Intel 310 Series 80GB SSD Review – A New Way To Look at Notebooks!

Our featured picture does a great job of portraying how truly small Intels new 310 Series 80GB SSD really is.

It offers the punch of the X-25m in 1/8th of the size and Intel is gambling that this is going to add a whole new dimension to notebook configurations.  First up to bat with the 310 will be new Lenovo Thinkpads destined for market in 2011 but don’t think other oems aren’t far behind.

The 310 series SSD started shipping in units of 1000 to oems in December with prices at $99 (40GB) and $179 (80GB) per and don’t be surprised to see a healthy premium on these new notebooks when combined with a hard drive.  Its a combination that may be the best push forward in bringing the SSD into mainstream sales as now anyone can have the power of the SSD with the storage of a hard drive in a factory purchased laptop.


We guarantee that, even after reading this warning right off, there will be people hunting down this SSD and trying to throw it into their laptop in place of their wifi card.  Some will even try to throw it into one of the many mini-PCIE adapters available such as the one we used in our review of the Renice KEVLAR mini-PCIE SSD.

They will not work.

This SSD came with a ‘transposer’ which was created specifically to allow reviewers to review this card and it only works with the 310.  We know because we tried.  First we slid the Renice KEVLAR mini-PCIe into the transposer unsuccessfully and then we took a crack at sliding the 310 SSD into the Runcore mini-PCIE adapter and it doesn’t work.  Laptops will be configured to work with the Intel 310 mSATA SSD and maybe we will even see one get ahead of the game and somehow enable present laptops to house the 310 successfully.

ARTICLE UPDATE: The SSD reviewed here is now available at e-tailors for $189 and there are reports that is is a simple plug and play into available mPCIe slots of Dell M4500, M6400 and M6500 series.



Model Name Intel® Solid-State Drive 310 Series
Capacity 40GB and 80GB
NAND flash components 34nm Intel® NAND Flash Memory Multi-Level Cell Components
  • Sustained Sequential Reads
    • Up to 170 MB/s (40GB)
    • Up to 200 MB/s (80GB)
  • Sustained Sequential Writes
    • Up to 35 MB/s (40GB)
    • Up to 70 MB/s (80GB)
Read latency 65 microseconds (40GB and 80GB)
Write latency
  • 110 microseconds (40GB)
  • 75 microseconds (80GB)
Random I/O Operations per Second (IOPS)¹
  • Random 4KB Reads
    • Up to 25 K IOPS (40GB)
    • Up to 35 K IOPS (80GB)
  • Random 4KB Writes
    • Up to 2.5 K IOPS (40GB)
    • Up to 6.6 K IOPS (80GB)
Interface Compatible with SATA 1.5Gb/s and 3Gb/s
Form factor, height and weight
  • Full-sized mSATA form factor (50.80 mm x 29.85 mm)
  • Less than 4.85 mm thick
  • Weighs less than 10 grams
Life expectancy 1.2 million hours Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF)
Power consumption
  • Active: 150mW Typical²
  • Idle: 75mW Typical
Operating shock 1,500G / 0.5ms
Operating temperature 0°C to 70°C
Compatibility and compliance SATA Revision 2.6 compliant. Compatible with SATA 3.0 Gb/s with Native Command Queuing and SATA 1.5 Gb/s interface rates. This product certified by the following organizations:
Image of icons
RoHS compliance Meets the requirements of European Union (EU) RoHS Compliance Directives and the Halogen Free³ Compliance Directives
Product Health Monitoring
  • Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) commands
  • Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox

Pg 1 – Introduction and Specifications

Pg 2 – SSD Build and Test Protocol

Pg 3 – Benchmarks

Pg 4 – More Benchmarks

Pg 5 – PCMark Vantage Testing and Final Thoughts



  1. blank

    Quote: “but don’t think other oems aren’t far behind.”

    Didn’t you meant to say: “but don’t think other oems are far behind.”?

    SITE RESPONSE: Absolutely correct sir!!

  2. blank

    Got one of the 40GB version and it does not work with Asus T91MT.

  3. blank

    Turns out that this SSD uses a mSATA interface while Asus T91MT uses miniPCIE. Same pins, different electric signals.

  4. blank

    Great Review– Lets now see how much of a premium there will be.

  5. blank

    Makes a great alternative to the unavailable Samsung mSATA cards in the M6500. Has halved boot-up time.

    • blank

      Hi. That sounds very interesting. Do you think it would also work on a Dell M6400.

      Where have you connected the drive? In the WWAN connector on the underside? Did it show up as a drive in the bios or does it need some special trick to get working. Is the drive running at full speed at the used connection.

      • blank

        I am very interested in this answer too… I bought one but it is not recognized on my system (M6400). I tried the WWAN and the FCM connectors..

  6. blank
    Joshua Laferriere

    it’s a shame. I almost ordered one but refused the package when I read two m6400 owner’s couldn’t get it working. 🙁 I ordered a ocz vertex 2 instead. I really wanted the intel 310 because I had raid in my laptop, now I’m saying goodbye to raid so I can use the ssd.

  7. blank

    I saw B2CIT.COM is also selling mSATA to upgrade Dell, Lenovo series, brand is RENICE. just share the upgrade links with your guys!

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