First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

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ces
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First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by ces » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:21 am

Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD Review w/ 25nm Flash!

"They also made improvements to data security with AES 128-bit encryption and also changed the architecture to mitigate data loss during sudden or improper shutdowns which is a justifiable concern among SSD users. Typically, a feature like this is reserved for the enterprise level drives so it's nice to see it on affordable consumer drives"

"Secure erasing an Intel SSD is a breeze and I personally appreciate this simple but powerful feature. Overall, during normal use, the drive seemed snappy and very responsive and garbage collection seemed to work well without being overly aggressive. Even after thrashing the drive, performance returned to near new levels without intervention on my part. "

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1579/1/
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

CA_Steve
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:16 pm

Ok, my short rant about SSD reviews. I feel like I went to a car dealer to look at a solidly built Honda, but all they could show me were Lamborghini's - not in my price range and certainly not useful. Who the heck cares about these 300GB capacity drives other than the mfgr who deals these out to show the best possible performance...when reality is that the midrange capacity/priced SSDs will most certainly show decreased performance because the drive is not completely populated with memory and hence there are fewer read/write channels. Gah!

The likelyhood of my buying an SSD that costs more than my CPU+mobo is pretty damn slim.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

ces
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by ces » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:24 pm

CA_Steve wrote:The likelyhood of my buying an SSD that costs more than my CPU+mobo is pretty damn slim.
They should have tested the 120GB. Think Intel had anything to do with that?
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

oz_smurf
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by oz_smurf » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:03 pm

As I'm sure most have noticed already, a few other reviews of the 300GB Intel 320 have been published:
Anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4244/intel-ssd-320-review
TechReport: http://techreport.com/articles.x/20653
PC Perspective: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=1102

ces
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by ces » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:34 pm

oz_smurf wrote:As I'm sure most have noticed already, a few other reviews of the 300GB Intel 320 have been published:
Anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4244/intel-ssd-320-review
TechReport: http://techreport.com/articles.x/20653
PC Perspective: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=1102
I hadn't noticed. Thanks for the links.

Edit

I went and looked. CA_Steve was right, they are all 300G drives. No one wants to bother with drives the little people will actually buy. If you ever notice a 120G review please let us know.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

oz_smurf
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by oz_smurf » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:06 pm

ces wrote:I went and looked. CA_Steve was right, they are all 300G drives. No one wants to bother with drives the little people will actually buy. If you ever notice a 120G review please let us know.
I agree that the 120GB and 160GB models look like the sweet spot for the 320 series but unfortunately sending out only the highest capacity model for initial reviews is standard practice, so we'll likely have to wait until the retail release for reviews of the smaller capacity models.

CA_Steve
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:17 pm

It's certainly all marketing as Intel and others want to show their products in the best light. I agree that we probably won't see an actual review of a product we might buy until they are available from a vendor.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Lucien
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by Lucien » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:28 am

Have any reviews of the lower capacity 320s appeared yet? I haven't seen anything myself, beyond a table on the AnandTech review which shows that the 160 GB version does have reduced performance specs. (And worse for the 120 GB.)

oz_smurf
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by oz_smurf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:31 pm

Lucien wrote:Have any reviews of the lower capacity 320s appeared yet? I haven't seen anything myself, beyond a table on the AnandTech review which shows that the 160 GB version does have reduced performance specs. (And worse for the 120 GB.)
I haven't seen any reviews of the lower capacity Intel 320 series SSDs yet but did find some Xbench results for two for the smaller sizes at MacRumors:

Code: Select all

Capacity(GB)                300 160 120 160(X25M)
Sequential(MB/s)
Uncached_Write[4K blocks]   221 164 134 107
Uncached_Write[256K blocks] 176 152 122  98
Uncached_Read[4K blocks]     36  35  35  49
Uncached_Read[256K blocks]  208 211 206 204
Random(MB/s)
Uncached_Write[4K blocks]    54  54  53  83
Uncached_Write[256K blocks] 181 156 131 102
Uncached_Read[4K blocks]     14  15  13  16
Uncached_Read[256K blocks]  140 139 141 179
Source: Intel 320 SSD (X25-M G3 Postville Refresh) Released!

These are only indicative since they were run by different users on different hardware but they do suggest the following about the performance by size:
*Sequential reads are fairly constant across the different sizes
*Sequential writes diminish significantly for the smaller sizes, although all remain above the 160GB X25M
*Random reads are fairly consistent across the different sizes but all are below the 160GB X25M
*Random writes remain fairly constant across the different sizes for 4K blocks but all are below the 160GB X25M, while for the 256K blocks the performance dimishes significantly for the smaller drives but all remain above the 160GB X25M

Not being a SSD expert I'd be interested in the thoughts of those who are (e.g. dhanson865) but my impression is that based on performance, one should pay less per GB for the 320 Series relative to the comparable X25M drives. Since this hasn't happened yet, I'd either buy a X25M drive if I needed one now or wait for the 320 Series prices to drop...

Techno Pride
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by Techno Pride » Mon May 16, 2011 8:21 am

I got a 40gb Intel 320. Specs as in sig. This's an old Geforce 6150/NF430 chipset, using Microsoft IDE drivers.

Intel 320 40GB
Image

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by mkk » Mon May 16, 2011 9:35 am

Thanks for that result, it's been hard to get a grip on the smaller drives until now. Could you maybe do a test with the program AS SSD as well? :)

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by Techno Pride » Mon May 16, 2011 8:42 pm

There you go. Remember, this's on an old nforce chipset with no AHCI.

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by winguy » Sat May 21, 2011 2:41 am

Intel Now Offers Five-Year Warranty on Intel SSD 320 Family
http://www.storagereview.com/intel_now_ ... 320_family

Warranty details for the Intel® Solid-State Drive 320 Series - 5-year limited warranty
http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd ... 029645.htm

ces
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by ces » Sat May 21, 2011 4:12 am

winguy wrote:Warranty details for the Intel® Solid-State Drive 320 Series - 5-year limited warranty
http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd ... 029645.htm
"...will be free from defects in material and workmanship, and will substantially conform to Intel’s publicly available specification"

"REFUND the then-current value of the Product at the time a claim for warranty service is made to Intel under this Limited Warranty."

"Intel may elect to repair or replace the Product with either a new or reconditioned Product or components, as Intel deems appropriate. "

http://download.intel.com/support/ssdc/ ... 011_en.pdf

It is not so clear that the warranty covers normal wear and tear. They can replace it with a used one or pay you what it is then worth. What is a 3 year old worn out SSD worth?
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by lanceuppercut » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:01 am

in my lenovo x201, it posted slightly worse read numbers than my 120gb vertex 2e in the same system, but murdered it in the write test even though its write speed was rated at 205MB/s compared to 275MB/s that the vertex is meant to do.

i used crystal disk to test it.

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by PartEleven » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:14 am

CA_Steve wrote:Ok, my short rant about SSD reviews. I feel like I went to a car dealer to look at a solidly built Honda, but all they could show me were Lamborghini's - not in my price range and certainly not useful. Who the heck cares about these 300GB capacity drives other than the mfgr who deals these out to show the best possible performance...when reality is that the midrange capacity/priced SSDs will most certainly show decreased performance because the drive is not completely populated with memory and hence there are fewer read/write channels. Gah!

The likelyhood of my buying an SSD that costs more than my CPU+mobo is pretty damn slim.
I was annoyed by this problem too. Fortunately Anandtech has an excellent 120gb ssd round-up that addresses this issue completely: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4421/the- ... sd-roundup

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by nicko » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:41 am

I just picked up an Intel 320, 120Gb. The drive is perfect for me, just what I needed :)

Here's CrystalDiskMark test, if anyone wants to know:

Image

I'm running Core 2 Duo, E6600 (2.4 GHz). SSD is connected on ICH7R. Win 7 x64 Professional.

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by HFat » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:05 am

Techno Pride wrote:I got a 40gb Intel 320. Specs as in sig. This's an old Geforce 6150/NF430 chipset, using Microsoft IDE drivers.

Intel 320 40GB
Image
I've tried one in AHCI mode (H67 chipset) and the big difference is the QD32 read throughput obviously (I got around 105). All other numbers are within 10% of these except the 512K reads for some reason which score around 150 for me
edit: s/write/read/

another edit: for those looking at Anandtech's IOmeter charts, the 40G version performs nearly as well as the 160G version at random reads (making it one of the very best drives on the market in that respect). It's write thoroughput is of course very limited so it's no good at these tests (it still crushes the ones who have terrible random write speeds of course). Sequential read is poor (I got 157).
edit: wrong settings gave me wrong numbers (corrected) but this doesn't change the qualitative assesment

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by Eunos » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:56 pm

Intel Acknowledges Problems With Intel SSD 320s

Intel has recently acknowledged issues with the new SSD 320 series, where by repetitively power cycling the drives, some may become unresponive or report an 8MB drive capacity. Through a statement to ZDNet, Intel confirmed that they are aware of the issue and are currently investigating the problem. This bug was also reported on the Intel support forums, where some members had been experiencing this problem.

http://www.storagereview.com/intel_ackn ... l_ssd_320s

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Re: First Review of the Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD

Post by ces » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:14 pm

Eunos wrote:Intel Acknowledges Problems With Intel SSD 320s
This sort of makes me feel better. I bought two of the last generation Intel SSDs because I was wary about these new models. I had lately been wondering if maybe I had been too smart by half. Looks like not.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

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