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Windows 7: Intel 520 SSD, low performance, high performance, then low again...?


23 Apr 2012   #1

Win 7
 
 
Intel 520 SSD, low performance, high performance, then low again...?

I just now installed an Intel 520 240GB SSD. Measuring the performance, got strange results. First it did not at all perform close to my expectations and Intels promises:

Above is the HD Tune benchmark, but Crystal Disk Mark showed similar performance.

The next day I turned on the machine and using AS SSD I suddenly measured roughly double the performance. And just to be sure, I also benchmarked with HD Tune:

I ran AS SSD several times and got approximately the same results (but I also got an error message on the Acc Time measurement, saying that "Could not open device \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE2". Does anyone know what that is about? I read somewhere on the web that it could have something to do with my RAM drive...)

Happy with this I installed the 520 permanently in the computer. But I decided to run a final measurement before going to bed. And suddenly, now again I got the low performance!

This is measured just 2 hours later than the one above.

I haven't the faintest clue what's going on. Could it be broken? Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Apr 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

The alignment looks OK if I read that picture correctly.

Intel's don't necessarily have the highest specs, but most of the specs don't mean much for most users.

If you had not benchmarked it, would you still be disappointed? Does it feel snappy, boot fast, open apps quickly, run virus scans quickly, etc?

I don't know if RAM disk might affect it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2012   #3

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
The alignment looks OK if I read that picture correctly.
Yes, the alignment is OK. AHCI and TRIM is turned on. Everything is as it should be, AFAIU, but still something seems wrong...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Intel's don't necessarily have the highest specs, but most of the specs don't mean much for most users.

If you had not benchmarked it, would you still be disappointed? Does it feel snappy, boot fast, open apps quickly, run virus scans quickly, etc?

I don't know if RAM disk might affect it.
I replaced an Intel 320 120GB SSD with it. The reason I started measuring to begin with, was that when I replaced the 320 with the 520, I immediately felt that the performance was lower, not higher as I expected. Intel promises the 520 to work in the 260 MB/s region (with 3Gb/s SATA), as shown in the middle measurement. The 320 delivers on the exact same machine, even the exact same physical SATA port, around 230MB/s. The degraded perfomance of the 520 sure is noticeable.

The reason I wanted to replace the existing 320 with the 520 is that I want to run the 520 at 6GB/s SATA...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Apr 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Do you have the most recent firmware?

Have you contacted Intel directly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2012   #5

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Do you have the most recent firmware?

Have you contacted Intel directly?
Yes, latest FW 400i. No, I haven't talked to Intel directly, I wanted to see if I should worry that it is bad or if there maybe is some easy fix. I guess I'll have to send it back to where it was bought from.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #6

Win 7
 
 

Surely there has to be something wrong with this Intel 520 SSD... Today I turn on the computer and I immediately feel it is snappier. And sure enough, Crystal Disk Mark gives me this:


So, one day it measures at 130 MB/s, the next 260 MB/s. And just look at the measure for the 4K QD32 Write benchmark. It is WAY to low, compared to the other numbers, right? That particular test also took a helluva long time to complete.

So, please someone confirm... the SSD is broken, right?
I just need that extra push to send it back where it came from
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #7

Win 7
 
 

I turned the BIOS to 6GB/s (SATA 3), to hopefully achieve great speed from my Intel 520 240GB. But again I was disappointed. Yes, I measure good read speeds, but write speeds are well below expectations:



Write speeds are even lower than when on 3GB/s (SATA 2):



But not only that... boot time increased by a factor of 5! Boot time went from ~12 seconds when on 3GB/s to ~1 minute when on 6GB/s. Surely there has to be something wrong with this drive...? No-one has confirmed, but I'm sending it back anyways
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Did you do a clean install on the 520 and if you were going to run it on the 6GB side why install on the 3GB first. I'm not sure its wise going back and forth without doing a secure erase. Just some things to think about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #9

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 1Bowtie View Post
Did you do a clean install on the 520 and if you were going to run it on the 6GB side why install on the 3GB first. I'm not sure its wise going back and forth without doing a secure erase. Just some things to think about.
I never thought of that... that the SATA speed set in the BIOS would affect how things are installed. Sounds strange to me, but I guess there could be something... any ideas/hints?

Anyways, something is fishy... this is Crystal Disk Mark on the second partition of teh SSD (alignment is fine):



1.72 MB/s write 4K QD32 must surely indicate a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2012   #10

Win 7
 
 

Just for completeness... I sent the SSD back to the retailer, and included a link to this thread. I got a new one sent back that performs according to expectations; performance is consistently high. So the first one I got was definitely faulty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Intel 520 SSD, low performance, high performance, then low again...?




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