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Intel SSD 335 240GB review: 20nm entry-level SSD

Smaller transistors can create cheaper SSDs

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Introduction

Intel has launched a new series of SSDs, called the SSD 335, which will replace the 330 series. The Sandforce SF-2281 controller from the previous 330 line survives in the new 335 series, but the size of the chips has been reduced from 25nm to 20nm flash memory. Smaller transistors are cheaper to manufacture which potentially can lead to more affordable products.

Intel positions the 335 SSD as mid-range products, like the 330, with a focus on providing lots of bang for your buck. The SandForce SF-2281 controller is starting to show its age, and in our most recent SSD review it became clear that it no longer holds its own in the high-end segment. SandForce SSDs are starting to become true low-cost SSDs.


Intel 335 Series 240GB

The SSD 335 will initially only be available as a 240 GB model. Intel reports that this SSD has a maximum theoretical read speed of 500 MB/s, and a max write speed of 450 MB/s. It puts the indicated performance at the same level of its predecessor the SSD 330 240 GB.

The SSD 335 has 16 flash chips of 16 GB each (which in turn consist of two 8 GB dies). The new 20nm chips originate from the Micron/Intel factory and are identical to the previous 25nm chips in terms of performance. The chips adhere to the ONFI 2.3 standard. Just like 25nm chips, these new ones are validated for 3000 write cycles per cell. Intel therefore claims they are just as reliable, and again Intel offers three years of warranty, based on an average of 20 GB writes per day.

Intel 335 Series 240GB

The advantage of the SSD 335 over the previous SSD 330 is that the smaller size of the 20nm chips makes them cheaper to produce. The new Intel SSD 335 240GB should in the end be more affordable the SSD 330 240 GB that has an average price of £167, which translates to £0.70 per GB.

The chart below has the specifications of the new 335 next to those of the 330 and 520.

General
 
BrandIntelIntelIntel
Product name330 Series 240GB335 Series 240GB520 Series 240GB (boxed)
Product codeSSDSC2CT240A3K5SSDSC2CT240A4K5SSDSC2CW240A3K5
DetailsProduct infoProduct infoProduct info
Specifications
Disc typeSSDSSDSSD
SSD typeMulti-level cellMulti-level cellMulti-level cell
Quoted capacity240 GB240 GB240 GB
Price per gigabyte€ 0,923 / GB£ 0,663 / GB£ 0,886 / GB
Rotation speed0 rpm0 rpm0 rpm
Size2.5 inch2.5 inch2.5 inch
Height9.5 mm9.3 mm
InterfaceSerial ATA 600Serial ATA 600Serial ATA 600
SSD controllerSandForce SF-2281SandForce SF-2281SandForce SF-2281
Power connectorSATASATASATA
Measured capacity223.6 GB223.6 GB223.6 GB
Native Command Queuing
TRIM support
Read500 MB/s500 MB/s550 MB/s
Write450 MB/s450 MB/s520 MB/s
Transistor size flash chips25 nm20 nm25 nm
Flash chip brandIntelIntelIntel
Warranty3 year(s)3 year(s)5 year(s)


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