Intel 730 Series 480GB SSD Review in RAID

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Inside the 730 Series

So as with most drives, getting at the guts simply takes the removal of a few screws although one on the 730 series was hidden beneath the front product sticker.

Intel 730 PCB1

The first side of the PCB looks relatively pedestrian as far as SSDs go but have a little closer look. All of the NAND modules are the same, save for one. This is the first time we’ve seen this on a drive.

Intel 730 NAND

The the majority of the NAND packages (7) carry part number 29F32B08MCMF2 and are 32GB in density and the lone oddball is part number 29F16B08LCMF2 which is 16GB in capacity. All are Intel branded and 20nm in lithography.

Intel 730 PCB2

Flipping the board over, we see another aberrant NAND chip with part number 29F64B08NCMF2 which is 64GB in capacity so altogether, we have 14 32GB chips, one 64GB and one 16Gb which works out to 528GB of storage. However, one NAND package dedicated for redundancy although we aren’t sure exactly which one.

CACHE

Along with the two  512MB Micron branded DDR3-1600 DRAM packages, you can see twin capacitors hooked into the board which are there to protect from data loss should there be a sudden loss of host power as they will supply power long enough to complete the operation in progress. This is typically something only seen in enterprise level drives.

Intel 730 CONTROLLER

The 8-channel third generation Intel controller PC29AS21CA0 speed has been bumped to 600MHz and along with the increased 100MHz NAND bus speed, it certainly has a positive impact on performance. As expected, it handles all of the normal behind the scenes duties like wear-leveling, TRIM, garbage collection and advanced firmware algorithms to maximize overall drive endurance.

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