Details on Intel SSD 330 Seriesby Kristian Vättö on April 3, 2012 2:30 PM EST
It's been a busy spring for Intel. The Intel SSD 520 series was released in February, and a month later, Sandy Bridge EP was released. Only another month or so after that and the Intel SSD 313 Series was released. The upcoming weeks look at least as busy because Intel is preparing Ivy Bridge and 7-series chipsets, but at the same time Intel has been preparing something else in the SSD front: the Intel SSD 330 Series. It will be the successor of 320 Series, Intel's current mainstream SSD offering, and we have some preliminary specs that we would like to share:
Note: These specifications are not official and have not been confirmed by Intel. These have been taken from resellers' websites and may contain inaccurate information.
|Intel SSD 330 Series Specifications|
|NAND||Intel 25nm MLC|
|4K Random Read||12K IOPS||22.5K IOPS||42K IOPS|
|4K Random Write||20.5K IOPS||33K IOPS||52K IOPS|
If the specifications are correct, the 330 Series will finally bring SATA 6Gb/s support for Intel's mainstream SSDs. This is a very welcome feature because while the 320 Series isn't slow, it's still somewhat expensive when compared with the performance it provides. Other manufacturers' SATA 6Gb/s SSDs can look a lot more appealing as they are often 10% (or more) cheaper and the advertised speeds are over twice as fast.
The actual controller is unknown but the capacities hint towards SandForce. That would make sense because Intel has spent a lot time and money on their SandForce driven 520 Series. The only part of the equation that doesn't make sense is the performance. We are used to seeing 550MB/s read and 500MB/s write on SandForce SSDs but the specifications we have seen so far show something else. The interesting part here is whether this is hardware or firmware related. We will have to wait and see.
As for the pricing, the 330 Series appears to be very competitive. Right now you can get the 80GB Intel 320 Series for $135, which is only $15 cheaper than the 120GB 330 Series. Once again, I would like to emphasize that these are by no means official prices and may change when retailers get some actual stock. Official availability is unknown but Amazon.co.uk is listing April 13 as the release date, which is ten days away. I also emailed the reseller we got the specifications from and will update this article once I receive a reply.