A bit over a month ago, we reported that Intel's SSD 313 would be launching soon. We don't know  when exactly the launch took place but the 313 has been added to Intel's product database (ARK) and Q1'12 is listed as the launch date. The 313 is the successor of Intel's first generation caching SSD, the Intel SSD 311. We first met the 311 when Intel introduced its Smart Response Technology (see our review). Right now, only Z68 chipset supports SRT but Ivy Bridge will widen the support and bring it to more mobile and business chipsets as well.

Comparison of Intel 311 Series and 313 Series
Series Intel SSD 313 Intel SSD 311
Codename Hawley Creek Larson Creek
NAND Intel 25nm SLC Intel 34nm SLC
Interface SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s
Controller Intel PC29AS21BA0 Intel PC29AS21BA0
Form Factors 2.5", mSATA 2.5", mSATA
Capacities 20GB 24GB 20GB
Sequential Read 220MB/s 160MB/s 190MB/s
Sequential Write 100MB/s 115MB/s 100MB/s
Random Read 36K IOPS 33K IOPS 37K IOPS
Random Write 3.3K IOPS 4K IOPS 3.3K IOPS
Street Price $120 $140 $119.50

As we suspected back in February, the controller is the same as the one found inside Intel's SSD 311. This was confirmed by HWBox.gr. The 3Gbps controller dates back to 2009 when Intel X25-M G2 was released, although it's obviously running much newer firmware.

 

Courtesy of HWBox.gr

The picture of the PCB also reveals the NAND configuration. HWBox's unit is a 20GB model and it has five NAND devices onboard. Not surprisingly, it's Intel NAND and manufactured using the new 25nm process node. Due to the die shrink, each NAND device consists of a single 4GB die. The previous generation used two 2GB dies per NAND device. It seems most likely that the 24GB model simply has an extra NAND device onboard, giving it a capacity of 24GB. 

The 313 seems to be priced identically to the 311. Price per GB is quite high at ~$6/GB, although that's fairly normal for SLC SSDs. NewEgg is already stocking the Intel SSD 313, making availability immediate. 

Sources: Intel, Intel, HWBox.gr

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  • djc208 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Is a SATA 2 SLC SRT setup going to be that much faster than a larger SATA 3 MLC SSD as a system drive for about the same price? Even if you don't include the regular HDD price into the equation you can get a decently sized MLC SSD for about the same price if you keep your eyes open. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Or: Is a SATA 2 SLC SRT setup going to be that much faster than a larger SATA 3 MLC SSD as a cache?

    I'm using an Agility 3 60 GB for my SRT setup, works wonderfully for the entire HDD and I don't have to worry about which files to place where. After almost 1 year it's got 3 TB written on the clock.. so when ever I approach serious wear levels in a few years I can retire it and use it as system drive for some family member (all still on pure HDDs). And get something way more powerful for a fraction of the current cost of SDDs.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, April 08, 2012 - link

    You must not like your family very much. In a few years, give them a worn-out failure-prone old Agility 3 60GB as a primary drive? Yeeouch. Reply
  • aCuria - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Usually, larger capacity SSDs also perform better but in this case the 24GB model actually has inferior Sequential and random read speeds. What's up with that? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    It's hard to say without knowing more about the 24GB drive but there must be something as the difference is so big. I'm sure this will be covered in our review. Reply
  • Holly - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    I'd bet a beer that the controller has 5 channels, adding 6th chip makes it stumbling - mainly because controller firmware overhead to handle one channel being twice as big as the rest...

    It's just my guess though ;-)
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    It's the same controller as in X25-M and 320 Series, i.e. a 10-channel design. I don't know if the controller can run in 6-channel mode though, so your logic might still be right :-) Reply
  • Holly - Saturday, April 07, 2012 - link

    Guess I owe you a beer. Shout next time you are around Prague :-) Reply
  • av911 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    SATA vs. mSATA. Reply
  • epobirs - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    So when are we going to see an mSATA unit for HTPC and mobile use? It's silly for a cache unit to be as big as a 2.5" drive and that bulk is holding things up. I realize it's early yet but I'm anxious. I built an SRT system last week and now I'm a believer. Very cost effective for the performance upgrade. Reply

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