|Intel 311 Solid State Drive SSDSA2VP020G2E|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 10 May 2011|
Page 11 of 11
Intel SSD Larson Creek Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Since many visitors tend to gloss over the review details and skip directly to the conclusion, I will take this opportunity to remind readers that the Intel 311 Series 20GB Larson Creek Solid State Drive SSDSA2VP020G2E is designed as a cache drive for Intel Smart Response Technology and not intended as a standalone storage device. Despite this intended purpose, Benchmark Reviews understands the need to answer performance questions for our curious enthusiast audience with head-to-head comparison SSD tests.
As a standalone product, our performance rating considers how effective the Intel 311 Series solid state drive performs in operations against direct competitor storage solutions. For reference, specifications for the 20GB Larson Creek model SSDSA2VP020G2E suggest 200 MB/s maximum reads and 105 MB/s writes. In our SSD benchmark tests, the Intel 311 SSD performed at or above these ratings. Our test results proved the Intel 311 was good for delivering 204/114 MBps peak read and writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark SSD speed tests. Transfer speeds were generally high, but were overshadowed by some of the latest competitor SSDs such as those from SandForce.
The 20GB Intel 311 Series SSD sent us for testing is specified as capable of 37,000 maximum read and 3300 write IOPS, however it is unclear what method was used to determine these numbers. In our own Iometer operational performance tests using a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O's per target, the Intel 311 SSD delivered IOPS performance topping 12,136 read and 12,135 write for a combined total of 24,271 IOPS. In this particular test, the Intel 311 SSD actually outperformed most other SATA 3Gb/s storage devices. In the 4K 32QD tests with AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark, the Intel 311 Series SSD performed well enough to compete with other high-performance consumer storage devices. With the results we've received in our tests, hardware enthusiasts can expect excellent operational performance for demanding applications and extreme I/O environments.
Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, Solid State Drives are meant to place function before fashion. Anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is already more than what's expected in terms of the appearance. Intel uses a textured metal finish on the Larson Creek SSD, with a branding label on the top for identification. As solid state storage controllers become faster and more advanced, heat dissipation through the enclosure walls may demand that chassis designs become more beneficial than they previously needed to be. This isn't the case yet, and a smooth metal chassis suits modern SSDs nicely.
Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product segment, and Intel products have never offered any exception. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If any Intel 311 Series SSD product fails during the limited 3-year warranty period, end-users can contact customer support.
As of February 2012, Intel's 20GB Larson Creek 311-Series SSD costs $119.49 (Newegg). As soon as this SSD reaches retail shelves, we'll update this article with links to their online prices.
All on its own, the Intel 311 SSD actually performs fairly well considering it was designed to be a caching drive for Intel Smart Response Technology systems. If you're curious about the performance of this setup, we've got the results published here. Since this is a 20GB storage device, it's hard to imagine many people using it for a primary drive, but our tests show that it's certainly capable. Still, even the most storage-conservative PC user will agree that an Intel 311 SSD paired to a high-capacity hard drive using Intel SRT is the way to go. Let's hope people are willing to give it a try.
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