fact that it uses less electricity, runs faster, can take many more hits (falling on the ground or hammerd hits) than an HDD but the best part of all of these features, with Intel you get a 5 YEAR WARRANTY!!! 5 YEARS, just having that is worth the money.

In short I am pleased with this product. It works very nicely. If you come up with issues then you had bad luck. Take note I'm reviewing this as a BRAND NEW product straight from Intel through amazon. Hope this review helps.

So it's been a little over a year now and my pc is still running at blazing fast speeds. after a year of having it I still have 38.1 GB (why below) left on it. I will probably be upgrading it soon though, you don't want to have too much on a SSD or any storage device other wise it'll have some issues and potentially crash. Other than that I'm still running just fine, to think I have 4 years of warranty left on this thing.

I would like to point out the 16.5 of the data is due to my OneDrive automatically downloading and writing to it. I would advice disabling this feature on an SSD because it can shorten the life of it. I don't know if you can change the drive to download and write too but this should be something you should be aware of.
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on November 20, 2013
Intel has a reputation for making reliable SSDs, and their best-in-industry 5-year warranty backs that up. I've used the following SSDs:

Crucial M4 256 GB - laptop boot drive (Windows 7)
Intel 520 Series 240 GB - laptop boot drive (Windows 7)
Samsung 840 PRO 256 GB - tethered via USB to host external VMware VMs
Intel 530 Series 240 GB - laptop boot drive (Windows 8.1)

I replaced the Crucial with the Intel 520 after a month or two because my laptop was crashing, but I now think the crashing was the result of a defective secondary SATA cable in my laptop. Over the course of about a year with the Intel 520, my laptop would occasionally fail to boot with a "No bootable media found" error when I powered it on. Power-cycling the laptop always solved the issue, so I'm not sure if it was a problem with Windows, some quirk related to the SSD, or the laptop itself. For several months now, I've been storing my many VMware VMs on an external Samsung 840 PRO and the VMs run as fast as if I were running the guest OSes natively on my laptop.

So, what about the Intel 530? I haven't done any formal benchmarking, but I can say that, in practical terms, it's just as fast as the Crucial M4 and the Intel 520, if not faster. So far I haven't had the weird temporary "No bootable media found" boot hiccup with the 530, but I'll update my review if it does come up.

Since I haven't used the Samsung 840 PRO as my boot drive, I can't give any direct comparison between that and the Intel 530, although the spec sheets suggest the Samsung is considerably faster.

The SSD is only 7mm thick, but if you buy the retail kit, it contains an adhesive shim to make the SSD fit into a 9mm slot. This is a slight downgrade from the Intel 520 series, which included a screw-on shim. Both the 530 and 520 series also include the 3.5" mounting adapter and the silly "Speed Demon" sticker.

As with the 520 series, the 530 series performs background optimization of free space--in other words, while TRIM is supported, it's not required in order to preserve performance (assuming the drive is not constantly under 100% load).

Although there are faster SSDs on the market, if you just want to buy a current-generation SSD (as of 11/2013) manufactured by a company with a proven history of reliability, this drive is a no-brainer.
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