The Drives and Internal Architecture

The SF-2281 controller features eight NAND channels, although it can pipeline multiple requests on each channel. The 60GB and 120GB drives both feature eight NAND packages with one 8GB die and two 8GB die per package, respectively. That works out to be 64GiB of NAND on the 60GB drive, and 128GiB of NAND on the 120GB drive. RAISE is disabled on both of these drives, all spare area is dedicated for the replacement of bad blocks as well as garbage collection/block recycling.


Intel's SSD 330 60GB, all NAND appears on one side of the PCB

The 180GB drive on the other hand uses twelve NAND packages, with two 8GB 25nm MLC die per package. The math works out to be 192GiB of NAND. SandForce's redundant NAND technology (RAISE) is enabled on the 180GB drive, so the extra spare area is divided between NAND failure coverage as well as traditional garbage collection/bad block replacement. Note the non-multiple-of-eight NAND configuration poses a bit of a challenge for extracting peak performance out of the drive, however it's still able to deliver a tangible advantage over the 120GB version. It's possible that Intel still routes all 8 channels to NAND die and simply sacrifices pipelining of requests on some of the channels.


Intel's 180GB SSD 330 features twelve NAND packages (6 on each side)

In the case of all of the Intel SSD 330 models, the SF-2281 controller is cooled by a thermal pad that helps dissipate heat across the SSD's metal chassis. All 330s are 9.5mm thick without any external removable spacer, which sets these drives apart from most Intel SSDs. Strangely enough, the plastic spacer that's normally on the outside of the drive is actually located on the inside of the 330, although it's not actually responsible for the thicker form factor. I'm not sure why, but it's in there.


Typical 9.5mm Intel SSD (left) vs. 9.5mm Intel SSD 330 (right)


Inside the 330

The Bundle

The standard 330 bundle comes with a molex to SATA power adapter, a SATA cable, a 2.5" to 3.5" drive sled and a link to download Intel's Data Migration Software (powered by Acronis).

As the 330 isn't targeted at OEMs, I'm not sure if we'll see standalone drives sold without the bundle. As of now this is the only way to get the 330.

Introduction, The Drive & Pricing Lower Endurance: A Non-Issue
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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 http://daringfireball.net/2010/05/tynt_copy_paste_... , although the "service" provider may be different here.)

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

    Here's the culprit:

    <script src='http://i.po.st/share/script/post-widget.js#publish... type='text/javascript'></script>

    i.po.st just got 127.0.0.1'd
    Reply
  • 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, http://i.po.st/static/script/post-copypaste.js 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='http://i.po.st/share/script/post-widget.js#publish... type='text/javascript'").
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

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

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • 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

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