TRIM Functionality

SandForce has always exhibited strange behavior when it came to TRIM. Even Intel's custom firmware in the SSD 520 wasn't able to fix SandForce's TRIM problem. The issue happens when the SSD is completely filled with incompressible data (both user LBAs and spare area). Any performance degradation after that point won't be restored with a TRIM pass and instead will require a secure erase to return to new. None of the Intel SF SSDs have been able to fix this issue and the 525 is no exception. I ran a slightly modified version of our usual test here. I filled the drive with incompressible data, ran our consistency workload (also with incompressible data) then measured performance using a 128KB (incompressible) pass in IOmeter. I then TRIMed the entire drive and re-ran the IOmeter test.

Intel SSD 525 Resiliency - IOMeter 128KB Incompressible Sequential Write
  Clean After Torture (30 mins) After TRIM
Intel SSD 525 240GB 293.5 MB/s 59.8 MB/s 153.3 MB/s

And the issues persists. This is really a big problem with SandForce drives if you're going to store lots of incompressible data (such as MP3s, H.264 videos and other highly compressed formats) because sequential speeds may suffer even more in the long run. As an OS drive the SSD 525 will do just fine since it won't be full of incompressible data, but I would recommend buying something non-SandForce if the main use will be storage of incompressible data.

Power Consumption

In our original 525 review I noticed lower idle power consumption compared to the Intel SSD 520, however higher active power consumption. It turns out that both active and idle power consumption should be lower than the 520. As is the case with all of our SSD reviews, we measure power consumption on the 5V rail going into the drive as most drives don't use 3.3V or 12V power. In the case of the 525, it will draw power on the 3.3V rail by default but when used in our mSATA to SATA adapter it is only fed power on the 5V rail. Measuring power at the mSATA to SATA adapter rather than at the mSATA board itself is likely the cause for this discrepancy. Update: We've measured 525 power consumption using the 3.3V rail supplied directly to the drive.

The numbers below are taken from drives using the same mSATA adapter, although actual power consumption in a system with a native mSATA connector should be lower for the 525 at least. Note that the 180GB 525 only has three NAND packages, which seems to positively influence power consumption in the easily compressible data access tests. Under incompressible data load the extra NAND die outweigh the power savings of only having three NAND packages.

Power consumption remains a strength of the 525, although I'd be curious to see how an mSATA Samsung 840 Pro would do here. 

Drive Power Consumption - Idle

Drive Power Consumption - Sequential Write

Drive Power Consumption - Random Write

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload Final Words


View All Comments

  • PolarisOrbit - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    The comparison table on the first page indicates a 90GB drive and then it's never mentioned again in the rest of the article. Reply
  • Denithor - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    Addressed in the first paragraph:

    "At the time we only presented performance for a single 240GB drive, however Intel decided to break the mold and send us nearly every capacity in the 525 lineup."

    I would imagine that the 90GB model is the one they didn't provide.
  • AndrewDobie - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
  • philipma1957 - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    first what mobo can I buy that will run at sata III speeds.

    I have 3 mobos with msata's all 3 use sata II speed's.

    I have an intel h77 itx

    an asrock z77 itx

    an asus z77 matx

    second question when will the crucial m500 480gb drop?

    third question which has nothing to do with msata just sata. when does sata IV come out.

    I get a bit bored with ssd reviews since speed is pretty much capped at 550 read write.

    iops are not going to go to 550 read write at random 4k.

    so sata 4 would mean all new speeds to droll over.

    a bigger msata like the crucial m500 would be nice.

    and an itx board that used msata at sata III would be nice.

    not knocking intel but ssd's seem to have become more of the same.

    As Jimmy Fallon would say bigger harder faster stronger.
    oh one last thing the 5 year warranty is nice.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    Crucial M500 is Q2'13, that's all we know for now. I'm very interested in the drive as well, hopefully we can get samples soon.

    SATA Express is the future of SATA, we likely won't see SATA IV (12Gbps) for a few years (if we'll ever even see it). We may see some SATAe based SSDs/mobos H2'13 but I haven't heard any specific time frame.
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    That's disappointing; I was hoping they'd be available by 13Q2 to go along with the Haswell launch since there will be an uptick of enthusiast system building then. Based on prior history my Haswell box will last at least until Skylake launches; and probably until the tick following it four years from now. Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    ... because I just care that much :D

    But seriously, Anandtech. Let's talk logic here. Intel has specification sheets with detailed power consumption numbers. It says for the entire SSD 525 series: 250mW idle typical, 300mW under mobilemark 2007.

    How can you look at your own power consumption numbers and say 'well, close enough, let's just publish it even though it's 100% too high and clearly not correct'?

    Here's how to fix your SSD power consumption errors: measure power consumption going directly into the drive on all rails and use it in a system that has device initiated power management features enabled (DIPM), that is: basically all operating systems nowadays.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    As I mentioned in the review, the mSATA adapter we test with only supplies 5V to the drive. To address this going forward I need to modify a board with a native mSATA connector and measure 3.3V on the board itself. The results here at least allow you to compare the various capacities of the 525.

    MobileMark 2007 is mostly an idle test, which is why none of our loaded numbers have ever come close to any spec sheet that reports it. This is the same reason we don't use it in our notebook reviews.

    We will be switching to DIPM-only testing in our 2013 storage suite update, which will unfortunately break backwards comparability with our older results.

    Take care,
  • RU482 - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    What mSATA adapter board are you using?
    Just a thought, you should be able to lift a lead on the 5-to-3.3V regulator on the board and measure the output current with a multi-meter.
  • extide - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    Also note that those mSATA to SATA converters use a little linear regulator(like a 7833) to convert the 5v to 3.3v. Linear regulators are very in-efficient, as they essentially turn the "extra" voltage into heat by using a network of resistors.

    If you are simply measuring the power into the adapter then you are not getting a very good look at the actually mSATA device power draw.

    HOWEVER, if someone else is using the adapter in their system they will also be utilizing that same linear regulator, and thus see the same power usage as they show in the article here.

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