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Intel SSD 330 Review: 60, 120, And 180 GB Models Benchmarked

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Firmware Notes:

In late April, OCZ released v3.02.06 of its Toolbox software, along with the 2.22 firmware update for the Vertex 3, Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Agility 3, Solid 3, RevoDrive 3, RevoDrive 3 X2 and Synapse lines.

According to the OCZ, the update resolves two specific problems relating to SSD slumber and secure erase, possibly improving performance in some workloads. After updating our 120 GB Vertex 3, however, we were not able to measure any speed-ups. As a result, we elected not to retest all of our OCZ-branded SSDs.

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.1 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3
MemoryKingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System DriveOCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s
Tested DrivesIntel SSD 320 300 GB SATA 3Gb/s, Firmware: 1.92
Intel SSD 320 80 GB SATA 3Gb/s, Firmware: 1.92
Intel SSD 330 180 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 300i
Intel SSD 330 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 300i
Intel SSD 330 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 300i
Samsung 830 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO
Samsung 830 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO
Crucial m4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 0309
Crucial m4 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 0009
OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.15
OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.22
OCZ Vertex 3 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.15
OCZ Agility 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.22
OCZ Agility 3 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.22
OCZ Agility 3 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.22
Intel SSD 510 250 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.22
Intel SSD 520 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 400i
Intel SSD 520 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 400i
GraphicsPalit GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
Power SupplySeasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS Gold
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: Nvidia 270.61 RST: 10.6.0.1002 Virtu: 1.1.101
Benchmarks
Tom's Hardware Storage Bench v1.0Trace-Based
Iometer 1.1.0# Workers = 1, 4 KB Random: LBA=8 GB, varying QDs, 128 KB Sequential
PCMark 7Storage Suite
  • Au_equus
    I bought this samsung 830 256gb ssd for $390 five-six months ago
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147164
    now its $275 or $1.074/GB. Better price/stability/performance than those listed above.
    Reply
  • phamhlam
    au_equusI bought this samsung 830 256gb ssd for $390 five-six months agohttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod 6820147164now its $275 or $1.074/GB. Better price/stability/performance than those listed above.
    Crucial m4 128GB from Newegg and Amazon @ 124.99. That is less than $1/GB.
    Reply
  • One question, which didn't explained: what Intel SSD is better for SATA 3Gb/sec 320 or 330 series?
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    Intel should have used non-SandForce controllers. The Vertex 4 (with the new firmware) shows what Sandforce alternatives are capable of, I hope that Intel's next flagship series does something similarly spectacular without Sandforce. I think that Intel could have used the 330s as a stepping stone to get a controller (such as a Marvell controller) up to Vertex 4-like performance (or better) in more universal workloads than Sandforce for their next flagship series.

    On that note, why weren't the Vertex 4s included in this review with the other drives?
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    EoveinOne question, which didn't explained: what Intel SSD is better for SATA 3Gb/sec 320 or 330 series?
    I don't think that it makes much difference at SATA 3Gb/s, but the 330s are faster drives, so they might be marginally better.
    Reply
  • chimera201
    When will the price of SSD come down to HDD level? That would be news.
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    chimera201When will the price of SSD come down to HDD level? That would be news.
    Probably at least not until a cheaper memory than Flash is used in SSDs, so maybe ten to twenty years, if we're lucky.
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    Am not a mad scientist or anything so I have missed something but to me Intel SSD is as good as any others on the market. I wouldn't see any difference in real world scenario between 330 and 520 or Samsung 830 or even M4. Who cares? I don't anyway. Just get the drive that you trust and that has reasonable warranty (3 years +) and good support. Done.
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    edvinasmAm not a mad scientist or anything so I have missed something but to me Intel SSD is as good as any others on the market. I wouldn't see any difference in real world scenario between 330 and 520 or Samsung 830 or even M4. Who cares? I don't anyway. Just get the drive that you trust and that has reasonable warranty (3 years +) and good support. Done.
    Whether or not a part that is faster for your workloads than others and is faster enough to make a difference depends on what you are doing. If I was doing a lot of storage heavy stuff, like constantly downloading and decompressing large archives, then an SSD that can deal with in-compressible data very well would provide very noticeable gains over any SandForce drive or any lower end non-Sandforce drives.
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    blazorthonWhether or not a part that is faster for your workloads than others and is faster enough to make a difference depends on what you are doing. If I was doing a lot of storage heavy stuff, like constantly downloading and decompressing large archives, then an SSD that can deal with in-compressible data very well would provide very noticeable gains over any SandForce drive or any lower end non-Sandforce drives.
    Fair point. Mind you, if you do that much and it's that important hardly any of standard (consumer grade) SSDs would interest you. Unless you are talking of downloading software and games from questionable sites, then yes - cheap and fast is cheerful.
    Reply