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Showing 1-10 of 513 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 557 reviews
on April 12, 2012
I got the 120 GB drive expecting to just run games from there but I didn't realize how easy it was to migrate my entire existing C drive to the SSD.

Intel provides a migration utility that lets you clone existing drives onto this drive. So I cloned my C drive (my Windows installation and my main Program Files), which lets me boot directly to the SSD as if nothing had happened. It was a very simple process and the software and guides will walk you through it.

So now I am unexpectedly booting straight from my SSD without having to reinstall anything. What used to take a couple minutes to boot up and settle down is now done in seconds. Windows FLIES. So I kinda wish I'd gotten a bigger drive -- I went with 120 GB because I wasn't going to put Windows on it, but since it was easy, I did so ... but my C drive had about 80 GB on it so that was most of my space! If I'd known that cloning was going to be this easy (and good), I may have gotten the 240 GB instead.

One good tip, though, if you do this:
You can save yourself some space on your Windows installation drive by moving your Windows "Users" folders to another drive. In Windows 7, just open Windows Explorer, locate your "Users\YourNameHere" folder and right click on the sub-folders ("My Documents", "My Music", "Downloads", etc), go to Properties, select the Location tab and move the location to a conventional drive. Windows 7 will automatically migrate all the contents to the new location and delete the originals, freeing space on your SSD. Since I have a ton of music and some videos and so forth, this freed up 30 GB from my SSD. There's no reason to have My Music taking up expensive SSD space.

As for overall ease of install, if you're comfortable installing a regular SATA drive, this is the same thing. Only fancy thing I had to do was go into my BIOS to change the drive boot order, and according to the docs, you could just swap cables instead. Note that this does come with a mount, so you shouldn't need to buy anything extra (I want to say it was a 3.5" drive mount? Meh. I just screwed it in with the other hard drives. I'm only supporting it on one side but it's not like it's heavy or has any moving parts anyway.)

I guess I'll see how this is long term, but with a 5 year warranty, it may already be better than my conventional drives.

P.S.
I went with Intel over other brands after reading reviews and comparing warranties. Intel's 5-year warranty was the longest I could find. I might consider a cheaper brand for less essential data if I decide to get a second one but if you're installing your OS, you might want top grade. (Failure in OS = bluescreen.)

P.P.S. (6/2/2013)
I thought I was finally having a serious problem with the drive. Windows kept crashing and signs pointed to the file system. Turns out it was bad system RAM and not the drive. After finding the bad RAM with MemTest86 and replacing it, the problems went away. I now have a second, larger drive to play my games from while the original 120 GB mainly has Windows and other programs.
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on November 2, 2012
So I wanted to put a review out there just to clarify some of the information on the warranty support for the "Drive Only" version.
I purchased the Intel 240GB 520 series drive just before heading out to sea for an extended period for use as an external media drive for my laptop.

(I can hear many of you saying I should have bought a conventional drive for such a purpose, but at the time I made the decision, I had no need for one or more Terabytes of data and speed was more desirable)

Anyway... I'm out to sea for 45 days or so, with another 45 remaining and the drive stops responding. Doesn't work via USB to SATA adaptor, Laptop BIOS doesn't see it on boot, mechanical agitation did nothing to change the symptoms. My drive was a paper weight and I had no means to return it using Amazon's super simple return program. I get back from sea three months later, check the Amazon site, verify the return window has closed and confirm that as far as Amazon is concerned I was screwed. I then proceed to the Intel website, look for SSD under products, choose support, verify my drive has a 5 year warranty and called the N. America support line. My call was answered in less than a minute of hold time and I spoke with a tech, who asked what I'd done to verify the drives condition and he concurred I had a bad drive. He then connected me with another support person for a replacement. The next tech offered me two options: (1) Pay a $25 fee and have a replacement drive shipped next day air with a prepaid return label, during which a temporary charge would be placed on my credit card until the defective unit is returned, and (2) Receive an RMA number and address for which to send my defective drive, send the drive via trackable carrier at my own expense and wait up to 30 days for receipt of a new drive. I chose option #1 and had my drive on Monday (my call was placed on a Friday). So as you can see any worries about warranty support are null.

Onto the drive's performance. I'm currently using the drive in a Latitude D630 with WinXP installed (again I can hear the shouts). Prior to this I had a 120GB Solid 3 SSD in the laptop. I used passmark to run some throughput tests on both drives. The difference between read speeds between the OCZ and the Intel 520 were about the same with the 520 edging out a meager 5mbps gain (roughly 145 MBps throughput). The write speeds showed the 520's advantage, the OCZ was in the 60MBps while the 520 clocked a throughput of 119MBps for a nearly 100% improvement.

Long story short, it's a good drive, the warranty support is solid. I gave 4 stars vice 5 because I actually had to use the warranty. Hope this helps.
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on December 1, 2014
The Intel 520 series SSD has been out now for about 3 years.

New fabrication processes and controller technology has emerged in that time,
and these are no longer the fastest drives out there.

All SSD's run rings around conventional hard drives, and second generation SSD's
were quite a bit faster than the first generation. However the 520 series has not been
so trounced by the most modern offerings, that anyone other than the casual user might notice.

Manufacturers migrated to finer fabrication processes to maximize profits.
They tout greater capacities, but pass on silicon that can sustain fewer program write/erase cycles.

When one manufacturer finds a way to push a cheaper SSD out to market, it drives down the price of all.
This creates opportunity, like the one I found today.

$109.99 for 240GB of 25Nm Nand is a bargain.

While so many of the newer SSD are built around the 20Nm Nand, and have roughly 1000 write/erase cycles.
The 520 series is still built on the 25NM Nand and can sustain 3000 - 5000 cycles.

I am willing to trade off a few of the IOPS, for what I feel to be greater endurance.

------------

I am not a big fan of TLC, for squeezing greater capacity out of the cells.
As I understand it, a Nand cell is like a capacitor or a battery, or a glass of water.
Circuits, batteries, etc. don't store zeroes and ones, just a range of voltage which can represent zeroes and ones.
The Nand is the same whether it is used for SLC, MLC or TLC.
For SLC, the cell is being used to store the repesentation of a single bit : One asks is the container full or empty.
For MLC, the cell is being used to store the representation of two bits : One must be more precise...
Does the voltage range from 0 to 1/4 charge
Does the voltage range from > 1/4 charge to half charge.
Does the voltage range from > half charge to 3/4 charge
Does the voltage range from >3/4 charge to full
For TLC, Some of the most extreme requirements are imposed on these very tiny cells to store the representation of 3 bits.
is the charge between 0 and 1/8?,
1/8 and 2/8
2/8 and 3/8
3/8 and 4/8
4/8 and 5/8
5/8 and 6/8
6/8 and 7/8
7/8 and full
No one has yet manufactured the perfect battery. When one charges a battery, eventually over time the
charge will drain. And so it is with SSDs. However the voltage measured in an MLC cell has less room to drift
over time than a charge in an SLC cell. The charge in a TLC cell has even less room to drift than an MLC cell.

I don't have a clue as to how much of a voltage range can be measure across these these tiny cells.
I shutter to think of dividing that range 8 ways for the 8 possible combinations of 3 bits.

When Manufacturers transitioned from SLC to MLC they reaped a 100% gain in capacity, at the cost of making
their controllers and Nand twice as precise.

However when they transitioned from MLC to TLC they only reaped a 50% capacity gain (3 bits instead of 2)
but their Nand and controllers must be twice as precise as those of MLC.

Diminishing returns.
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on June 21, 2013
Well, I have actually been running the 480 gig in my laptop since December of 2012. Not one problem. Additionally, I just built an Intel Extreme Machine, and Started out with the Samsung Pro 512 gig, because I could not find an Intel 480. In comparison, of the Intel to the Samsung Pro: The Intel reads faster, and writes about 20MBPs slower than the Sammsung pro, but my preference would still be the Intel, due to some of Samsungs recent firmwar updates actually slowing the drive down. It really is now a matter of choice because I give both of them 5 stars, and on most of my new builds I use the Sammy, because the Intel's have almost become cost prohibitive. So if you are going to go SSD, these are both excellent choices. I also like the Intel Toolbox better than the Samsung Magician Software. Another tip for those who choose the Sammy; Load the magician Softwear first, plug the drive into the computer, and not the USB connector that it comes with. Run the magician firmware update tool, and then load windows, and you should not have any trouble. If you buy the Intel 520 series, their firmware is up to date and no action is required.

Dale in Texas
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on December 17, 2012
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to upgrade my desktop from windows 7 pro to 8 pro. When I completed the upgrade, I noticed that I only had 8 gig remaining on my 74 gig WD Raptor. Needing a drive that day I went to Best Buy to purchase a 300 Gig Raptor, and they were only available on line, so I bought an Intel 180 gig SSD and cloned the old Raptor using the Apricorn SATA Wire Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit ASW-USB-25. Bare in mind that this kit (WILL NOT PROVIDE ENOUGH POWER TO CLONE A FULL SIZE HARD DRIVE, but will clone from the full size hard drive in the computer to the ssd by usb). After a 40 minute clone, I removed the raptor and installed the newly cloned Intel SSD. Prior to removing the raptor, I timed the boot to password in windows 8. The Raptor did it in 58 seconds. I installed the SSD, and turned on the computer and in 8 seconds I was at the password screen. I liked this drive so well, I bought the 480 gig from Amazon and one other, I think it was a 240 gig. I have a really hot HP DV7 Laptop with 16 gig of ram and an I7 8 core processor. I cloned the hp drive to the 480 Intel, and oh my goodness how wonderful this Intel product works with the intel products in the HP laptop. These drives are rock solid, and I would highly recommend them. I also own a Crucial M4 purchased here on Amazon, and I like it too, but for longevity, I believe the Intel is worth the extra money over the Crucial. All of these 6 gps drives are fast, but I like the Intel's reliability over and above all of the other drives. If you computer is running a Sata III controller, the Intel SSD toolbox download works perfect on these drives. My desktop is an old AMD Athalon 6000 duel core, so all of the Intel Toolbox features do not work due to the sata 2 controller. However, the ssd made the old desktop 12 times faster than it was, and more fun to play with. Hope this helps all of you. Oh by the way, after you install an ssd, be sure to turn OFF your defragmentor in windows by double clicking my computer, right click on Drive C:, click properties, then click the tools tab, click defragment now, and when that window opens, go into the defrag schedule and turn off defrag. Defraging an ssd is bad for the drive, because it shortens the life, and each manufacturer has its own software to optimize their drives. Even though all of the features in the intel tool box do not work on my desktop, the optimize feature does, and that is how you defrag these drives. If you own a newer computer like my laptop with all the intel features, this drive is a must. Moreover, should the drive fail, you still have your old completely bootable hard drive. Knowing that, I purchased Mini Tool Pro partition wizzard online and flawlessly deleted the HP recovery partition and extended the entire drive C; partition to the full capacity of the 480 gig ssd without harming the system files or the boot record. Have fun, because this drive flys low and very very fast!

UPDATE

I benchmarked my drive today @ 491.80 MB/s Read and 287.07 MB/s write, total score at 713. Very fast and high score.
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on November 14, 2012
The Intel 520 series represents an update of Intel's SSD line, which has traditionally offered very high reliability for a decent price, though especially early on was not at the top of the heap in terms of read and write speeds. I bought this in the 240GB version to upgrade my wife's ThinkPad X201, and the update has made her machine even snappier. Disk-bound tasks are done in a flash; file transfers that once took minutes now take a matter of some seconds.

The transfer was a bit of a sticking point. I was unable to use an existing external 2.5" drive case) to do the transfer with the included Acronis software, since that case apparently does not transmit full enough device info to the OS, which caused the software to exit. I wound up buying another transfer cable at extra expense.

The transfer software then finished successfully on the first try, but I didn't much like the way it apportioned the space. My wife's old 500 GB drive had a 1.17 GB system partition, and a recovery partition of about 10 GB at the end, with the space in the middle taken up by one last huge partition. I began by archiving wasteful data, getting her C: partition down to about 80 GB, then was able to shrink that partition (at somewhat of a hassle due to "unmovable files"; Google is your friend if you are having the same issue). I then had 1 1.17 GB partition, followed by an ~80 GB partition, followed by a bunch of unused space, followed by a ~10 GB hidden recovery partition.

Well, the way this all transferred over, the 1.17 GB partition grew to 2.8 GB, the recovery partition grew to about 23 GB, and the rest was given to the C: partition, with no unused space left over. It is a bit irksome that I will have to someday monkey about with partition management software if my wife is to see the full use of her purchased drive space, though for now I'm leaving things as-is.

Pros and cons of this model as I see them:

+ Intel is known for reliability of their SSDs, extremely much so, due to extensive engineering and testing in this area; Intel's reliability engineering for this drive is reported to include creating special firmware with the manufacturers of the Sandforce controller itself
+ A huge leap forward in speed, compared with the 510 series and previous laptop SSDs from Intel; this drive is screaming fast for both reads and writes, and competitive with the best laptop SSDs on the market today
+ Spacer/shim can be removed to use the drive in slimmer late-generation 7mm laptop drive bays, as well as left in place for older 9.5mm ones
+ Transfer software is included to make cloning an old drive easier (though it may entail a bit of extra expense, as it did for me)
+ Intel SSD Toolbox software eases maintenance of the drive, and is free
+ A 5-year warranty is included

- SandForce controller may mean less reliability than previous Intel drives; frequent backups are advised for important data (always advisable anyway)
- SandForce technology means this drive is not as power-miserly as many previous Intel drives (though it is also much faster, which must be weighed in any determination of efficiency); the drive has been tested independently by StorageReview as drawing much more power at peak than Intel claims in marketing info, and draws somewhat more (about .8 watts instead of .6) at idle, which is about middle of the pack for power consumption of late-model SandForce drives
- Transfer software simply grows all pre-existing partitions proportionally, which is guaranteed to be wasteful for such items as system and recovery partitions; to avoid this, one should take care to match partition sizes to about the capacity of the target drive prior to transfer, a step that I would have appreciated being advised to take
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on April 1, 2013
This drive failed in under four months, but it worked well until it failed. Unfortunately can't justify more than one star for an expensive, failed hard drive that resulted in complete data loss. Fortunately I do not trust SSDs (or hard drives in general) and had backed up all important files.

Be sure to back up your files since the drive will fail eventually and may fail a lot sooner than you expect.
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on July 26, 2012
I have a desktop setup (i7 920 2.7ghz, 12gb ram, 1tb hd), and I'd heard how fast SSDs made your computer. I'd been on the fence about upgrading, having read some reviews about failure rates, DOA products, etc. I came across a few articles talking about Intel's quality being worth it even though the SSD by them was more expensive. I decided to try the 520 240 gb reseller kit (reseller kit comes with the hardware to mount onto a desktop).

I'm amazed by how quickly Windows 7 boots up! I went with a fresh install, and kept my old traditonal hard drive as a secondary internal hard drive. I only have the OS and a few Steam games installed on the SSD. I've noticed faster load times for the games plus massive speed increases in general OS operations.

The only downside is all the windows updates with a fresh install...took forever, but now that it's up and running I love the SSD.
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on September 1, 2016
I like to provide feedback after actually using the product for a while. I purchased the Intel 520 Series 120 GB SATA SSD drive in January 2015 and as of September 2016, it is still running fine.

The 120 GB SSD drive was installed on my desktop running Ubuntu 14.04. When I upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04 a few weeks ago, the 120 GB drive was still in my desktop. I ended up purchasing a larger SSD drive (also from Intel) and transferred the data from the 120 GB to the larger drive using "dd". All went without a problem. My system is now using the larger SSD drive (another review ... another day... for this larger drive)

In August 2016, I formatted the Intel 520 Series 120 GB SATA drive and installed it into my kid's laptop, replacing a really slow 5400 rpm drive. The laptop is now performing really well. Booting up and loading applications or large files is just a pleasure. As a side effect, the laptop is no longer so hot, the fan is no longer running constantly and therefore the battery last longer. I also upgraded the laptop to Ubuntu 16.04.
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on December 27, 2012
I bought the drive to put in my Mac mini '12. It was quite an effort to get it in there, but it was so worth it. I love the warranty and Intel's legendary reliability so I'm happy with my choice. I could have saved a bit of money and gotten another drive but so far I can't complain.

A few notes for Mac users:
If you're going to install in a Mac that has 10.8.2 on it and your goal is *NOT* to make a Fusion Drive (if you already have everything on your HDD and you want to manually manage your OS / App SSD usage for instance) when booting into recovery Apple more or less *forces* you to make a Fusion Drive. There are guides to prevent this from happening and the Internet is your friend when it comes to research. I was lucky and knew an SSD was on the way so I didn't have anything on the HDD I needed to keep, so I just went ahead and erased the drive and now have a shiny new Fusion Drive. Always back up your stuff if you're adding a HD anyway in case you lose anything because of a forced format. Fusion Drive works extremely well, by the way. Another thing is TRIM is not enabled by default with Mac. You need to find a third party enabler or do it manually through the Terminal. I've dabbled in *nix quite a bit so I was comfortable with the Terminal method, but I know most won't.

I personally get reads well in excess of 450 MB/s. This thing BLAZES. The first time I booted the mini I knew it would be fast but it's... like.... ~10 seconds fast. Holy nuggets.

Also, obviously, my VirtualBox images are insanely fast. Windows XP never even shows the blue three squares that go from left to right it just blanks for a second and boom desktop. SO AMAZING.

In short, I love this drive, and it's amazing.
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