Back to Article

  • hackztor - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    very sad from Intel. Was waiting for these and disappointed. Last gen performance...Price is not very exciting either. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Looks good to me. Intel reliability, FINALLY larger drive sizes + automatic full disk encryption is awesome.

    Only bad thing is I can't actually find them on Amazon or Newegg yet, and I'd like one for a new system...
  • vol7ron - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    You must be blind.

    This is to the X25-M G2 what Vista was to XP. It's a, "don't buy unless you have to" situation.

    OCZ/SandForce have to be laughing - Intel is in shambles. First, SSD delays, then Mobo chipset recalls, then Chandra Anand quits, and now this crap.

    Sure, their SSD is still reliable and it's not a bad product, but the pricing isn't even that great. Maybe they don't need to implement the SF-2k series algorithm, but some sort of compression engine would be nice. Claiming powerout reliability is like saying, "we just don't know how to make these capacitors hold a charge." Honestly, I don't care if you have to add a backup NiCad battery. Sure Intel has had reliability down, but they've had over a year to work on speed - this is akin to the Western Digital SSD release; of course it's much more attractive, but it's the reliability vs speed situation.

    Who knows, maybe Intel's laughing at us just as hard as OCZ is laughing at them.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Actually, I'm laughing at you and your nonsense theories. Thanks for that. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    :) a little lite accusations for a comical release Reply
  • Thermogenic - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Intel is in shambles? LOL. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Okay, maybe a little bit of exaggeration, but this wasn't a strong release and they've had their large share of problems lately - don't you think?

    x86 will have a tough time dealing with RISC. I think RISC is just a better technology, since it doesn't have to deal with legacy instructions. That translates to performances and power efficiencies.

    While Intel does still have some room to shrink the die, there isn't much room with current technologies. Also, the ARM chips will continue to decrease in die shrinks as well. That being said, there was some evidence that there could be a cheap alternative to Silicon on the horizon, which would allow for smaller theoretical components. (

    The way I see it, this is similar to when Intel moved the mem controller of the chipset and onto the die. They could have done it sooner, but they are good at extracting $$ from their customers. They reached the high clock rate track and had re-think their position.

    While Intel may not be in shambles per se, in its current state, Intel has dished out a lot of debt, they haven't done too well with their NVidia relationship, and they're struggling in the mobile space. And I think AMD is still the better choice on the server front, if I recall correctly. This is all going on while their CEO is on the Obama's Job Council, which I still say that was probably not the best decision.

    So, for a company that's been ahead for the last few years, they still have some short-term capabilities, but it's the long term that's important. They need to be successful in breaking into and building a new market segment (Mobile/HTPCs/SSDs).
  • Wiggy McShades - Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - link

    Right now intel has to at very least TRY to hold on to x86 because they only have one competitor in this area, a competitor is severely limited compared to intel, which means huge profits. Intel could easily license the arm architecture and produce an soc that'd blow the everything out of the water. The reason I'm saying this is their manufacturing capabilities are the best in the world which means a LOT for producing microprocessors and currently their cpu's are just a RISC design that translates x86 instructions, so they'd really not even have to hire new engineers. Although then that means a loss in confidence in x86 and could lead to a transition to the arm architecture which they don't control. They probably know x86 isn't going to make it forever, but holding on to it for now is extremely profitable. We'll see how crafty they can get in shoehorning x86 into the mobile arena and that should truly decide how much longer x86 will be around. Intel can easily stand on their manufacturing capabilities and the insanely talented engineers they employ to compete in any up and coming markets, but it's just in their best interest to try and keep x86 dominance for now. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Saturday, January 14, 2012 - link

    Just re-reading, and Intel hasn't built a X86 chip with the instruction set in hardware in more than a decade. There chips are RISC with a X86 suit. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Haha, it's fun reading these old comments, this is one so ill-conceived it makes me laugh.

    I have an Intel 320 120GB and it still works perfectly. Same can't be said for the OCZ Vertex 2 it replaced, and of course, we all know what happened to OCZ and partly Sandforce's reputation..
  • LeTiger - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    If Intel's not careful... they will price and performance themselves out of the very market they sought to create in the first place... Reply
  • nexox - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Meh, this is the cheapest SSD with some form of capacitor backup for volatile data - to get something similar you need to go to a SandForce 1500 or 2500 controller, and probably expect to pay 2-3x as much. Most people aren't too concerned with this, but it's an essential feature, no matter what the manufacturers say.

    It's also the only SSD I've seen that doesn't exhibit random latency spikes, that combined with the power fail protection means that it's the only SSD I'd consider buying.
  • cactusdog - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    At least with Intel you are guaranteed to get best quality nand and reliable performance over the long term. Intel have also done the right thing by rebranding 25nm drives, even though in Intel's case performance is a little better than their 34nm drives.

    With OCZ, theres no way of knowing which nand you will get and you could end up with second rate nand not intended for high performance SSD's.

    Intel's performance is very reliable over the long term, whereas OCZ/sandforce 3GB/s drives are known to slow to a "settled state" especially with smaller drives.

    Intel will sell plenty of these drives because they are reliable and trustworthy.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Exactly. Not everybody plays benchmarks all day long and doesnt care one bit about reliability of the storage system. Reply
  • wumpus - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    And just how many filesystems automatically write everything the instant write() is called? It is a bad idea for rotating media, and will take awhile before filesystems optimized for SSDs show up (Microsoft has been promising a database centric filesystem for the "next windows" since NT was new. Maybe someday.) Also, NTFS has corruption issues with standard hard drives, this isn't going to help that reliability much anyway. You need backups, a real UPS, and RAID (in roughly that order) if you care about data reliability.

    If intel was willing to compete largely on reliability, they could double the price (if data on SRAM competition is even more expensive), as such a feature is worth much more than any amount of hardware cost to a large number of customers. Don't expect to get it without major software surgery (and yes, some of those customers have the software).
  • seapeople - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I don't understand all the negative feedback on this drive. For the 90% of us who have 3Gbps SATA, compared to the Vertex 3 this drive is:

    ~25% slower than Vertex 3
    ~20% cheaper than Vertex 3

    Why is that so terrible, the Vertex 3 is an amazing performance feat, and under common mainstream conditions this drive is about equal on a price/performance basis.

    Meanwhile, this drive gives us 20% more performance than the g2 generation while being ~20% cheaper. This is far from sad.
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - link

    Except the MSRP for a 120GB Vertex 3 is cheaper than what an equally sized Intel SSD 320 series drive costs. That's simply laughable. Higher price for worse performance? Throwing up the "reliability" card is a red herring when you consider that the 25nm process is brand new, you don't get to state that for any technology until it's been around on the market for quite some time (otherwise, it's just name recognition only, and that worked so well for Sandy Bridge chipsets). Reply
  • seapeople - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    You're on crack. A 120 GB Vertex 3 is listed as 249.99 versus 209.00 for the 120 GB Intel SSD 320.

    Furthermore, SSD reliability issues generally arise from controller/firmware nuances and bugs, not the new process node. It sounds like the SSD 320 is basically the g2 with new flash and a few features unlocked, so it's reasonable to expect similar controller reliability. Apart from that, basically everyone uses the same flash anyway, so if the Intel drive dies because of the new flash process then so will the Vertex.
  • andreyu - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    1. you're blind or on crack
    2. you bought a ocz/corsair ssd cause you wanted speed but returned it for problems and now you're mad on intel? sorry 4 u

    120 GB Intel SSD 320 is CHEAPER than 120 GB Vertex 3
  • TonyB - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    lol Reply
  • B3an - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    lol @ this SSD.

    But most of all lol @ the price for this performance.
  • wumpus - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Somehow they sell chips that perform at levels AMD meets, as well as the high end. Both get large intel mark ups. Lol at the customers. Reply
  • Cow86 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Have to agree here, I was looking forward to this drive to be decent performance at a low price....Performance is a bit less than I hoped for though, and the pricing is actually the same or higher than last gen. I'm looking to purchase an SSD in a few months (based on bulldozer, so somewhere late june probably) for a full rebuild of my pc, and I'll look at the pricing landscape then, but so far am dissapointed at the pricing of this entire new generation....wasn't 25 nm supposed to lower prices?

    As a sidenote, I couldn't help but take note of Crucial M4 results in the graphs here (which frankly, whilst doing great in write performance, seem a bit of a letdown in read performance compared to the C300?). Have I missed a review of that here, or is that inbound and have the results simply already been included in this review?
  • semo - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    25nm nodes are more prone to errors and have a lower lifespan. This, and possibly other limitation, have necessitated workarounds that eat in to the savings due to smaller size (more reserve space, more ECC).

    Japan's natural disasters have also impacted global supply of flash (which hasn't been able to meet demand for a while now anyway)
  • ArteTetra - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I don't think this chips come from Japan. I think they are made in Lehi, Utah, USA.

    Furthermore, look at the date on those chips. It says 2008 and 2009, not 2011.
  • vol7ron - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I think Intel was using Samsung memory though. I'm not sure if these are manufactured in South Korea, or if Samsung has a plant in Japan. Reply
  • Griswold - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    No. Do you pull that crap out of your ass before posting it? Reply
  • dagamer34 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Sure, 25nm was supposed to lower prices, but all it demonstrates was that Intel was charging more for its drive previously anyway.

    Just looking at benchmarks, the OCZ Vertex 3 is gonna be the drive to beat, though it still isn't shipping to any retailers for sale yet.
  • Gami - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    there's nothing to beat, if you're not ont he market for sale. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    The m4 arrived while I was at CTIA last week so I just had enough time to run it through our suite. A full review of it and much more is coming soon :) Reply
  • Cow86 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Awesome, looking forward to it :) Reply
  • adamantinepiggy - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Hey Anand, your 256GB Micron/Crucial M4 results on the Vantage HDD test seem to reflect an issue I have had with several P67 motherboards. On the 6G/s ports, on certain MB's, with the Intel SATA driver, it's not running at full speed. The only way I fixed it was to revert the the Intel driver back to the Win7 MSAHCI driver and then update again back to the Intel SATA driver. Why? I have no idea, but that drive should bounce up to the 60,000+ in the Vantage HDD test.

    I noticed this issue with both a MSI and a ASUS P67 chipset MB. The 45K HHD is the exact same I got here in the Micron R&D lab before I did the MSAHCI swap and the revert back to Intel driver. The MSAHCI driver does about 55K with that drive. then the change back to the Intel driver suddenly bumps the core to 62Kish. This also affects all the other Vantage scores, but is most significantly seen with the HDD test.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Our Vantage scores are actually taken using a Marvell 6Gbps controller, which is why we get much lower numbers in that test than if we used a 6-series board. I'll be switching over entirely pretty soon but for the sake of comparison to older drives (not to mention owners of Marvell 6Gbps SATA controllers) I kept the older testbed as is.

    Take care,
  • nexox - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    """the pricing is actually the same or higher than last gen."""

    Really? The chart in the article says that a 160GB G2 is $404, and a 160GB 320 is $289. Seems like a ~40% decrease to me.
  • softdrinkviking - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    i think the implication was that the G2 was 2 generations ago, not last generation. Reply
  • Zhriver - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Slightly offtopic.
    Around the web i see a lot of talk about Intel finally enabling TRIM for raid 0 and 1.
    Has Anandtech looked into this yet?
  • Omid.M - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link


    I read a comment by someone regarding TRIM support in the OS:

    TRIM is an excuse for poorly designed controllers.

    The statement sounded too conclusive to be taken seriously, as I'm sure the reality is more complicated. The discussion was surrounding which 3rd party SSDs to use with OS X.

    Any comments on the validity of the statement?
  • davepermen - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    The truth is the reverse: A good controller can negate the need for trim. But trim is still important and should always be there. why, because it's about giving information to an ssd which it can put to good use. Not having that information is just making the life for the drive needlessly difficult.

    trim is the best way to make an os and an ssd work together in harmony, unimportant the controller. it's the way to allow the ssd what parts of the disk are used by the os and what parts aren't. a good ssd can survive without knowing that. but it's still like forcing someone to work blind, or deaf where he's not actually disabled.

    as osx doesn't support trim yet, the argument got reversed (as osx is from apple and thus perfect) => any ssd supporting trim is "cheating". this, of course will change with lion, which will bring trim. then, the argument is an ssd not having trim is stupid, as, again, osx is from apple and thus perfect. /joking.
  • beepboy - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    OS X do support TRIM, just gotta do these steps (thanks to

    "Subject: Third-Party TRIM SSD Support in Mac OS X
    Hello Mike. I have good news for those people still waiting for support of TRIM command for third-party Solid State Drives (in OS X). Now we have a support!

    It was tested with Intel SSD 2nd generation and OCZ Vertex and it is fully working. But for launch to work we need an IOAHCIFamily.kext (Kernel Extension) with Plugin inside called IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext where in the directory you can find a binary with the same name. This can be downloaded now from internet. This kernel extension was taken from Mac OS X 10.6.6 (10J3210) that came with MacBook Pro 2011. (not the std OS X build)

    Open it with HEX editor and search for "APPLE SSD". This is verification on "if this Solid State Drive is an Apple or not?" implemented by Apple. Simply change this 9 symbols with first 9 symbols from name of your SSD.
    (FYI - per Viktor's later mail (see below), replacing Apple SSD with all Hex zeroes is another/better option)
    Install this modified kext with kexthelper (don't forget to rebuild cache with button in kexthelper) and reboot.
    This is works on latest Mac OS X 10.6.7 and 10.7 Developer Preview.
    -Viktor D.

    I asked about any proof that trim is really working in OS X, not just the OS reporting it as supported. (Many SSDs have GC support in firmware, which has been a plus for OS X users w/o Trim support.)
    Here's his reply regarding proof of trim working.

    Ok, there are three things:

    1) Apple can do it (just show "yes") through detecting media type of Disk in System Profiler (which is more simple) instead of using for this AHCI driver. And another thing - this is all SSDs, just with different names, which all supports unified commands.

    2) IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext is not something simple. This driver (Input Output Advanced Host Controller Interface Block Storage) manages all IO for SATA Storage Devices, ie. NCQ, R/W operations, TRIM, etc.. How OS checks that TRIM is supported and works in drive? As you can see in my last message - we tested a group of disks, the ones which support TRIM natively and those which produced early that lacked TRIM support. Those disk that supported it, OS recognized. Those which lacked it OS shows "TRIM Support: No" without exception. To check - IOAHCI after detecting that this is not "rotational" disk (reports no spinning speed), it sends the TRIM commands "BuildATATrimCommand" (found inside IOAHCIBlockStoorage) to the SSD. If SSD executes this, on specific address of clusters after trimming will be zeroes like if we had a secure format with zeroes, then IOAHCI reports that command executed, and SSD supports TRIMming. If the command was ignored and not executed, OS reports that this SSD doesn't support TRIM. This command is not a process which can be monitored by Activity Monitor. It is just a command to SSD's controller which will do this work fully automatically without OS intrusion. This is the algorithm to understand "how os checks that TRIM is supported and executed".

    3) Another proof. First what we noted is reverting performance via synthetic test back to original. Another - is using "hdparm" method. Booted in linux, mount SSD with HFS, creates small file in specific place and saves the info about address of sectors that contains that file. In linux TRIM is turned off for HFS. Boot to OS X and delete this file. Back to linux - check the address - and we see only zeros. TRIM is working.
    (In theory any SSD that supports TRIM should work but he later wrote with results of more testing)
    Some more information about activated TRIM tests with other SSDs. These models tested and TRIM verified working:

    Kingston V+ SSDNow Series
    Intel X25-S/M 2nd Gen Series
    Western Digital Silicon Edge Blue Series
    OCZ Agility 2 Series
    OCZ Vertex Series
    -Viktor D."
  • B3an - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    All that just to get TRIM working in OSX?

    "It just works" .. yeah right, Apple.
  • bji - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    You're retarded. Their systems do 'just work' according to the promised features and reliability. Just because they don't promise TRIM support, and apparently don't require it to satisfy the performance that they promise, doesn't mean that their stuff doesn't 'just work'. The fact is that end users do not need to do any of those commands to use their SSD drives as they are intended to be used.

    Not that I should even have to say this, but I don't own a single piece of Apple hardware aside from an old iPod Touch. So please don't accuse me of being a fanboy just because I can't stand ridiculous criticisms like yours. I would defend any company against such drivel.
  • Vidmar - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Wait a minute...
    "Their systems do 'just work' according to the promised features and reliability."
    "I don't own a single piece of Apple hardware aside from an old iPod Touch"

    So how can you quantify the first statement if you don't own any?
  • bji - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    So how many Apple devices do I have to own before I can say whether or not they 'just work'? 10? 100? A million? All of them?

    Obviously there is no answer to that question that makes any sense; because the question doesn't make any sense.

    I was not talking about the actual fact of whether or not any particular Apple device 'just works', I was talking about the question of whether or not the claim that Apple products 'just work' is an any way refuted by the original poster's dumb post. I don't need to ever have touched an Apple product to be able to argue about how those comments did not refute any of the claims that Apple may make directly or indirectly about their products.

    Here is a simplified example if this is too hard for you to follow:

    Poster A: Look at these instructions on how to replace the heating elements of my toaster with a miniature nuclear reactor core! The are so long and complicated! I can't believe that my toaster manufacturer claimed that this toaster was easy to use!!!

    Me: That's dumb, the manufacturer never claimed that installing aftermarket parts on your toaster would be easy; that has nothing to do with the ease-of-use of a toaster. By the way I do own an electric razor made by your toaster company but that doesn't mean I'm biased towards them.

    You: How do you know whether or not his toaster is really easy to use if you don't own one?
  • B3an - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    You call me a retard, yet you dont even have ANY first hand experience with OSX.
    I think you're the retard here.

    It's not just about TRIM, it's with many things about Apple products. Hardware and software. All Apple do is falsely advertise and claim that everything they make just works, and is immune to viruses, even though OSX is the most unsecure major OS around.
    It can also be argued that if Apple are going to use SSD's in there products, then they should atleast fully support TRIM, which is something that is needed for an SSD to perform at it's best.
  • sean.crees - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    They do fully support TRIM. For SSD's that ship with their products. This isn't just an SSD thing though, they have always been this way with hardware, only fully supporting hardware that they personally sell. It does have it's advantages though. You may not personally like it, but Apples approach to hardware and software does have its advantages over the way it's done in the PC world. Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Apple pretends to be user friendlier than Windows, yet each non basic troubleshooting ever takes a boatload of console commands, hex editors, rebooting into console mode, and crap like it. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I've taken the plunge and am running TRIM (via the hex-edited kext) on my 2011 MBP with Vertex 2. If this drive randomly implodes, I'm sure someone will get a stern emailing about it ;)

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what TRIM really does. TRIM simply passes information to the controller - it just says "hey controller, I don't need these LBAs anymore so you can do what you will with them".

    The controller then chooses what to do with those LBAs given its internal policies.

    The alternative would be to use aggressive idle time garbage collection. I'm not personally a fan of this as it does burn up p/e cycles vs. more conservatively running through garbage collection routines when necessary.

    TRIM really does help keep performance high. Until we get filesystems that are NAND-aware, it's the best option we have.

    Take care,
  • bji - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    What is a filesystem that is 'NAND-aware' other than one that knows how to tell the underlying device that it's done with a block, i.e., issue a TRIM command? Reply
  • jcompagner - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Then please tell me,
    if trim didn't tell the ssd that it doesn't need that block, what can garbage collect do then?

    So i write the drive completely full. then i delete half of it without trim.
    Now i don't do anything, what can then a GC do? Nothing.. because as far as the ssd concern everything is still valid real data.

    Only when i then start writing on places where the ssd thought that was written it knows that it can write there again..

    If you keep your trash out of the the garbage bin then you can empty your bin all the time you want but the garbage is not cleared.
  • bji - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I think that garbage collection refers to a process of deferring block erases to a later time to be done when the drive is otherwise idle. I.e., if you need to rewrite a block you don't re-write it in place, you write it to a block from the spare area that is already cleared thus saving yourself the time of having to erase the old block before rewriting it. You still mark the old block as needing to be cleared and put into the spare area (to replace the block that was taken out of the spare area during this process), and you do that later during 'garbage collection'.

    There may also be some aspects to which individual blocks from an erase region (my understanding of the terminology is a bit off but I am pretty sure that flash memory can write to smaller regions than it can erase) are moved around during 'garbage collection' to consolidate them into single blocks; this takes blocks that are interspersed with dead area and collapses them down to a smaller fully populated region, then takes all of the now-free blocks and then erases them and puts them in the spare area.

    Having TRIM makes both of these processes more efficient because it tells the drive that it can just mark blocks as ready-for-erase-and-put-into-the-spare-area immediately rather than having to be tracked and managed, and also increases the overall spare area available which means that more already-erased blocks are ready to be used for writes. Having to erase a block before writing it is the performance killer of SSDs and TRIM, along with intelligent algorithms listed above, in addition to things I haven't even thought of most likely, are what allow SSDs to get around the erase block performance penalty and to have such killer performance.
  • randomlinh - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I was excited to see this back when it was "announced." I was hoping we'd be closer to $1/GB for the mainstream performance around now, but looks like I've still got to wait.

    Hoping the 2011 round of controllers push intel to compete with pricing. I'm happy with the performance honestly, but need pricing.

    Or maybe this will drive the x25-Ms down in price and I'll just RAID-0 a pair of 80GB's...
  • Ushio01 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    So all we get from Marvel and Intel are there old controllers working as they should of from the beginning with only Sandforce actually innovating, pathetic. Reply
  • darckhart - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    "should have been" maybe. but we all know that's not how business works. sell it, revise it, sell it, revise it, ad nauseum. in any case, know this: they are getting comparable SF-12xx performance WITHOUT realtime compression and dedup which is mighty impressive in my book. Reply
  • darckhart - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    oh i forgot to mention they're doing this on 25nm. Reply
  • Vlad T. - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence.

    That is even more obvious considering how Intel trashes G2 with the same controller.
  • thudo - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    My gawd how the mighty have fallen? Doesn't remotely hold its own against the mighty Vertex 3 (SATA3). 120Gb Vertex 3 as now showing up in Canada for ~$290 -- a frick'n steal considering my boot drives have always been ~100-150Gb+ (all you need) and the performance increase is so well worth it. Shame Intel.. shame.. Reply
  • davepermen - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    you know that intel has the 520 ssds, too? those are to fight vertex3.

    not that i would ever consider ocz an ssd worth buying anyways, but lets not discuss that. anand loves them after he hated them. i still can't (as even after anand has forgiven them, they continue the same crap they did before).

    so for a sata3 system, it's 520. for a sata2 system, the 320 is fine, actually nearly perfect.
  • sean.crees - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Say what you will of OCZ, at least they listen to their consumers, and attempt to make legitimate changes in their business practices to satisfy their existing customer base.

    Intel has it's advantages, but appeasing it's current customers are not one of them. Ask the numerous amounts of people that jumped on Intel's 1st gen SSD bandwagon to then be shunned from TRIM support forever, which would require nothing but a firmware upgrade. 2x 80gb for $500 each, and no TRIM support. These things have slowed to almost HDD performance.
  • shatteredx - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Performance is fine, but Intel isn't pricing these drives cheaply enough.

    Whatever happened to the prediction that 25nm drives would cost half as much as their 34nm siblings?
  • bji - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    But don't they? I am pretty sure that the listed price for a 160 GB drive is about the same as I paid for my 80 GB G2 a year ago. Maybe these prices are higher than current prices on the older generation drives but you really should compare products at the same point of their life cycle to be fair. The G3 is half the cost that the G2 was at launch (actually less than half if I am remembering correctly) and in a year when they are at a later point in the product life cycle they wil be half as expensive or less per GB than the G2 is at the same point of its life cycle. Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I think we all knew it wouldn't be as fast as The new sandforces, but i didn't expect it to be so expensive. i guess intel figured people will buy it just because it's intel. Not me though, I'm waiting for next gen(<25nm) ssd's before i make the plunge, i want sub $1 per gig. Reply
  • A5 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Oh well - $170 for 120GB is still pretty good. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Sunday, April 03, 2011 - link

    G2 120GB is $230. Reply
  • aork - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    "That works out to be 320GB of NAND for a drive whose rated capacity is 300GB. In Windows you'll see ~279GB of free space, which leaves 12.8% of the total NAND capacity as spare area."

    Actually you only see 279 GB of free space in Windows because Windows displays in GiB (2^30 bytes), not true GB (10^9 bytes). In truth, you are only getting the expected 6.25% of the total NAND capacity as spare area.
  • Stahn Aileron - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Flash storage is, as far as I know, always treated as binary multiples, not decimal. SSD drive manufacturers take advantage of the discrepancy between the OS's definition and the HD manufacturers' definition of storage units (GiB - 2^(x*10) - vs GB - 10^(x*3)) to help cover the spare area.

    It also helps keep everything consistent within the storage industry. Can you imagine the fallout from having a 300GB SSD actually being 300GiB vs an "identically sized" 300GB HDD reporting only 279GiB? If the consumers don't get pissy about that, I'm positive the HDD manufacturers would.
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Yeah, disappointing really. The switch to SSDs would have been a golden opportunity for drives to format to what the label says. Oh well. Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Marketing would never allow that. We're not going back to binary measures of storage ever again :( Reply
  • Zan Lynx - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    And why would we? RAM is the only thing that was ever calculated in powers of 2. Ever.

    CPU MHz? 10-base.
    Network speed? 10-base.
    Hard drive capacity? Always 10-base. Since forever!

    Making Flash size in base-2 would introduce a new exception, not restore any wondrous old measurement system.

    If the label says 300 GB and the box contains 300,000,000,000 bytes, then it does contain exactly what was advertised. Giga as a prefix has always meant 1 billion. Gigahertz? 1 billion cycles per second. Gigameter? 1 billion meters. 1 gigaflops? 1 billion floating point operations per second.
  • jwilliams4200 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Well said, Zan. I thought that almost everyone knew this, but it is disappointing to see Anand still using the wrong units in his reviews and tables. Windows reports sizes in GiB, but incorrectly labels it GB. Unfortunately, Anand makes the same mistake. Sad. Reply
  • Chloiber - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link


    It is true, thet the REAL capacity of flash drives is 2 based. The NAND chips are.
    So a 120GB drive has in reality 128GB of flash.

    So its 120/128 % spare area. The 300GB version has also 300/320 % spare area (which is exactly the same).

    Anand is confusing things. The user gets 300GB, as he gets 300GB when buying a HDD. Windows on the other han is showing us "GiB" not "GB". But it's not a real difference in size. 74.5GiB EQUALS 80GB. It's the same thing. Compare the BYTE numbers if you wanna be sure, not the KB/MB/GB/TB numbers.

    I'm actually shocked that this still gets confused.
  • overzealot - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    RAM was not the only thing that was calculated using binary pseudo-metric prefixes. Perhaps you aren't old enough to remember the days before kibibytes, when all computer disks and tapes were measured as such. Reply
  • noblemo - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Conversion from GB to GiB:
    320 / 1.024^3 = 298 GiB

    Subtract 6.25% spare area:
    298 x (1-0.0625) = 279 GiB
  • MeanBruce - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    You can blather all the technostats you want 25nm, who cares, didn't change a thing! My next ssd, would never have said this a year ago, looks like Corsair Force GT! Read/Write 500/500 is all you need to say!;) Reply
  • zanon - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Granted, this isn't a stunning offering. But one thing I do look forward to is that I think we will finally start to see updated filesystems start to appear in the near future. For example, ZFS appears as if it will at last appear as a full Mac OS X file system via Z-410 this summer.

    One of the features of modern filesystems is full filesystem level compression and encryption (which really is where such features belong). I will be looking forward to (hopefully) seeing you test how this affects the SSD scene. My principle concern with Sandforce's strategy in the back of my head has always been this: that sooner or later, OS makers or someone will finally get with it and make full compression standard in the FS. At that point, the "worst case" scenario of fully random data will become the *only* scenario. That still leaves a (huge huge) legacy market, and likely time to adapt, but I do wonder if it will shake up the SSD scene at all once again.
  • overzealot - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I don't agree. If the controllers are powerful enough to do encryption and compression in real-time, then it should still be done at the disk level.
    You can still encrypt/compress in your OS as you please, but I like having performance.
    PS, not dogging on ZFS, I use it all the time with openindiana.
  • marc1000 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    vertex 3 is not already on market???
  • aork - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    That's for pre-order. Notice "Usually ships within 1 to 2 months." Reply
  • piquadrat - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Is it sufficient, security wise, using only max. 8 characters ATA password against thieves?
    One program, I sometimes use, MHDD offers ATA password reset option.
    If someone can bypass ATA pass so easily what all this AES128 is for?
    Could someone explain this matter to me?
  • DesktopMan - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    The password is used to generate the encryption key, much like how software products such as TrueCrypt does it.

    The max length of ata paswords is 32 which should be more bits than the actual key, depending on character set. 8 is not much though, depending on how these drives deal with brute force attacks.

    Old drives with ata passwords are just enabled with the password, which can be circumvented with master passwords or firmware commands in some cases.
  • piquadrat - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    But is it true that on most of todays mobos and their bioses you can't set ATA password with more than 8 characters? I've read about this in many places.

    Anand says that passwords used to encrypt Intel's ssd are generated automatically during each secure erase. So user can define ATA pass only during secure erasing the drive? Every change of ATA pass require secure erase?
    I thought that ATA pass is defined in bios and changed in bios. It means outside operating system and any soft toolbox Intel provides.

    There are so many places in the net and even commertial companies that offer unlocking ATA secured deviced. Mostly they use non-official unlocking codes (manufacturers implemented them in firmware!!!). Can we trust that no such codes for 320 series surfaced in the near future? To sum up: is this secure on the enterprise level?

    Is there any independent secure certificate Intel can give us at the moment?
  • overzealot - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    The user doesn't supply a key - the drive generates one itself.
    The data can be accessed by ANY computer if you're accessing it by SATA, the point is to secure the data on the NAND (pro hackers attach a controller to the memory chips and read it directly).
    Using previous SSD's, you could format the drive and just read the data straight off the chips. On these drives, erased data is inaccessible this way.

    If you want secure data, use TrueCrypt or Bitlocker.
  • piquadrat - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Truecrypt and bitlocker are not suitable for ssds as they contradict internal wear-leveling mechanisms and kill performance of compression based controllers (like all SandForces).

    To sum up all this AES thing in intel's 320 is no different then in SF based drives (like Vertex 2)?
    If keys are internal and not linked to ATA password in bios, when someone steal my drive (bios not supporting ATA pass or ATA pass bypassed/hacked) he has full access to it. So tell me:

    Why anybody would BOTHER with "attaching a controller to memory chips and read it directly"? WHAT FOR? He has full access to drive without all that hassle.
  • overzealot - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    I'm sorry I wasn't clear.
    When you format or delete data from an SSD without internal encryption, data is still accessible directly from the chips. This encryption is to stop that.

    Also, the performance of Sandforce drives does not drop handling compressed data! It just can't compress it any more, so really it's still throwing the exact same amount of data around!
    You would see an improvement in throughput on drives that don't natively compress, but from the data I've seen they'd still be slower than Sandforce.
  • piquadrat - Saturday, April 02, 2011 - link

    Just like in conventional HDDs, you can always do secure erase even without internal AES. It only adds max 1-2 to the live counter of each cell. On the other end how often does typical user need that kind of maintenance.
    Yes, they are dropping in performance vs typical statistical compression ratio. They drop from 250 to around 100 MB/s in writes.
    Encrypting ssd drive with truecrypt means that effectively wear leveling algorithms see the drive as fully loaded. Spare area is used much more intensively. The drive starts to have problems with trimming and Garbage Collector. Additional empty partition required.
    To sum up for Vertex2 with truecrypt and intel NI AES supported processor: read: 140MB/s, write: 70MB/s. 4K reduced by 50-60%. These are facts.
  • MeanBruce - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Intel's plan was to give us a little bump in performance every two years just to keep us happy and keep us buying and maybe go to 6GB/s by 2015 after their sata 2 drives had showed a slow yet incremental speed increase just enough to apease the masses. They never saw SandForce coming! I thought Intel would simply pull more performance out of their hat to meet the challenge, I never thought the hat would be empty! Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Dear Anand,

    Given the switch to a new generation of NAND, any comments on the expected longevity of these new drives? How long will one last in a normal usage scenario?

  • Drag0nFire - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Also, would it be possible to report the physical dimensions of the drive? I believe I may need a 2.5in drive with a height of 7mm for my next laptop, but it is difficult to find information on the height of SSDs.

  • y.a.k - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Intel drives come with a spacer that makes them 9.5mm high. Removing this makes them 7mm high. Reply
  • B3an - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    This has been commented on other recent SSD articles. Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I have read with interest the comments in previous SSD articles. Actually, though, I am specifically interested in the longevity characteristics of this drive being discussed today. I was surprised to see no mention in the article.

    If the longevity of the Intel SSD 320 has been discussed previously, I apologize for wasting your time.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    The 320 (as well as Crucial's m4) arrived while I was away at CTIA last week - I got back Friday morning. That gave me a minimal amount of time to get everything tested before today's NDA. As a result, about five pages got cut out of the 320 review - one of them talked about write amp and exactly what you're asking for. Soon :)

    Take care,
  • Drag0nFire - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Thanks so much. You guys are the best! Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Crucial M4 (AKA C400?) numbers in the benchmarks. Is this old news, or did they just slip in there without anyone noticing. :) Reply
  • Termie - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Intel is sending around $530 300GB drives to bench against the current crop of $200 120GB drives. As Anand rightly pointed out, the 300GB drive has completely different specs than the smaller drives. Unlike SandForce, which seems to provide similar performance across sizes, Intel's new drives cannot substitute for each other in performance.

    I'm guessing very few people will actually buy a $530 drive at this point (even $450 was a hard sell a year ago for the 160GB G2). There are just too many $200 alternatives, and these probably significantly outperform Intel's $200 G3.
  • crimson117 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I wish the article was a little more clear about this - the first comparison mentioned is "Intel SSD 320 300GB vs. Corsair Force F120 [120GB]" and Anand immediately concludes that it proves the Intel Controller is faster. Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Note Ryan's comment in another thread:

    "Both the 120GB Vertex 2 and 300GB i320 are fully populated - each has all of their NAND channels in use. Intel does have a lane count advantage (10 vs. 8), but that's a design difference rather than how the SSD is populated. Thus on an architectural level it's fair to compare the controllers, as we're looking at the performance of both when they're fully populated and the architecture is not unnecessarily bottlenecked.

    "Now at equal capacities this wouldn't necessarily be the case. Intel did not provide us with a smaller SSD, which is why Anand said "We also don't have a good idea of how much slower the smaller capacity drives perform in our benchmarks at this point.". It's safe to assume a 120GB i320 won't be fully populated and that it will have lower performance as a result. How much? We don't know."
  • tonyn84 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Man, I was waiting for these to come out before trying to pick up a larger drive but there's no cost benefit. The 256gb C300 is starting to look very good, going to keep an eye on those prices now. Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link


    "all indications pointed to it being faster than drives based on SandForce's SF-1200 controller. And it is..."

    Is it really fair to put a 300GB Intel 320 drive against a 120GB SF-1200 drive and conclude the Intel's new controller is faster?

    My understanding is that larger SSD's generally perform faster than smaller SSD's, particularly in Write operations, because they have more NAND to write across at once.

    How would the 120GB model Intel 320 stand up to a Vertex 2 120GB, when it doesn't have the NAND chip quantity advantage?

  • crimson117 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    EDIT: I just saw this on the final page.

    "We also don't have a good idea of how much slower the smaller capacity drives perform in our benchmarks at this point."

    That should be mentioned as a caveat on the first page's "Intel SSD 320 300GB vs. Corsair Force F120 [120GB]" comparison chart (if you even keep that chart at all). That chart really doesn't provide a useful comparison when you consider the size advantage of the Intel drive.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Both the 120GB Vertex 2 and 300GB i320 are fully populated - each has all of their NAND channels in use. Intel does have a lane count advantage (10 vs. 8), but that's a design difference rather than how the SSD is populated. Thus on an architectural level it's fair to compare the controllers, as we're looking at the performance of both when they're fully populated and the architecture is not unnecessarily bottlenecked.

    Now at equal capacities this wouldn't necessarily be the case. Intel did not provide us with a smaller SSD, which is why Anand said "We also don't have a good idea of how much slower the smaller capacity drives perform in our benchmarks at this point.". It's safe to assume a 120GB i320 won't be fully populated and that it will have lower performance as a result. How much? We don't know.
  • crimson117 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the clarification! I appreciate your reply.

    I had missed the fact that each drive in the comparison has all its channels in use, so for example a 240GB SF-1200 would have higher capacity chips but would not have any additional channels to write across than a 120GB SF-1200.

    Looking forward to the 120GB i320 review; it's much easier on the budget :)
  • ArteTetra - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    i320? It sounds no good at all. Please call it with its name. Reply
  • GavinLeigh - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    What we might have here is the kind of reliability (and hopefully pricing) to appeal to the notebook manufacturers. A 300Gb drive should be plenty for a road-warrior and the performance is definitely a plus over 7200rpm drives. Whole drive encryption could also add to the value in mobile applications.

    I think this is a smart drive, and I'll definitely consider it.
  • piquadrat - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    How Full Disk Encription could add value in mobile applications when everyone can bypass ATA password within seconds using public available tools? Reply
  • DesktopMan - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    See my response a page or two earlier. The password is used very differently for encrypted drives (that do cryptography correctly). Reply
  • tech6 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    While it won't win you bragging rights with your geek friends, the 320s do deliver something that has been missing from existing SSDs: Good enough performance, large capacities and reliability. The 1200 based drives had an unacceptable failure rate for most business/professional users and also couldn't deliver larger capacity drives. If the 2000 series comes in at the same price and is more reliable then Intel has problems and will need to discount but if its like the 1200 then Intel should sell a bunch of these. Reply
  • Chloiber - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I agree. The 320 is perfect for my notebook. Vertex 3 would be useless. Reply
  • y.a.k - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I agree. People say that it's a fail on Intel's part because it's slower than Vertex3. But I'm looking for an SSD for my work notebook, where reliability is even more important than speed. If this drive is as reliable as Intel says, then I'm getting it. And it's not like it's slow or anything. Reply
  • NCM - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Too many people seem to ignore that there are multiple markets for SSDs, and that they have different requirements beyond the basics. This leads to pointless discussions about the supposed merits of different SSD options. I see three main market segments, each with its own priorities:

    - Enterprise: Ultra high performance, and whatever you have to pay for that is simply the price of admission for your capacity and performance plan.

    - Workstation: High performance boot/application drive, with the extra cost being quite moderate due to the relatively small size drive (~80-120GB) needed. Data can live on a secondary internal drive.

    - Portable: Full capacity replacement for low performance standard drives. The typical single storage drive bay means that decent capacity at a reasonable $/GB is the key, not class leading performance.

    (Note that reliability isn't a variable. I don't believe that any class of user will knowingly accept lower reliability than that offered by a conventional hard drive. Of course many have…unknowingly.)

    This last category is the "good enough" requirement pointed out above by tech6. Sure, the Intel 320 may not be the most exciting new drive around, but notice that at $289 for 160GB or $599 for 300GB it's much less expensive than, say, the OWC Mercury Extreme at $599 for 160GB or—gasp!—$1619 for 400GB.

    My own laptop drive is a 500GB with a over 300GB used, but with some housecleaning discipline I could live with the 300GB Intel. And in this application an SSD is like sex: even a bad SSD is good!

    My Xserve uses an SSD boot/application drive, and I've set up one of our workstations similarly for evaluation. Boot and application launch times are, not surprisingly, 3-4 times faster with the SSD.
  • semo - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Anand, it has been a long time now. People are still confused about what is happening with the OCZ V2 drives. OCZ are still not issuing a recall of drives that are smaller and slower than what the packaging claims.

    OCZ will only react when the customer finds out through their own research what has happened and then confronts OCZ.

    For those wanting to know more, see my thread below or research the OCZ Vertex 2 25nm transition fiasco.

    The issue will not be resolved until OCZ recalls all affected products.
  • GeorgeH - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    It looks like the crucial parts are physically identical to G2 drives. Intel may not offer updated firmware for G2 drives, but it looks like it might not be impossibly difficult to modify G3 firmware to work on G2 drives.

    Did Intel give any indication if the G2 controllers were physically different from the G3s? In other words did Intel take the laser scalpel to the G2 controllers or is it just a software restriction?
  • Chloiber - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Anand explained why the write performance is higher (4kB -> 8kB). Reply
  • GeorgeH - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Sure, but full disk encryption might be nice. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    The G2 controller had the same features as the 320's controller. It's unclear whether they were tested/functional in the G2 era but they were there. The 320's controller is apparently the same physical die, just with these new features enabled/tested/validated.

    G1 owners didn't get TRIM, and I wouldn't expect G2 owners to get AES-128 via firmware. Sorry :(
  • bbbcase - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    The Intel G1/G2 drives would eventually throttle write performance if you consistently wrote over 20GB/day on them to ensure warranty lifetime. This really limited their usefulness in certain server applications.
    Does the G3 have a similar throttling mechanism?
  • Chloiber - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    ?? They didn't. The block fragmentation will, in spite of TRIM increase (that's the case with pretty much every SSD). Write 0s sequentially on the empty space every 2 months and the performance will always be as it was on the first day.
    You can also do this by doing a Full Diagnostics Scan using the Intel SSD Toolbox (writes sequentially on the empty space).
  • toyotabedzrock - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I'm curious if a 8KB random R/W test would show a bump in speed beyond what other drives would see.

    Intel really needs to get serious about allocating people to the SSD and Chipset teams. They always make a quick leap with a great new chip then it languishes for years with minor updates.

    Pentium 4 flashbacks!
  • cdbob - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I heard rumors that pricing was going to be on the steep side. It's too bad this turned out to be true, Intel better lower the price of their drives quick or they're going to start eating some serious dust when the next crop of Crucial Drives come out. Reply
  • Beenthere - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    That's why I won't buy any SSD for at least five more years. Poor reliability and data loss don't work for me. Reply
  • NandFlashGuy - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Actual data shows that Intel's G2 SSD Reliability is already ahead of mechanical drives:

    Here's a paper at the 1997 FAST conference discussing actual hard drive failure rates:

    A link to the French e-tailer return rate data showing Intel SSDs better than mechanical drives:

    A good talk discussing SSD failure rates and mechanisms:

    Have any real data to support your claim?
  • NandFlashGuy - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Correcxtion. The FAST paper was from 2007. Reply
  • nonzenze - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    We were promised Vertex 3 end of March. Didn't happen. At least the Intel 510s are on Newegg ... This review has no mention at all of availability, which I take to be a terrible sign that we won't actually see these in time.

    Meanwhile it's utterly impossible to plan a build for a new machine with a next-gen SSD because I have no idea when I'll actually be able to order and receive one!

    Soft launches suck!
  • turbodreams - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    You write "The AS-SSD sequential benchmark takes place at a very high queue depth of 32". This is not correct, as it takes place at QD 1. I asked the author of the benchmark about this, *only* the 4K-64 test uses a higher QD of 64. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    That's very odd. Perfmon reports a queue depth of 1 however one of our internal monitoring tools indicates a queue depth of 32. I will remove the reference but I'm curious to see what's going on here.

    Take care,
  • WintersEdge - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I'm confused. The benchmarks show results for the Crucial M4. Where is the full review for that drive? Did I miss something? Thanks. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    $160 for a 74GB SSD? And it is just as slow as the last generation? They are absolutely out of their freakin minds. They're gouging the hell out of their trusting victims. I wont even comment on how awful the 40GB version is, for $90. LOL I just bought an Agility 2 for $90. Reply
  • Chloiber - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    And how happy are you with 35MB/s seq. Write and less than 200 seq. Read? Reply
  • erple2 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    What? So you did a hack that Apple doesn't fully support, and expect that if it implodes, you get to complain about it?


    I'm disappointed in you, Brian.
  • overzealot - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    It was a joke. Lighten up. Reply
  • etamin - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    This is probably a noob question for many of you but can someone explain to me why having a 6gbps controller/interface would increase performance if the drive itself maxes out at 240MB/s sequential read speed (128KB)? isn't 3gbps equal to 384MB/s? If the Intel 320 cannot saturate the SATA 3gbps bandwidth, what good would a 6gpbs bandwidth do for it? similarly, why do a lot of disk drives today have 6gbps interfaces when they can barely saturate 1/3 of a 3gbps interface? Thanks. Reply
  • nonzenze - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Because the controller can burst higher if data is handy in a cache. Reply
  • etamin - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I see. Is there a measure for burst speeds and I'm assuming this only applies to read operations? Reply
  • UNHchabo - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    SATA uses 8b/10b encoding in all current revisions. This means that the theoretical limit for SATA 3Gb/s is 300MB/s. Reply
  • etamin - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    very interesting, I'll be sure to keep that possibility in mind before converting other standards next time. Reply
  • Chloiber - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    As you can clearly see with SATA3 SSDs running at SATA2, it's way lower. Reply
  • etamin - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    yes, that is obvious. I asked because I want to understand the architectural reason behind it. Reply
  • Nentor - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    They are all so close to each other an unscrupulous HD manufacturer could use them to show there is barely any difference between a SSD and a HD.

    Why add keep adding them to the SSD articles?
  • etamin - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I think having HDDs in these articles sets a good baseline for those of us who don't already own ssds. Personally I'd actually like to see more hdds like 5400rpm notebook drives since many of these SSDs will be going into notebooks. Reply
  • wvh - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    What exactly do I need to have encryption support? I've never noticed a SATA password option in my BIOS. Do most laptops support this?

    Lackluster as the performance seems to be, encryption support and increased reliability – while not sexy – are important, too. If not the enthusiast market, the corporate world might have more interest in such drives.
  • piquadrat - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Theoretically for working encryption you need bios with ATA password support. If you're out of luck there is also a way to mod existing bios and add appropriate extension, but skills and experience required.
    The thing is:

    There is no evidence that BIOS password in intel's implementation is LINKED to AES password generated by internal cypher engine!!!

    If not, this solution is no different than SF-1200 non-enterprice drives. You can enable ATA pass on OCZ Vertex2 but it is not used to hash internal encryption keys which effectively renders the whole AES thing USELESS (security wise).
  • wvh - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Thanks... But I'm even more confused now. ;) Reply
  • piquadrat - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Lets wait until some further details concerning intel's implementation make to the public. I'm sure that early adopters will test this feature thoroughly. Now all of this is mainly academic. Reply
  • danjw - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Have you forgotten the P67 fiasco already? Reply
  • neotiger - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    So after all these delays Intel released a product that can just barely keep up with the LAST generation of competing products. Meanwhile, competitors are releasing new gen of products at significant performance increases.

    In other words, Intel just GAVE UP on the top end of the market and is now just trying to be the cheapest product.

    Truly disappointing.
  • FXi - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    $1069 for a product only guaranteed to work 3 (THREE) years. IF it fails after that time, you've paid over $350 a year for storage. The 300 works out to $190, almost $200 PER YEAR for storage.

    If Intel feels so confident that these things will last, do the same as the rest of the enterprise grade industry and give it 5 years of "we're positive it will work this long".

    Watch the rest of the SSD market cry if Intel does this, but they won't. These things are bad enough if something goes wrong at year 2 or 3, but past that it's the wild west. And given the prices, that shouldn't be the case.

    $1069 is a decent price. $999 would have been excellent, but either price is horrible when compared to only a 3 year guaranteed lifespan.
  • iwod - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Personally i think it is too expensive. But,

    1. It would still sell very well. Because 90% of users are still with SATA 3Gbps. And Intel Drives are the most reliable SSD out there, currently its pricing is not cheap, but competitive.

    2. Intel aren't keeping up with production volume anyway for their 25nm SSD. ( Note most of the Intel 25nm NAND sold to other company are proberly Tier -2 Bin NAND )

    Yeah, we are disappointed, but it is still going to do well.

    Let's Hope Future Intel SSD will beat even the Sandforce 2200 Series.
  • Lingyis - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Reliability is a big issue! I'm not a super-techie, but as a user, having experienced 2 out of 3 Vertex drives that I ended up having to reinstall the OS (once Windows 7, once Mac on my wife's machine) within 6 months, I have reverted to using good'ol hard drives for myself.

    Intel's higher reliability might be good enough--but hard drives are still more reliable. (if anybody has hard statistics to back me up i'd highly appreciate it)
  • sean.crees - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I've personally had MUCH more issues with HDD's than SSD's. Though that likely has to do with the fact that the only SSD's I've worked with are my 2x 1st gen 80g Intel SSD's, and I've spent the last 15 years dealing with HDD's.

    My biggest issue with HDD's is exposure to heat. I've lost my A/C in the summer, and then subsequently lost all my data on my HDD's because it got too hot for them. You don't have this problem with SSD's.

    Also, any tech device is going to have DOA's. Just because you got a bad batch, doesn't mean the entire industry as a whole is worse than older tech. And, OCZ has come a LONG way since their initial reliability issues with their 1st gen Vertex drives. They have listened to their customers, and listened to reviewers like Anand, and have implemented changes to make their products meet our expectations. This one simple act above all else is what pulls me away from the Intel camp to purchase a Vertex 3 for my next SSD.
  • jwilliams4200 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Are you insane? OCZ is meeting expectations?

    How could you have missed that just in the last few months, OCZ has changed their products to be lower performing and less capacity than previously, without informing customers or even changing the product SKU? Or that OCZ uses Spectek flash instead of higher-tier Micron flash memory in some of their SSDs, but a customer cannot know which flash they got without opening the SSD and voiding their warranty?

    OCZ are nothing but con men and spin doctors. If you think OCZ cares about their customers and treats them with honesty and respect, then you are awfully naive.

    Besides, the statistics show that Intel is the most reliable SSD. Even without the statistics, it is easy to see why Intel is more reliable. Intel uses the highest quality parts, including getting the highest bin flash memory from their manufacturing lines, and Intel testing and quality control is a corporation wide thing. I doubt OCZ even knows the meaning of the words.
  • sean.crees - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Have you thought that perhaps the new change was in your best interest? That maybe their trying to fix a problem before you notice it.

    Think about it, as a company, you would want to give your customers what they want. You'd give them all the space they'd want, i mean why not right? You'd want all the biggest numbers possible to slap on your box so you can brag to the entire market your the best. Then the only reason to make it less is to pre-emptively keep a potential problem from happening.

    You have to remember, OCZ isn't Intel, they don't make these parts. They just put it together and repackage it. If their Nand suppliers suddenly have issues, they can't just stop selling products, they would go bankrupt, but a slight change in product specs that most people will never notice in real world usage to prevent future issues because of hardware supply problems?

    I'm not saying this is what happened, but it is just one of many possible reasons why the change was made.

    OCZ doesn't have intels Q&A because they can't afford it. What would you prefer, having only Intel SSD's because no one else can afford to be competative with them in this market and have the same Q&A and parts. Or some competition with some sacrifices? Most would agree this is the lesser of two evils.

    But what OCZ lacks in funding they make up in customer support. You can go to their forums, make a post and within a reasonable amount of time get an actual tech from their company to respond to you with options to fix your problem. You don't get that personal touch from Intel. With Intel, if it's not in the box when you buy it, then you don't get it.
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    Lowering the performance of the product, and giving 5GB less space than advertised (or using lower tier flash memory) is NOT in the best interest of the customer. It was in OCZ's best interest to try to deceive their customers so OCZ could increase its profits, so that is what OCZ did. Reply
  • sean.crees - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    And you have proof they intentionally used sub standard nand to increase profits? Or are you just making stuff up? Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    OCZ has been using flash chips in some SSDs that have the Micron logo and then the SpecTek logo stamped on top. SpecTek sells flash chips that Micron will not sell. SpecTek is a lower tier.

    Making things up? Hardly. This has been discussed at length in a number of forums, and you can easily find credible pictures of the flash chips in OCZ SSDs from people who opened up the SSDs.
  • Ema Nymton - Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - link

    Funny you say that,
    I just had the same discussion with a friend of mine.
    Then I went with a OCZ deneva and opened it.
    Guest what I found Intel Nan flash in it...
  • sean.crees - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Intel had the reliability vs speed in the 1st and 2nd gen SSD's, but the difference then was that the speed was competitive. It's not even close this time.

    Another thing i have against Intel, i was one of their early 1st gen adopters, 2x 80gb drives for $500 a pop. I'm the guy Intel screwed out of TRIM support because they didn't feel like sharing a firmware update that enables it for me. So i still have a bitter taste in my mouth over that, especially now that its been a few years and my 1st gen SSD's are starting to feel more like a fast HDD. :*(

    Also, Sandforce and OCZ seem to have learned how important stability and performance sustainability are in this market. They have some of the best garbage collection without TRIM available. That's important especially for people considering OS's that don't support TRIM, or for RAID usage.

    Intel may have created this market, but its competitors have learned the lessons Intel shared while Intel still needs to learn how to support its existing customer base like OCZ has gotten very good at. This is the problem with being #1 for too long, you begin to think you can do no wrong, and all your choices are the right ones that everyone else should conform to. This is fine as long as you keep your competitive edge, but once you lose that, you risk losing everything.

    Intel may be able to brag about stability for now, but i have a feeling as time goes by people will realize that Sandforce drives are just as stable, and then Intel loses its only Ace left in it's hand.
  • jwilliams4200 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    You sound like an OCZ spin doctor.

    No, the Sandforce garbage collection is not one of the best. It is actually highly flawed. If you use the drive heavily, the write speed will drop, and it will stay low, even after TRIM, for up to a week. And Sandforce has done nothing to fix this. OCZ, in typical con-man fashion, claims it is a feature, but that is obviously a lie. If it were a feature, it would be documented under what circumstances it happens, how much the write speed decreases, and for how long. The write speed would drop more, too, since 30% drop in write speed is not going to do much to save the flash, even if the flash were really in danger, which it should not be. And if it were a feature, Sandforce would offer the ability to turn it off, if not by the user, at least by the vendor. No, it is a design flaw.

    Even if OCZ users do not get deceived by OCZ in the future (by OCZ changing the internals to make the drive less reliable or perform worse), it is obvious that Intel will remain more reliable and stable than OCZ. There is just no comparison between the quality control and testing that happens at Intel, as an entire corporate culture, in contrast to OCZ, where the corporate culture is to take short-cuts, use the cheapest parts possible, lie to the customers whenever they feel like it, and then send the spin doctors out on the forums to attempt damage control. Ever since the OCZ spin doctors pretended to be users on hardforum years ago, it has been clear what sort of company OCZ is.
  • Acrono - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    You sound like an Intel spin doctor. Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I have no association with Intel, other than appreciating their reliability. But of course there is no way for you to know that. The difference is that OCZ has a history of having their people post on forums, posing as non-OCZ "regular people". Intel has no such shady history. Reply
  • sean.crees - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I've actually never owned an OCZ product ever. But i keep up with how different companies in the IT domain behave. I read reviews, and keep up with trends.

    "If you use the drive heavily", which the average consumer won't ever do. If you are going to be using this drive heavily then your making the mistake of buying a consumer product instead of a server product. You get what you pay for. Don't blame the company because your trying to use a product for a purpose it was never intended to be used for.

    It is not the culture of Intel that gives them better quality control, its capital. Intel has a lot more resources available than OCZ. It can afford these premium parts, and better quality control.

    Intel has good reliabilty, and if reliability is your #1 concern over all else, then your right, there is no other option. But most are willing to gamble that they will likely never see that increased reliability with intel, but will notice an increased speed with sandforce.
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    More OCZ spin doctoring. I was talking about using the drive heavily in a average consumer manner. For example, running CDM a couple times. The notorious Sandforce flaw causes the write speed of the SSD to slow down. No where is that flaw documented, so it is really worse than just a design flaw, it is a bug. If it were a known design flaw, there should be something in the spec sheet stating under what conditions the write speed of the drive will slow down. But there is nothing in the official specifications about that notorious Sandforce bug. Reply
  • sean.crees - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    And no other companies have undocumented issues?

    How about my first gen Intel SSD's that now run at 1/10th their rated speeds? Where was it documented that this would happen to me?

    So by your reasoning we should toss all Intel SSD's out of the window now right?
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    Intel G1 SSDs do not run at one-tenth their rated speed. There was a slowdown bug, perhaps a factor of two, but Intel long since fixed that with a firmware update. Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    Having several each of Intel and OCZ Agility SSDs, I can tell you that Intel's garbage collection is better, especially in first generation SSDs. I also have an Intel 80GB G1, and is is a little slower than new, but it hasn't slown down nearly as much as some of the OCZ drives I have do. Theya re all still much faster than spindle hard drives. I really do wish that Intel would at least enable manual TRIM of the G1 drives with the SSD Toolbox - but at least the grabage collection is very good. Reply
  • Frallan - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Im a happy Intel G2 user today but my 160 GB is running out bc of bl**dy Steam and their weekend/holiday offers. I have waited for the nexty generation of the Inteldrives bc of my experience with the G2 but with this they are 30% to expensive or 50% to slow.

    Intel has failed in either pricing since this drive is a valuedrive or in execution since this is a slow drive. A year ago I would have stood in line allready but now it seems as if Ill have to go with the SandForce.

    Just my 0.02 USD
  • fackamato - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Same here. I also have the G2 160GB (good price on eBay almost a year ago). But the next one will not be this G3 drive, most likely something Sandforce. Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Both the Intel 320 300GB and Intel 510 250GB are easily destroyed on price and/or capacity and/or performance by RAID 0 of Intel 320 40GB, 80GB, or Intel 510 120GB (in RAID 0 of 2, 3, or 4 units).

    I would only recommend Intel 320 80GB or Intel 510 120GB in different RAID 0 setups, but they were not tested.

    Given the scalability of SSD units, the price/performance ratio is one of the more important aspects of SSD reviews. I wish Anandtech were giving more attention to the best price/performance in RAID 0.
  • NCM - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Remember what the zero in Raid 0 denotes... Reply
  • NCM - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    ...It's the amount of data you'll have left if any one member of the array fails. Reply
  • marraco - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    I don't care, since I don't store data on SSD, and I have cheap terabytes of data to automatically store periodic images. Reply
  • y.a.k - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Don't forget about notebooks... Reply
  • pvdw - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Thanks for all the good info and thorough reviews. One of the areas I'm particularly interested in is the performance of an SSD when hosting a Virtual Machine. The reason is that I run Windows Vista (soon to be 7) as a host OS and then XP or Linux for various work stuff in VMs. Any chance of adding some sample VM booting + app loading to the mix?

    I'm thinking that virtual disks are probably quite random data and so would favour non-SF drives, but I'm not really sure.
  • NCM - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    I've timed boot and app launches from otherwise identical systems on both SSD and a conventional hard drive on the same workstation (OS X on a current model MacPro workstation). The improvement is by a factor of 3-4. Although we do have a couple of VM setups they're not on the SSD machine, but I'd hope for the speed increase to be in the same range—lots and lots of little files to be read. Reply
  • GoGoGoGo - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    ...but not fantastic either

    For those of us planning to put an SSD in a current laptop (which pretty much makes 6Gbps performace irrelevant) this seems to be an okay option, although not as groundbreaking as the original X-25 a while back.

    I do wish more 3Gbps numbers where included for the Vertex3 since for a lot of us that´s what going to matter anyhow. Also, is there a difference in power usage for the Vertex3 when hooked up to a 3Gbps controller or not?
  • TheSwede86 - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link


    Have a friend in the US (Miami) and I am wondering where I can buy this in the US?
    The pressrelease said "Best Buy" but on Best Buy's homepage I can't find it.
    Anyone seen it "in the wild" and if so where?

  • Cowbell - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Many new SSDs got built in encryption like the SF series, but the real question I'd love to see more details on Anand, is if the encryption is linked to the ATA password, or perhaps some other software like OCZ's toolbox, but that again is only available on the PRO drives and leaves consumer drives out in the cold. If not then the encryption is only good for fast wipe, nothing else.

    In addition, I'd love some tests on just how resistant SSD's are to brute forcing the ATA password on non encrypted drives, for instance OCZs SSDs need a power cycle on each 5th attempt to unlock, and how easy it is to read the ATA password in plaintext from the maintenance area of the disk.

    To top it all of I'd also love some tests on how easy it is to dump data from SSD flash cells/modules if an attacker were to obtain the disk and disassemble it.
  • 4EverLearning - Monday, May 09, 2011 - link

    I second this request. There is much confusion about this topic: what is required to enable encryption, and whether or not it is virtually infallible or a joke.

    As always, thanks Anand -- great stuff.
  • paulzeb - Saturday, April 02, 2011 - link


    First, Congratulations for another job well done !

    I am a Mac OSX user with MacPro, and I have Just one question:

    I read in the review "The Intel SSD 320 Review: 25nm G3 is Finally Here":
    "" A side effect of having all data encrypted on the NAND is that secure erases happen much quicker. You can secure erase a SF drive in under 3 seconds as the controller just throws away the encryption key and generates a new one. Intel's SSD 320 takes a bit longer but it's still very quick at roughly 30 seconds to complete a secure erase on a 300GB drive. ""

    My experience with Secure erase and Disk Utility on an OCZ Vertex2 is that it take many many minutes depending on the SSD size. Same with a Secure erase and Disk Utility on the Intel X25 G2 Postville.

    Will it take only 30 seconds on the new Intel G3 Postville Refresh ???

    Thanks for your answer,

  • noblemo - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    If I recall correctly, a previous article recommended formatting SSDs with 10-30% of spare area set aside to improve performance. Does this recommendation still apply to the G3?

    If an extra 20% is under-allocated (for a total of 26.25% on the G3), then the user-available area would be about 220GiB for a 320GB drive, and 110GiB for a 160GB drive.
  • Omid.M - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - link


    Can you please comment on this? I recall this recommendation as well.

    Does it still hold true? So, if I buy the Vertex 3 or Intel 320 and drop it into my MBP, should I format the drive to have 10-15% area unused (spare) and will that make a significant difference in performance, compared to having 0% spare area (i.e. using SSD as-is, no formatting) ?
  • Morten.DK - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    One thing that bothers me a bit: It seems that the smaller drives has a lower spare area percentage than the 300GB drive.

    120GB: Physical 120GB, user capacity 111GB, spare ares 9GB which is 7.5%
    160GB: Physical 160GB, user capacity 149GB, spare area 11GB which is 6.9%
    300GB: Physical 320GB, user capacity 279GB, spare area 41GB which is 12.8%
    600GB: Phycical 640GB, user capacity 558GB, spare area 82GB which is 12.8%

    Does this mean that the smaller drives does not have the same RAID4-like redundancy as the 300GB drive? Or am I wrong about the physival sizes of the smaller drives?
  • noblemo - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    There are two factors in your calculation: 1) spare area, and 2) GB to GiB conversion. I believe the spare area is as follows:

    120 GB: 128-120 = 8 GB spare area = 6.25%
    300 GB: 320-300 = 20 GB spare area = 6.25%
    600 GB: 640-600 = 40 GB spare area = 6.25%

    I am not sure about the 160GB model; if it uses six 32GB chips, then the spare area is 16.7%. If it uses five 32GB chips, then there is no spare area.

    To convert GB to GiB, divide by 1.024^3:

    120 GB = 111.8 GiB
    160 GB = 149 GiB
    300 GB = 279 GiB
    600 GB = 559 GiB

    So the 120 GB drive has 128 GB total area and 8 GB spare area (6.25%). This is equivalent to 111.8 GiB with 119.2 GiB total area and 7.45 GiB spare area (6.25%).
  • noblemo - Friday, April 15, 2011 - link

    My previous post was incorrect. The 300GB and 600GB drives have 12.8% spare area, while the smaller drives have 6.8%. Reply
  • mattr00 - Sunday, April 17, 2011 - link

    Hey Anand,

    Thanks as always for a great review. Is there any ETA on benchmarking the 120GB version of this? All of the reviews I see online are 300GB and I'm itching to know whether the 120GB performance is significantly lower than the 300GB performance. I'm considering buying the 120GB, but it has lower IOPS write performance than 300GB according to Intel specs, which I fear will mean low random write performance in the real world.

  • Surlias - Saturday, April 23, 2011 - link

    I've been unable to find a review comparing the 40gb G2 and the 40gb G3 models. Anyone have any experience with both of these models, or perhaps can point me to a review of the 40gb G3 somewhere? I'm sitting on an unopened G2 trying to decide if I want to go to the trouble of exchanging it for a G3. I'd save a few bucks in the process, but if the performance isn't any better then I'd just as soon stick with the G2 and its proven reliability. Reply
  • ross999 - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    I know the documentation says that an ATA password is required to use the device level encryption, and that Mac's OS EFI password isn't quite the same. However, I've spoke with both Intel and Apple, and neither can provide any details about compatibility of these passwords for purposes of encryption. Really, Intel, you don't know if it will work with MacOS? Bizarre.

    Can anyone shed first-hand knowledge on this?
  • MB17 - Saturday, May 07, 2011 - link

    Cost difference is little to consider for me, so if someone can help:

    On 3 GBPS systems, I understood that the Intel 320 is a little bit better in real life performance than the 510. Is this correct?

    Also, 510 is a little more future proof (if I ever change to a 6GBPS system) and 320 gives me more storage space, right?

    These seems to be my main points of consideration, right, or am I overlooking something?

    Any definitive reason to buy one over the other?

    Thanks so much for any help.

    PS: How much free space do I get from the 510 (unlike the 320 I could not find this info)
  • garuda1 - Monday, May 23, 2011 - link

    Does anyone know why Intel's Toolbox won't TRIM an SSD mounted in an external enclosure. It will migrate, but won't TRIM. Intel responded in an email by only saying:

    “We don’t validate or authorize use of SSD Optimizer through eSATA enclosures. If a customer wants to use an eSATA enclosure, they must understand they are using a configuration that is not validated by Intel and they are on their own.

    -If customer wants to use Optimizer on an Intel SSD, suggest they connect it directly to the host system."

    But is there a specific reason for this? And will Intel eventually modify the Toolbox to accommodate external SSDs in the near future. Once the host system case is full, the only alternative is external enclosures. Is there some design or F/W limitation that precludes externals?

    P.S. - Intel's FAQ section on their website specifically mentions that SSDs are compatible with external eSATA enclosures (unless they recently changed it). This is what led me to believe that my recent purchase of two S320 600GB SSDs would function and optimize in external eSATA enclosure which I also purchased. Thanks for any feedback.
  • garuda1 - Monday, May 23, 2011 - link

    Note question and answer# 4 in the following link at Intel FAQs:
  • hoofy - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    I am really concerned how the 40GB SSD 320 will perform as i am planning to buy it as an OS drive. My other options are vertex 2 40GB and X-25-V 40GB. Please recommend me guys the best drive among these three. Reply
  • anthonyjcho - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    I just got the 40GB version of this drive for my work computer as a cache drive.

    I have a large DB files (1-2GB) that I access frequently and I needed a "reliable" SSD for my task. Crucial and Intel came to mind, and only Intel products could be sourced. By the way, I use a OCZ SSD at home for gaming for better read performance.

    Long story short,
    100-105 MB/s for Read/Write is drastic improvement over the 7200rpm HDD I was using.
    My work is much more productive because I don't have to wait so long for data retrieval anymore.

    I highly recommend it to any data analyst.
  • spacehead74 - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    I've been finding these on Ebay for less than $200/160gb. The 5-year warranty is a great selling point when using these for laptop upgrades. Reply
  • sqeeek - Thursday, October 02, 2014 - link

    Still using two of these as of October 2014. Not the fastest sequential r/w but the random reads + low latency are still mind-blowingly fast compared to a spinning disk. Reliability is great as well - I even bought one used. Reply
  • DocSportello - Monday, September 21, 2015 - link

    I installed my 320 in early 2012, and it's still running strong. My first (and thus far only) SSD, so it was a huge step up from HDs.

    If the numbers I saw at the time were to be believed, 320's were significantly more reliable than the alternatives. I got a bit spooked by those ongoing reports of 8-megabyte crashes; was it just a matter of time until that happened to me? But those reports mostly involved a system crash and usually a power loss; that's rare for me on a desktop with a quality power supply and a UPS.

    Anyway, for whatever reason, my 320 is doing well. The specs claimed a million hours MTBF; what did the real numbers turn out to be? Oddly, the SSD Toolbox shows less than a thousand hours of power-on time, which would be unbelievably low, except I saw a post somewhere suggesting that that number is more a count of read/write activity than powered on and ready.

    If I were buying today, I'd look at a Samsung 850, figuring the 40 nm cells have got to be inherently more robust than today's typical 19 nm cells. But that's theory; meanwhile the Intel 320 keeps rolling along.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now