The competition in the contemporary SSD market is probably the most vigorous one. This fact is explained, in simple words, by the quantity of companies that make business on SSD production and the rising demand for the products with outstanding characteristics. In this light, each manufacturer tries to implement ever newer technologies and developments to present SSDs of unmatched quality. Intel products don’t need an extended advertising and fight fire with fire when it comes about SSD. The company’s new SSD 330 series has been much talked about during the past several weeks due to the claimed specifications and comparatively high price.
Design and General Specifications
Intel SSD 330 is not characterized by any innovatory ideas in design or integration. It comes in a standard exact shape and standard delivery set which usually includes the SSD itself, SATA cable, software disk, supply adapter, fixing screw set, and adapter compatible with 3.5 inch bay. Such selection of accessories will be sufficient for successful drive installation.
SSD 330 is developed in 2.5 inch form-factor and can be applied to laptops, netbooks and other similar devices. It is based on high-end SandForce SF-2281 controller which provides for the good performance characteristics. The drive is equipped with brand memory chips Intel 25 nm MLC NAND Flash. It uses SATA III (6 GB/sec) data transfer interface that is considered to be a standard for 2.5 inch drives. In addition, Intel manufacturers ensure troubleproof SSD operability during three years’ period (if the summary writing volume doesn’t exceed 20 GB/day).
Other SSD 330 specifications include:
— weight: 80 g;
— available SSD volume capacity: 60 GB, 120 GB, and 180 GB;
— SSD supports: TRIM, NCQ, S.M.A.R.T. technologies;
— power consumption: operational mode – 850 mW, standby mode – 600 mW;
— performance: maximal reading speed approximates 500 MB/sec, maximal writing speed approximates 450 MB/sec; random writing in 4 Kb blocks equals to 22500 IOPS, random reading in 4 Kb blocks – to 33000 IOPS.
Due to the transcendent speed of all SSDs, power consumption measurement is traditionally realized in standby mode. All the drives based on SandForce controllers are developed with the individual approach to power consumption in mind. Each manufacturer uses individual schemes to make the drive more saving. SSD 330 series is distinguished by the heightened power consumption index as compared with the rival models. It is thought that such low-saving approach has been dictated by the necessity to remove the problem of ‘blue screen’ triggered by the insufficient power supply on going out from standby mode.
1. Speed of consecutive operations by 128 Kb blocks. It should be noted that SSD 330 showed a promising speed of consecutive reading and doesn’t lag behind the competitors that use SandForce controllers. The examples of tests include file copying activities, conversion, video editing process and upload of game levels. Speed of consecutive writing has been measured on apps installation and file saving activities. Here, the situation is identical to the reading speed index: practically all drives based on SandForce controllers showed good performance characteristics on high index of queue depth. When the queue depth is equal to 1, SSD 330 is a bit slower than other rival drives, but faster than Intel’s SSD 520 series.
2. Activities with incompressible data. SandForce controller implemented in Intel SSD 330 proved to show good results while processing compressible data. However, the manufacturer states the fact that controller demonstrates lower speed index when it comes about activities with incompressible data. Hence, SSD 330 cannot boast outstanding results pertained to random writing of incompressible data. It is able to ensure up to 70-80 Mb/sec on one-channel queue depth. Speed tests directed on activities pertained to consecutive writing and reading of incompressible data included creation or copying of multimedia files, encryption, games and video recording. The identifying feature of both activities is that the queue depth doesn’t lay any impact on the performance results which are proved to be smooth.