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Intel SSD 330 120GB/ 180GB review

Intel declares war! A price war, that is

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Introduction

After the introduction of Intel's initially expensive SSD 520 Series, SSDs which were later reduced in price, the manufacturer now releases an even more affordable version in the shape of the SSD 330 series. With this move Intel joins a trend of steadily decreasing prices for solid state storage. This is a great development for consumers that also would like to enjoy the lightning fast speeds that SSDs provide, but have been hesitant thus far due to the high prices. So how does the Intel SSD 330 measure up to the SSD 520 and the rest of the SSD market? Hardware.Info reviews and compares the new arrival with the other current solid state drives.


Price war

Price war is a term usually reserved for grocery stores, but it seems that the world of SSDs is slowly succumbing to a price-race to the bottom. OCZ provided the opening salvo with the launch of the Petrol SSDs, models cost significantly less than £1 per GB. While the performance of the Petrol was somewhat worse than that of most SATA 600 SSDs, the price/performance ratio more than made up for that.

SSD prices have by now dropped well below the £1 per GB barrier, a trend that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. Now chip giant Intel is jumping onto the affordable solid state juggernaut with a new series of drives, which should do nothing if not drive down prices even further and perhaps even ignite a real price war in the SSD market.

The new Intel SSD 330 series was introduced with its low price as main selling point. Now that the Crucial m4s are also available for similar prices we can definitely call this a trend, and other manufacturers will be forced to re-examine their pricing structures to avoid falling behind.

Intel 330 Series 120GB

The new SSD 330 series is the successor to Intel's older 320 product line, but there aren't many similarities. The 320 SSDs were still based on Intel's own PC29AS21BA0 controller. A couple of years ago it provided state-of-the-art performance, but it no longer keeps up with the newest SSDs because of its SATA 300 interface. The SSD 330 models are based on the well-known Sandforce SF-2281 SATA 600 controller. It's the same chip the luxury SSD 520 series has and that's also used in many other SSDs including the OCZ Vertex 3, Corsair Force GT and Kingston HyperX.

Intel 330 Series 180GB
The Intel SSD 330 is based on the popular SandForce SF-2281 controller


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