Intel SSD 520 solid-state drive bets on improved reliability over low price

Formerly the undisputed champ in the solid-state-drive arena, Intel has seen countless competitors enter the SSD ring, offering superior performance and cheaper prices than the chip giant. With the just-released SSD 520 series, Intel is choosing to emphasize reliability as a key differentiator from the pack.

Formerly the undisputed champ in the solid-state-drive arena, Intel has seen countless competitors enter the SSD ring, offering superior performance and cheaper prices than the chip giant. With the just-released SSD 520 series, Intel is choosing to emphasize reliability as a key differentiator from the pack.

Like many other recent SSDs, the 520 drives make use of the Sandforce SF-2281 controller to offer competitive speeds. But controllers have often been plagued with bugs that need firmware patching, so Intel has taken steps to combat durability concerns. First, it's used top-shelf NAND flash that also contributes to performance gains, according to benchmarking by Maximum PC. It's also offering a whopping 5-year warranty on the SSD 520, which is a couple of years longer than the typical warranty.

Of course, there's a cost to Intel's strategy -- a literal one, in this case. As Tom's Hardware points out, you'll be paying a premium for Intel's commitment to greater reliability over similar drives. The company is clearly hoping buyers are concerned enough about their data that they're willing to spend more for a superior guarantee. Would you be?

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