Just a few short days later than rumors suggested, Intel has officially released the new SSD 330 Series for those who seek a good mix of performance and value. Based on the SandForce SF-2281 controller and bringing the the SATA III 6Gbps interface to Intel's budget line for the first time, the new drives can hit maximum sequential performance of 500MB/s read and 450MB/s writes. Input-output operations per second (IOPS) are rated at up to 22,500 for random 4K reads and 33,000 4K random writes.
That's a significant bump from the 320 Series' claimed sequential read and write speeds of up to 270MB/s and 220MB/s, respectively. On paper, it almost matches even the higher end 520 Series, though in both cases random read and write performance is slower on the new SSD 330 Series.
|Intel SSD 320 Series||Intel SSD 330 Series||Intel SSD 520 Series|
|Interface||SATA 3Gb/s||SATA 6Gb/s||SATA 6Gb/s|
|Sequential Performance (R/W)||270 / 220 MB/s||500 / 450 MB/s||550 / 520 MB/s|
|Random Performance (R/W)||39.5k / 23k IOPS||22.5k / 33k IOPS||50k / 80k IOPS|
|Warranty||5-year limited||3-year limited||5-year limited|
The drives are built using Intel's 25nm NAND flash memory and are available in 60GB, 120GB, and 180GB capacities. With prices set at $89, $149, and $243 for each of those sizes, that works out to around $1.25 - $1.40 per gigabyte, which is not bad compared to other SSDs. Unfortunately, whereas the previous 320 came with a five year warranty, the new 330 offers only three to compensate for the lower prices.
For reference, Intel's SSD 520 Series drives are available in 60GB ($110), 120GB ($180), 180GB ($290), 240GB ($345), and 480GB ($800) sizes, with a limited warranty good for five years.