Hi Joe. I got frustrated and exchanged the drive for a Kingston which I just installed and works the way it should. I'm going to post some images of a similar drive to hopefully help others. I didn't take any snapshots of the Intel 530 but I did get some snapshots of the PNY XLR8 Pro which acted exactly the same and the Speccy results were identical. Both use the SandForce 2281 controller. Below is the PNY Speccy image. Note the "Interface" is listed as SATA and the "Used Transfer Mode" is SATA II after running the ATTO benchmark utility. Before running the ATTO benchmark, the "Used Transfer Mode" was listed as SATA III. At some point during the test the interface changes from SATA III to SATA II. It did this every time.
Here's the Kingston Speccy image installed on the same laptop:
Note that the "Interface" says SATA-3 instead of just SATA. This drive performs at full SATA III levels throughout the entire ATTO test.
The driver version for the Intel Mobile Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller is 188.8.131.525 the latest one available.
I own a Thinkpad W520 with the same configuration as DD52 and two 2.5" Intel SSD's 530 (firmware DC32) and 335 (firmware 335u). I run the 335 since July 2013 but noticed it was a bit slow (no benchmarks at that time), so I decided to buy the 530 in Oct. 2013. The second one had start up problems, so I was unable to run it until Feb. 2014 when Intel has issued the latest firmware but is was as slow as the 335.
I have swapped the two SSD's between desktop and Thinkpad. Each one was very fast on desktop but disappointing slow on Thinkpad. Today I have discovered that after completely removal of Intel RST (ver. 184.108.40.2066) from the laptop, both SSD's are behaving as expected (WEI 7.9 instead of 7.8). The one to blame are RST drivers, not Intel SSD's or platforms.
I post here the benchmarks results obtained with SiSoft Sandra for Intel SSD 335, with and without Intel RST drivers:
And now the AS SSD benchmark for intel SSD 530:
Conclusion: uninstall Intel Rapid Storage Technology and use Microsoft default AHCI drivers instead.