We reported on Intel's SSD 330 weeks ago, but today is the official announcement of the drive and its availability in the channel. Unlike previous 300 series drives, the 330 isn't based on Intel's own controller - it's the second SandForce SF-2281 drive in Intel's lineup.

Intel SSD Comparison
  Intel SSD 520 Intel SSD 510 Intel SSD 330 Intel SSD 320
Capacity 60 / 120 / 180 / 240 / 480GB 120 / 250GB 60 / 120 / 180GB 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 300 / 600GB
Controller SandForce SF-2281 Marvell 9174 SandForce SF-2281 Intel X25-M G3
Interface 6Gbps SATA 6Gbps SATA 6Gbps SATA 3Gbps SATA
Random Read Performance (Up to) 50K IOPS 20K IOPS 42K IOPS 39.5K IOPS
Random Write Performance (Up to) 60K IOPS 8K IOPS 52K IOPS 23K IOPS
Sequential Read Performance (Up to) 550 MB/s 500 MB/s 500 MB/s 270 MB/s
Sequential Write Performance (Up to) 520 MB/s 315 MB/s 450 MB/s 220 MB/s
Warranty 5 years 3 years 3 years 5 years

 

The 330 differs from the SandForce based Intel SSD 520 in a couple of key areas. The 330 uses lower p/e count NAND (still Intel 25nm MLC) compared to the 520, reducing Intel's rated lifespan from 5 years of 20GB of writes per day to 3 years under the same workload. Intel's ratings have historically been conservative, so I'd expect that the 330 would last much longer than 3 years for the vast majority of workloads - particularly based on previous calculations on the topic. With a 3 year usable lifespan rating however, Intel dropped the limited warranty on the 330 to 3 years as well.

All of this results in a significant reduction in price compared to the 520:

SSD Pricing Comparison
  60/64GB 120GB/128GB 180GB
Crucial m4 $79.99 $154.99  
Intel SSD 520 $109.99 $184.99 $289.99
Intel SSD 330 $89 $149 $234
Kingston HyperX 3K   $169.99  
Samsung SSD 830 $94.99 $174.99  
OCZ Vertex 3 $98.99 $159.99  
OCZ Vertex 4   $179.99  

In fact, the Intel SSD 330 appears to be the cheapest SF-2281 drive on the market today. Interestingly enough it's only available at three capacities (60, 120 & 180GB), while the Intel SSD 320 was available in far more models going all the way up to 600GB.

Performance ratings are down compared to the Intel SSD 520, although it's not clear whether these are artificial limits or not:

Intel SSD 520 vs. 330
  Intel SSD 520 120GB Intel SSD 330 120GB
Capacity 120GB 120GB
Controller SF-2281 SF-2281
Random Read Performance (Up to) 25K IOPS 22.5K IOPS
Random Write Performance (Up to) 40K IOPS 33K IOPS
Sequential Read Performance (Up to) 550 MB/s 500 MB/s
Sequential Write Performance (Up to) 500 MB/s 450 MB/s
Warranty 5 years 3 years
Price $184 $149

Presumably Intel's SSD 330 uses a similar custom firmware solution to the SSD 520, which should hopefully keep it safe from any SF-2281 related BSOD or other instability.

 

Intel SSD 330
Capacity 60GB 120GB 180GB
Controller SandForce SF-2281 SandForce SF-2281 SandForce SF-2281
Interface 6Gbps SATA 6Gbps SATA 6Gbps SATA
Random Read Performance (Up to) 12K IOPS 22.5K IOPS 42K IOPS
Random Write Performance (Up to) 20.5K IOPS 33K IOPS 52K IOPS
Sequential Read Performance (Up to) 500 MB/s 500 MB/s 500 MB/s
Sequential Write Performance (Up to) 400 MB/s 450 MB/s 450 MB/s
Warranty 3 years 3 years 3 years
MSRP $89 $149 $234
POST A COMMENT

75 Comments

View All Comments

  • eilersr - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the comparison!
    How soon can we expect to see how this series compares to other SSD's in Bench?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Give me a couple of weeks, I don't have the 330 in house yet and I'm unfortunately traveling at the moment :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • kensiko - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    But I still feel the low-cost SSD should be 1$/GB today, the 330 would fit well in this price range.

    We can have much cheaper SandForce based SSD than that! Ex: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82...
    Reply
  • kensiko - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Sorry for US people, here is the link for newegg.com: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Reply
  • kensiko - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Deluxe got Toggle Nand: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Reply
  • Wetworkz - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    What I want to know is whether or not Intel finally got TRIM working properly with the Sandforce drives. TRIM is an important feature in a SSD drive and I really do not want a drive that loses performance over time. Any chance we can see testing on this or get official word from Intel? I am also still curious about RST 11.5 bringing TRIM to raid and wonder if it will be on all intel drives or only ones with certain controllers? Reply
  • Sufo - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Never mind TRIM, have they even solved the SF-2k BSODs? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    We already had an article on the BSODs: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5508/intel-ssd-520-r...

    For TRIM, the issue with SandForce is that it doesn't fully recover, but at the same time the worst-case performance is generally still very good. Or are you talking more about TRIM with RAID?
    Reply
  • dananski - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Isn't the lack of TRIM through RAID a limitation of some RAID controllers rather than the SSD? Reply
  • Sufo - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    Right, I saw this, but last I heard the 520s were still BSODing, is this not to do with the SF controller then? Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now