Fortunately for me, with the number of drives we are looking at I don’t have to crack open the case on any of them since they are all naked mSATA drives. It makes for a much easier photo session save for the pesky stickers.
All of the Intel 525 drives all have a product sticker on each one side, carrying all of the pertinent information. This covers up the NAND modules on this side.
Peeking under the sticker we see one of the Intel branded 25nm MLC NAND chip and density varies with each drive.
Finally we come to the SandForce SF-2281 which Intel has leveraged for some time now. Intel has put a lot of time and effort into customizing the firmware they are using to squash any bugs and make tweaks that facilitates performance, reliability and power consumption. All for the better of course. Otherwise, the controller is the same that we’ve see countless times that excels when faced with highly compressible data and offers more modest performance on incompressible data as we’ve shown many times in our benchmarks. Still, it’s one of the best controllers available and has been proven to be adept at maintaining drive performance with support of features like idle garbage collection, TRIM and AES 128-bit encryption.