Intel SSD 330 Officially Announced: Affordable SandForceby Anand Lal Shimpi on April 16, 2012 11:00 AM EST
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|
|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||$179.99|
In fact, the Intel SSD 330 appears to be the cheapest SF-2281 drive on the market today. Interestingly enough it's only available at three capacities (60, 120 & 180GB), while the Intel SSD 320 was available in far more models going all the way up to 600GB.
Performance ratings are down compared to the Intel SSD 520, although it's not clear whether these are artificial limits or not:
|Intel SSD 520 vs. 330|
|Intel SSD 520 120GB||Intel SSD 330 120GB|
|Random Read Performance (Up to)||25K IOPS||22.5K IOPS|
|Random Write Performance (Up to)||40K IOPS||33K IOPS|
|Sequential Read Performance (Up to)||550 MB/s||500 MB/s|
|Sequential Write Performance (Up to)||500 MB/s||450 MB/s|
|Warranty||5 years||3 years|
Presumably Intel's SSD 330 uses a similar custom firmware solution to the SSD 520, which should hopefully keep it safe from any SF-2281 related BSOD or other instability.
|Intel SSD 330|
|Controller||SandForce SF-2281||SandForce SF-2281||SandForce SF-2281|
|Interface||6Gbps SATA||6Gbps SATA||6Gbps SATA|
|Random Read Performance (Up to)||12K IOPS||22.5K IOPS||42K IOPS|
|Random Write Performance (Up to)||20.5K IOPS||33K IOPS||52K IOPS|
|Sequential Read Performance (Up to)||500 MB/s||500 MB/s||500 MB/s|
|Sequential Write Performance (Up to)||400 MB/s||450 MB/s||450 MB/s|
|Warranty||3 years||3 years||3 years|
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eilersr - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkThanks for the comparison!
How soon can we expect to see how this series compares to other SSD's in Bench?
Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkGive me a couple of weeks, I don't have the 330 in house yet and I'm unfortunately traveling at the moment :)
kensiko - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkBut I still feel the low-cost SSD should be 1$/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...
kensiko - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkSorry for US people, here is the link for newegg.com: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
kensiko - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkDeluxe got Toggle Nand: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
Wetworkz - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkWhat 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?
Sufo - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkNever mind TRIM, have they even solved the SF-2k BSODs?
JarredWalton - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkWe 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?
dananski - Monday, April 16, 2012 - linkIsn't the lack of TRIM through RAID a limitation of some RAID controllers rather than the SSD?
Sufo - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - linkRight, I saw this, but last I heard the 520s were still BSODing, is this not to do with the SF controller then?