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.
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.
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.