Intel has officially announced its 330 Series of SSDs, which are to replace the current 320 models. The biggest change is the new SATA 6 Gbps controller. The 320 series was still based on Intel's own second-generation controller, first used in 2009 in the X25-M 'Postville' drives. While this controller performs quite well, it simply isn't designed to handle speeds greater than 3 Gbps.
The 330 Series use the familiar SF-2281 SandForce controller, allowing for speeds of up to 500 MB/s for reading and 450 MB/s for writing data. Compared to the 320 drives, the new series is almost twice as fast. Random read/ write operations result in respectively 22,500 and 33,000 IOPS for the 120GB model, while the 60GB and 180GB versions are to be slightly slower and faster, respectively.
Intel's new 330 Series uses the common 2.5 inch form factor and has the standard thickness of 9.5 mm, making it suitable for notebooks as well. While the 320 Series was mainly intended for the business sector and for system builders, the new 330 drives are explicitly marketed at consumers. As such, it is expected that the availability of the new drives will be significantly better than their predecessors.
As mentioned before, the 330 SSDs will be available in capacities of 60, 120 and 180GB. Each of the drives is equipped with the latest-generation 25nm MLC flash memory. Unfortunately, the 330 drives are backed by only 3 years of factory warranty, while Intel's 320 and 520 series are bundled with 5 years of warranty. Listed below are the recommended prices and the most important specifications. UK prices were not available at this time.
|Model||Reading/writing speed (max.)||Reading/writing speed (random I/O)||Recommended price|
|60 GB||500 / 400 MB/s||12,000 / 20,500 IOPS||$89|
|120 GB||500 / 450 MB/s||22,500 / 33,000 IOPS||$149|
|180 GB||500 / 450 MB/s||42,000 / 52,000 IOPS||$234|
Intel launches its new 330 Series SSDs