Intel 330 Series SATA 3 SSD Family Released With SandForce Performance and Great Prices

This morning, Intel is releasing their new 330 series SATA III SSDs with a healthy mix of performance and value. A new addition to the mainstream 300 series, the 330 is a budget oriented offering which shouldn’t lack for performance.

The 330 series is available in 60GB, 120GB, and 180GB capacities and suggested retail pricing is $89, $149, and $249, respectively, the 330 carrying three years of warranty coverage.

Based around LSI SandForce processor, the 330 is a value version of the Intel 520 “Cherryville” SATA 3 SSD. Intel lists maximum sequential performance of 500MB/s read and 450MB/s writes with IOPS rated at up to 22,500 for random 4K reads and 33,000 4K random writes.

Whereas the previous Intel offerings with 25nm MLC flash have held 5 year warranties, the 330’s lesser warranty is likely a budget oriented move. It’s memory is not the 5,000 program/erase (PE) cycle flash to which we’ve grown accustomed in Intel’s newer products, but rather 3,000 PE rated flash similar to the kind used in other drives utilizing NAND from Intel/Micron’s joint fabrication facilities. Whether the flash in question is synchronous or the slower asynchronous isn’t clear, but it should beat the SATA II 320 series in terms of performance either way.

Intel’s first SandForce powered drive, the 520, dropped SandForce’s RAISE technology, which can help the drive recover should one of the NAND devices fail, and the usual space devoted to that technology was replaced with additional over-provisioning. According to Intel, the 180GB 330 does use some redundancy, though the 60GB and 120GB do not. This could be to preserve the amount of user-available capacity, as most 25nm flash equipped SandForce drives do not use RAISE at the the 60GB capacity.

The 330 should be available at the time of this report. It is not replacing the SATA II 320 series, but instead, will be offered along side for some time. Intel has never created a “value” line of drives, as previous value oriented offerings were typically lower capacity versions of larger drives, such as the X25-V (for Value). This marks a new step for Intel, as competing on lowest cost per GB has never been a prime motivator.

Check out Intel 330 Series SSD Prices at Amazon.com.

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cat1092Les@TheSSDReviewBalds_gcPaulalcorn Recent comment authors
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Paulalcorn
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Paulalcorn

great to see intel enter this space, DOWN go prices!!

cat1092
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cat1092

Hope that yours is faring better than mine! Dirt slow in AMD PC.

Cat

Balds_gc
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Balds_gc

wish it comes with 5 year warranty like the other intel’s SSD

Les@TheSSDReview
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Moving to 3k memory reaches it’s goal of a lower price point but at the cost of overall lifespan. A shorter warranty is the trade off for value unfortunately.

cat1092
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cat1092

Purchased this SSD 5 years ago, and am beginning to see your point. Oddly, in a Intel based SATA-2 notebook, was getting around 250-260MB/sec reads & writes, now in a SATA-3 based AMD PC after a secure erase (it’s 5th or 6th home). while reads are still good at over 500MB/sec, writes has became pathetically slow, just over 162MB/sec, although what’s odd are that sequential writes are above that at 165.3MB/sec & 4K at 126.5MB/sec, so IMO the SSD isn’t ‘dead’, maybe misconfigured. Or maybe AMD handles SSD’s differently than Intel, although in my other AMD PC, reads & writes… Read more »

cat1092
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cat1092

That would be good, as I’d have sent this one back to Intel for inspection & hopefully, replacement. Back in 2012, $160 on promo was pushing my budget, although I liked that Intel was one of the few OEM’s who offered a midway point between the 120-128GB & 240-256GB options, and was able to dual boot Windows 7 & 8 Pro, including having the recovery partition for W7 intact & still under 50% of usage of the SSD. Sure as Les points out below, having 3K memory reduces lifespan, yet not even 5TB total NAND writes or 7TB of LBA’s… Read more »

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