Intel has quietly released its SSD 313 Series built specifically with caching in mind. Much like the SSD 311 Series it's set to replace, the new range is available in 2.5-inch and mSATA form factors, but has been updated with Intel's newest 25nm SLC NAND flash memory and is now available in 20GB and 24GB sizes.
They new drives still use the older SATA II (3Gbps) interface, however. According to the spec sheet, the 20GB variant offers sequential read and write performance up to 220MB/s and 100MB/s, respectively, while the 24GB variant offers 160MB/s and 115MB/s. Compared to the 311 Series, write speed on the 20GB unit has been increased by 30MB/s, but both SKUs have slower random read IOPS than the 311. The 24GB model does offer better random 4KB writes at 4,000 IOPS compared to 3,300 IOPS for the 20GB models.
|Intel SSD 313||Intel SSD 311|
|Codename||Hawley Creek||Larson Creek|
|NAND||Intel 25nm SLC||Intel 34nm SLC|
|Interface||SATA 3Gbps||SATA 3Gbps|
|Controller||Intel PC29AS21BA0||Intel PC29AS21BA0|
|Form Factors||2.5", mSATA||2.5", mSATA|
|Random Read||36K IOPS||33K IOPS||37K IOPS|
|Random Write||3.3K IOPS||4K IOPS||3.3K IOPS|
Pricing matches the previous 311 Series models, with the 20GB unit going for $120 and the 24GB variant coming in at $140. There's no price difference between the 2.5-inch and mSATA models.
As you'd expect, besides using Intel's Smart Response Technology for caching, the new SSD 313 Series is designed to take advantage new features that the upcoming Ivy Bridge platform will bring, including "Rapid Start" and "Smart Connect". The first is essentially an efficient hibernation mode that allows users to resume in just five seconds by saving a computer's state onto the flash storage, while the second involves some form of software layer that enables any running application to update itself while the computer is asleep.
Using these technologies or a combination of them will require the SSD to be partitioned accordingly as shown in the graphic above, hence the introduction of a higher capacity 24GB model with this generation. Expect these drives to make an appearance with the upcoming wave of Ivy Bridge based ultrabooks and notebooks.