The Intel SSD 335 is an incremental refresh of the existing entry SSD 330 series featuring a Sandforce SF-2281 controller and bleeding edge 20nm IMFT MLC chips to deliver a potent mix of price, quality and performance. We run through a few quick benchmarks before a formal review later on.
Intel is one of the bigger players in the solid state drive markets with top to bottom offerings for the consumer and enterprise datacentres. Although not the front runners in price or performance, Intel SSDs have a reputation of being fairly reliable thanks to its stingent firmware validation processes and yield leadership in the fabs.
Bundled accessories is nothing out of the ordinary, although we would have preferred if the 3.5inch bracket lined up to to the connectors in hot swap bays.
Measuring 9.5mm thick, the 2.5-inch SSD 335 will fit in most laptop drive bays, although you can probably remove the PCB from the metal case to make it work in something thinner. Intel has not announced capacities other than the 240GB but according to the roadmaps we can expect to see 180GB and 80GB variants in Q1 2013.
A fairly commonplace Sandforce SF-2281 SATA 6Gb/s powers the SSD 335, which Intel has included their usual special sauce in the firmware to enable better garbage collection and long QD performance. With sequential speeds of 500MB/s / 450MB/s and 4K random reads and writes rated up to 42,000 IOPS and 52,000 IOPS respectively, the drive is a serious competitor at its US$184 price tag ($0.76/GB).
The downloadable Intel SSD Toolbox (latest version has RAID TRIM support on 7-series chipsets) offers a facility to check drive diagnostics, apply registry tweaks and update firmware when necessary.