|Intel SSD 335 Series Solid State Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 29 October 2012|
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Intel SSD 335 Solid State Drive Review
Intel's first SSD to feature 20-nanometer NAND flash memory components
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Intel.
When Benchmark Reviews tested the entry-level Intel SSD 320 back in June 2011, that solid state drive featured 25nm Intel MLC NAND Flash memory optimized for the SATA 3Gb/s interface that produced sequential read speeds up to 270 MB/s and 60,000 combined IOPS. Now optimized for the SATA 6Gb/s (Revision 3.0) interface, the Intel SSD 335 Series provides sequential reads up to 500 MB/s and 450 writes up to MB/s. Performance for 4 KB random reads reaches 42,000, while writes climb to 52,000 IOPS (94,000 combined). Intel SSD 335 uses a second-generation LSI/SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC processor with enhanced BCH ECC capability, and supports for ATA-7 Security Erase. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the value-priced Intel SSD 335 Solid State Drive (SSDSC2CT240A4K5) against competing storage solutions to determine the best value for your computer system.
Intel's SSD 335 Series solid state drive is available in 240GB capacity and features 20nm 64GB IMFT 29F16B08CCMF2 NAND Flash components, the first in the industry, using a planar cell structure with performance and reliability similar to previous 25nm-generation products. Intel's 20nm planar cell structure overcomes scaling constraints common with standard NAND floating gate cells by integrating the first Hi-K/metal gate stack on NAND production. The reward is lower total cost of production, which translates into a competitively priced product. Intel offers consumers the industry's best customer service backed by a three-year warranty.
Users are given several free tools to further optimize performance of their Intel SSD 335: Intel SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer, and Intel Data Migration Software. SSD Toolbox/SSD Optimizer delivers management, information, and diagnostic tools to maintain health on Intel SSD 335 products and optimize performance original clean-NAND levels. SSD Toolbox includes a System Configuration Tuner that assists users in configuring their computer system to take advantage of 335 Series performance features. Data Migration Software helps users upgrade their PC with an Intel SSD 335 solid state drive. This tool clones the entire operating system and user files from an existing drive to any Intel SSD 335 Series product.
Solid State vs Hard Disk
Despite decades of design improvements, the hard disk drive (HDD) is still the slowest component of any personal computer system. Consider that modern desktop processors have a 1 ns response time (nanosecond = one billionth of one second), while system memory responds between 30-90 ns. Traditional hard drive technology utilizes magnetic spinning media, and even the fastest spinning mechanical storage products still exhibit a 9,000,000 ns / 9 ms initial response time (millisecond = one thousandth of one second). In more relevant terms, the processor receives the command and must then wait for system memory to fetch related data from the storage drive. This is why any computer system is only as fast as the slowest component in the data chain; usually the hard drive.
In a perfect world all of the components operate at the same speed. Until that day comes, the real-world goal for achieving optimal performance is for system memory to operate as quickly as the central processor and then for the storage drive to operate as fast as memory. With present-day technology this is an impossible task, so enthusiasts try to close the speed gaps between components as much as possible. Although system memory is up to 90x (9000%) slower than most processors, consider then that the hard drive is an added 1000x (100,000%) slower than that same memory. Essentially, these three components are as different in speed as walking is to driving and flying.
Solid State Drive technology bridges the largest gap in these response times. The difference a SSD makes to operational response times and program speeds is dramatic, and takes the storage drive from a slow 'walking' speed to a much faster 'driving' speed. Solid State Drive technology improves initial response times by more than 450x (45,000%) for applications and Operating System software, when compared to their mechanical HDD counterparts. The biggest mistake PC hardware enthusiasts make with regard to SSD technology is grading them based on bandwidth speed. File transfer speeds are important, but only so long as the operational IOPS performance can sustain that bandwidth under load.
Intel SSD 335 Specifications