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  • STL - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    After sending a link to this article to my friend and quoting a sentence (we both follow Intel SSDs, and I bought a 710 300GB based on AnandTech's excellent review), I noticed that AnandTech has begun using the JavaScript thing that infects copied text with "read more at". (As explained at , although the "service" provider may be different here.)

    I am *extremely* disappointed to see AnandTech tarnishing its image with this nonsense.
  • Bull Dog - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    yea, this is a pretty annoying "feature" Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Hmm this isn't intentional, let me see what's going on.

    Take care,
  • iEagle - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Here's the culprit:

    <script src=' type='text/javascript'></script> just got'd
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Good thing it doesn't work on my browser. :) Reply
  • Flying Goat - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    While it uses compiled Javascript, and I'm too lazy to reformat it, is presumably the issue (And blocking that domain gets rid of the problem).

    This is included directly in the source of the article page ("script src=' type='text/javascript'").
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Fixed, our content sharing partner ( enabled this by default in their latest update. We've stripped it out.

    Take care,
  • Zarf42 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    And this is why I continue reading Anandtech. You guys are really in tune with your audience and you don't like to annoy us. Thanks for staying awesome! Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I know. I'm such a fanboy. I don't think I'll ever find a site as awesome as Anandtech. Reply
  • STL - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Wow, thanks! Reply
  • Ender17 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Thanks Anand, you guys are awesome. Reply
  • Slash3 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Ditto this sentiment. I've been coming to AT since it was a Geocities site and you never cease to impress me, Anand, with your willingness to address little things like this that pop up every once in a while.

    Thank you!
  • pandemonium - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    *cheer* Reply
  • chaudx - Thursday, August 02, 2012 - link

    Thanks for fixing that garbage! Reply
  • etamin - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    It's nice to see SSD prices are hovering around the $1/GB mark these days. The 256GB Vertex 4 is looking awfully attractive (wonder how the reliability is?).

    I really liked the endurance testing on the 330's NAND, it really puts real world usage into perspective. On the other hand, I wonder if the rate of E9 falling is exponential rather than linear...
  • TrackSmart - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I wouldn't touch another OCZ branded SSD with a 10 foot pole. You often save $20 or get slightly higher performance (that is only visible in benchmarks), but the failure rate on their products is just unacceptably high. And yes, I'm basing this on the data that is available (which is imperfect), the huge proportion of negative reviews for failed drives (also imperfect info), and my own personal experience (limited sample size). I say go Intel, Crucial, or Samsung - unless you really enjoy the RMA process. Plus, the good deals almost always involve rebates. I hate rebates.

    Some data (even if imperfect):
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    It's more like 66¢ per gb on sale. Reply
  • lyeoh - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Go to newegg/amazon, go look at the various SSDs. Go compare the percentage of one stars OCZ gets vs say Intel or Crucial or Samsung get. All manufacturers have duds (and stupid customers), but if you read the reviews and look at the stats, you'd see not all manufacturers are equally crap when it comes to SSDs.

    See also the OCZ return rates from the various behardware reports (they have a long track record of high return rates). It's so bad that I'd avoid sandforce based stuff including Intel's versions.

    Perhaps they are more sensitive to crappy power supplies or users... Maybe things have improved.
  • Flying Goat - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Nice? It's bloody awful! I bought a pair of 128s earlier this year for almost twice that. :( Well...1.5 times that. Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Could the E9 readings be faulty due to a older software? Did you check with other SMART readers? Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Yeah, the old version of the software detected the drive as being a 500 series.

    This looks like a bug to me.
  • A5 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    The next paragraph of the article shows that the latest SSD Toolbox properly detects the drive. It's safe to assume that that is what Anand used for testing. Reply
  • chrnochime - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I heard about the 8mb problem with intel 320 SSDs. Is that still problem with these new SF based SSDs? Reply
  • Per Hansson - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    That problem is only with Intel's own controller, not Sandforce so this drive and the 520 should be fine... Reply
  • marioyohanes - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I have one of this SSD installed on my 2011 Mac, and it doesn't work well with sleep and also always caused major crash after software update (like any other SF 22xx SSD). Then my friend who recently bought HP Envy also got this SSD by default from HP, guess what, screen goes black after sleep (not all the time, but most of the time), crashed after 1 month he had to reinstalled the entire thing and lost his data. Now, after 6 months and after 5 times RMA, he ended up reformatting his drive every month.

    I just wish Anand more honest by telling people the truth about SSD, specially SF based controller, because after trying more than 5 SF based SSD, I can say they're sucks! buy it only if you're planning to reformat your drive every now and then. Good for benchmark score, but not for daily use. Contest only probably. However, my Intel 320 and Crucial M4 stays reliable even after years of heavy use.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I, and two colleagues, have 240 GB Sandforce drives (1x Vertex 2, 2x Chronos DX). None of them have given us any problems. I'm using mine in a 2008 Macbook Pro and they are using theirs in 2011 Macbook Pros. All of us have TRIM enabled.

    Did you make sure to update the firmware to the latest version before using the drive in your Mac?

    Also, older versions of OS X should have the feature disabled that copies the contents of RAM to disk when the machine is put to sleep.
  • angelsmaster - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    hi, i just bought yesterday this intel 330 series, and i am also using mac 2011, haven't updated yet cause i could not find the firmware ware update for this 240 gb, i could only find are for 60 ~ 180 gig firmware update, i tried downloading and its error due to .exe . and the TRIM is not supported.. and idea on this? thank! Reply
  • eviloz_i - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    i have a 320 drive (120gb) a 520 drive (60gb) and a 330 (60gb), the first two on intel mb, third on asus mb

    all installed directly with windows7 x64 without any ssd-specific procedure in the bios or in the os (just for paranoia, checked if trim was enabled after install. it was)

    they all perform flawlessly, all pc regularly jump in an out of both turn-off-video screen saver and suspend.
    I never benchmarked them, i dont need astral performance, but they are fast.
  • murakozi - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Swapped out all HDD-s in our office and home computers (that is: HP 6910p, HP NC 6400, HP TC 4400, 2 x Dell Optiplex 790 DT, Dell Optiplex 755 DT, HP XW8400) without issues. OS variety: XP Prof, Vista Prof SP2, Win7 Prof).

    Works like a charm, any time. The only product I ever had problems with was Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB, which - even after several installs and OS-es - produced corrupted blocks and r/w failures within days.

    IMHO the SSD products have matured enough to use them in "mission critical" enviroments (I have them also in our office server, the old box literally flies...)
  • Ammaross - Thursday, August 02, 2012 - link

    I've rolled out 10 identical workstations, each outfitted with a 60GB Intel 330 drive, all running the same Win7 image. Of those 10, 1 immediately started giving us problems. The OS would "stutter," locking up for seconds at a time. I narrowed it down to the SATA link power management features of Windows. Apparently, these drives still have issues when their SATA link is put into idle/low power modes. Replaced the drive with a Vertex 3 and all was well. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    "I just wish Anand more honest by telling people the truth about SSD, specially SF based controller, because after trying more than 5 SF based SSD, I can say they're sucks! buy it only if you're planning to reformat your drive every now and then"

    So far every problem we've encountered with SF-2xxx has been documented, e.g.

    Beyond that we haven't encountered any additional SF-2xxx issues in our extended deployment testing. For example the 520 (330's sibling) is currently in one of my systems, having replaced a 120GB Vertex 2 that just recently passed 2 years of service.
  • amikey - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I have a 180GB SSD 330 in my 2009 Macbook Pro 13". It's totally fine, and running better than ever.

    Haven't enabled trim or updated the firmware since I got it (no pc to use) either.

    I don't use disk encryption though, if you were to do that go with something else.
  • angelsmaster - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    hi, you didn't update it or whatever? is it still up and running? and i think, its not trim supported when i checked it in the S-ATA system report, btw, i am using a macbook pro 15" 2011... thanks.. Reply
  • quanstro - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    how did you get this kind of experience with a just-released drive in a year-old computer? Reply
  • Jumpman23 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    In terms of cost and reliability the 330 seems like a good deal. What about in terms of performance and reliability? I've been hearing not so good things about the SF drives in general. The M4's and Samsung's 830 seems to get good reviews. So is there any particular drive that stands out as the best of the best? Reply
  • Per Hansson - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    OCZ has a really poor track record when you look at RMA's:

    Weather this is due to the BSOD issue or other issue with their Sandforce drives I don't know.
    But if you look at future data even OCZ's Petrol & Octane series has really bad RMA rates:

    This makes me kind of weary of any Sandforce drive, we can see that since Intel has released Sandforce drives their failure rate has gone from 0.6% > 1.73% in the first link above.
    This could be because of the "8MB bug" only but I am not convinced.

    I would go for the Crucial M4 drive at this point, it has a great track record and only one known very specific problem (BSOD after 50k hours of ontime, caused by a bug in the SMART values & fixed by a firmware update)
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    The problem with those statistics is that they are extremely limited. Only four manufacturers are listed, and only OCZ's numbers are reported for individual models. The only info on sample size is that there must have been over 500 sales (brand) or 100 sales (model).

    I'm not defending OCZ or any other brand, just pointing out that a more thorough study would be needed to really know what SSDs are reliable. I do agree that Crucial's m4 is a great buy at the moment, and Samsung 830 and Plextor's SSDs are too.
  • lyeoh - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Only OCZ's numbers are reported for individual models because
    quoting the article: "only OCZ has models with rates of above 5%".

    You may need a more thorough study, but it's good enough for me to avoid OCZ.
  • Per Hansson - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Yea, it's a limited sample size but it's all we have to go on.
    We can also look at Newegg reviews, sure it has it's drawbacks aswell but when you see stuff like this it paints a quite clear picture I think:

    128GB OCZ Petrol:
    128GB OCZ Octane:
    120GB OCZ RevoDrive 3:
    240GB OCZ Vertex 3:
    128GB OCZ Vertex 4:
    128GB Crucial M4:
  • antef - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I recommend the m4, it's been an amazing drive for me and the reviews on Newegg and Amazon are out of this world, the kind of thing you don't see very often. Don't fret over exact performance and worry that a newer drive might net you something slightly higher, all of these are crazy fast, my Windows machine with the m4 stays on the loading screen for all of 3 seconds, not even enough time to see the four colored orbs form together into the Windows logo. Reply
  • antef - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    And, holy crap, Anand's chart is wrong, the m4 128 GB is now only $106 at Amazon. That's a steal! Reply
  • nextel2010 - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    At this moment, Amazon has the Samsung 830 128GB at $89.99!! If I didn't already have a 128GB and 256GB already, I'm all over that one.... Reply
  • owned66 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    i have 2 of these in raid 0
    HD tune bench it stays at 1000 MB/s then goes up and down then stays at 700 MB/s then goes back to 1000

    im using a x77 motherboard
    and also using the 6Gb/s port (not the marvell one)
  • Movieman420 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I've been following the SSD endurance thread at XS for some time. There's one 64gb M4 that hit 0 MWI at 172TB of writes and is still chugging along at 1,.250+ TBs (that's 1.25 PB!!). Ofc not every drive is the same. There is a chart of the currently running endurance tests on the last page or 2 usually. To sum it up...nand endurance is not an issue as Anand stated.

    They have a Samsung 830 that just hit 3PBs!'s mwi said the nand was worn out at 828TB writes...lmao
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    It's disappointing to see this drive switch to 9.5 mm when actually any SSD could be 7 mm standard. And Intel were the first to offer this (although with that stupid voided warrenty). Reply
  • MarsMSJ - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Anand should of touched on OSX and Intel's new drives even at the risk of sounding like a broken record. There some of us praying for the day Intel comes out with a new drive that works on OSX.

    Unfortunately, Samsung appears to be your best bet on OSX. I used a 320 series 160 GB drive and it just behaved poorly when I was using 150 GB of it. Not sure if it had anything to do with Repair Disk. Every other day OSX would recommend I run it because it believed my drive was corrupt. Sometimes it would even boot me right into Disk Utility. I ran Lion and Windows 7 in VMware fusion.

    Strangely enough, the 320 behaved like these 330s in their "run into a corner" scenario.
  • kaelynthedove78 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I noticed that you tested with a highly non-standard configuration, with EIST disabled.
    Has the Sandforce bug that causes the performance to plummet if EIST is enabled been fixed?
    Nobody in their right mind would run a home desktop/laptop with EIST disabled..
  • jwcalla - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Hmmm... this is interesting. Where can I find more info about this? I haven't noticed such behavior yet but maybe I haven't been looking hard enough. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, August 02, 2012 - link

    It's been fixed from what I know, or at least Anand told me to just leave those enabled (my setup is running normal settings as you can see in some of our recent SSD reviews). Anand has probably just left those settings to be what they were before. Reply
  • mattlach - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I presume the Vertex 4 is not in the comparison table due to its poor read speed when reviewed by Anandtech?

    Anandtech still needs to revisit the Vertex 4. The two firmware releases since launch have completely transformed the drive, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it near the top.
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, August 02, 2012 - link

    Check back tomorrow ;-) Reply
  • antef - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    Buy buy buy! Even less than what Anand's chart show. What a deal. Reply
  • bim27142 - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    I am really torn between Samsung 830 128GB and Intel 330 180GB...

    I am just a typical user and a casual gamer... I've read good reviews about Samsung's performance at since it's not Sandforce based...

    Capacity-wise, I really find the Intel 180GB just right enough for me... So I am really torn which one is better for my case... :(
  • mailrachit - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    As 'a typical user and casual gamer' myself I was asking the same question Samsung 830 128 GB or Intel 330 180 GB just two months ago when I was making a new ivy bridge desktop rig.

    I went with Intel 330 180 GB and I must say that I am quite happy with my decision.

    The performance is stellar. I trust Intel for reliability and God knows I need the extra space (180 GB - 128 GB).

    Look for deals and you can get the Intel one for real cheap (I got it for $110).
  • angelsmaster - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    hi, i just also bought the 330 series but now, its 240 gb.. did you update the firmware,, cause i cant seem to find one for th 240gb. i know its the same as 180gb model. but i can't seem to make the link work. btw. iam using macbook pro 15" 2011. thank... Reply
  • SewerSoldier - Thursday, August 02, 2012 - link


    I'm currently looking at buying a 120/128GB system/application SSD for use beside a 1TB HDD for media.
    I'm deciding between Samsung 830 Series and Intel 330. However in my country the samsung costs 130€ and the intel 112€.
    My question is if I'm right in assuming that Intel 330 is the better choice since the better performance of the samsung with incompressible data isn't really important for a system/application drive?
  • softdrinkviking - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    disappointed that intel hasn't come back with a new controller of their own. I own and love a 34nm intel drive, and I love how reliable it has been.
    it seems like intel can really put out good stuff when they put enough R&D into it, but I am not sure about their track record when working with other companies on tech. (like sandforce)
  • Per Hansson - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    Well honestly there have been reports of the "8MB bug" happening even with the latest firmware on the Intel 320 drive so I would not be so sure about that...
  • softdrinkviking - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    Oh yeah, I forgot about that whole fiasco. Still, there is something I don't like about relying on data compression technology to speed up a drive. The potential for catastrophic data loss seems to be higher if you are dealing with multiple levels of logic abstraction. For similar reasons, I never used those drive doubler technologies that were popular before traditional HDDs became so big.

    Thinking about it from a data recovery point of view, how would this effect the difficulty and cost of recovering data from a drive?
    I know the whole recovery process would be totally different from a HDD, but it still could be a consideration.
  • booomups - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    i really wonder about this, since it seems strange if intel says on some drives it does and in others it doesn make sense. in the review it says its enabled for the 180gb version, and not for the 120gb version. how certain is that even in newer drives revisions?

    and... intel doesnt mention e aes encryption for the 330 drives, but it is a big point for the 520 drives.
    any details on that, ita the same chip after all.
  • Lacrimosa - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link


    Good review. I had been looking for Intel 330 for my laptop. I would like to have the data encrypted though and according to this review the 330 is not a good option for me then. What are the good comparable options then? Reliability and ability to encrypt are the qualities I would be looking for and it would be nice if the price weren't too high either.
  • P_Turner - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    I've just RMA'd an Intel 330 SSD 180 GB back to Newegg. I get a BSOD on each and every resume from sleep. Unfortunately, Newegg won't issue refunds for this SSD (a Cyber Monday special), although they will process an RMA if you pay for the shipping.

    Be sure to read the Intel SSD forum BEFORE the purchase. Lots of complaints over BSODs on the 330 and 520. Worse, the complaints are just ignored by Intel.

    Just my opinion, but all Sandforce based SSDs are obsolete from the get go. It's also my opinion that a big name on the label means nothing if the company just blows off customer issues.
  • P_Turner - Sunday, December 30, 2012 - link

    The new Intel 330 180 GB that Newegg sent me was the same as the one I RMA'd. Same BSOD issue, 100% repeatable. So the question at this point was: is my Asus x83-vb laptop incompatible with SSDs?

    To answer the question, I pulled my 64 GB Crucial M4 out of my desktop, where it is the OS and program disk. Of course, I imaged the M4 first. The M4 then went into my Asus x83-vb after a secure erase.

    The result was that the Crucial M4 was flawless. Newegg has relented and is allowing me to return the Intel 330 for store credit in the form of an e-gift card.

    I've ordered a 256 gb M4 from Newegg, and I will post the results -- good or bad -- provided that posts to this article remain open. It could be that the Asus's BIOS doesn't allow an SSD larger than 64 GB or it could be that I just got lucky with my old M4. I'll know in two weeks.
  • ghabhaducha - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Thanks for such an awesome review of drives, clearly you have a talent for journalism.

    After reading the extensive information you have on SSDs at Anandtech, I decided to purchase 2x Intel 330 240GB for the purposes of RAID0. Now, the way I understood it, the 180GB model uses 12x "29f16b08ccme2" Intel 16GB 25nm NAND flash, which based on your reviews, is also used by the OCZ Vertex 3 240GB and Kingston HyperX 240GB. I was curious if the Intel 330 240GB used the same "29f16b08ccme2" flash OR does it use the "29f16b08ccme3" flash that is used in the Kingston HyperX 3k? I really didn't want pry open my SSDs and void the warranty, but I was curious if you had documented this during your reviews.


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