AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload

The 320 doesn't do bad for a 3Gbps drive, it's a bit faster than the SF-1200 based Corsair Force F120 but it's slower than Intel's SSD 510 and definitely slower than the upcoming Vertex 3.

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 - Light Workload

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011: Much Heavier Performance vs. Transfer Size


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  • 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.

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