intel ssd 330 Intels 330 series SSDs arrive, priced competitively

The 320 series of SSDs from Intel has been a long time staple as far as consumer SSDs have been concerned, although this SATA 3Gbps SSD family has been overdue for a replacement for some time now. Intel has finally unveiled the 330 series which we wouldn't call a direct replacement for the 320 series, but it is the consumer replacement.

The 320 series of SSDs from Intel has been a long time staple as far as consumer SSDs have been concerned, although this SATA 3Gbps SSD family has been overdue for a replacement for some time now. Intel has finally unveiled the 330 series which we wouldn't call a direct replacement for the 320 series, but it is the consumer replacement.

The 330 series will come in sizes of 60, 120 and 180GB, whereas the old 320 series ranged all the way from a tiny 40GB to a still fairly massive 600GB, at least in SSD terms. The 330 series uses the familiar SandForce SF-2281 controller, the same one found in Intel's 520 series of SSDs. The performance of the 330 is somewhat lower than the 520 series with a sequential read speed of up to 500MB/s and a write speed of up to 450MB/s (400MB/s for the 60GB SKU).

intel ssd 330 Intels 330 series SSDs arrive, priced competitively

There are a couple of potential reasons for the slower performance, of which the main one being an artificial limit imposed by Intel by means of the firmware.  Intel is using slightly different NAND flash for the 330 series compared to the 520 series, although it's not clear if this in itself has an impact on the performance, but it does affect the lifespan of the NAND flash itself. As such, Intel has also cut back the warranty to three years for the 330 series, compared to five years for the 520 series, as the 330 series is said to be good for no more than 20GB of writes per day for three years.

That said, the pricing is quite competitive with the 60GB SKU starting at US$89 (S$111), going up to US$149 (S$186) for the 128GB SKU and finally US$234 (S$293) for the 180GB SKU. This makes the 330 series one of the cheapest SATA 6Gbps SSDs out there in terms of MSRP, although some shopping around should be able to turn up even more affordable options these days.