|Intel SSD 335 Series Solid State Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 29 October 2012|
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Closer Look: Intel SSD 335
SSDs are quickly gaining popularity because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computers. Likewise, they easily install into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. For this article Benchmark Reviews is testing the Intel SSD 335 solid state drive, model SSDSC2CT240A4K5.
The Intel Solid-State Drive 335 Series is a 240GB entry-level enthusiast storage product sold for $209.99 (Newegg / Amazon). Ideal for price-conscious enthusiasts looking to upgrade a desktop or notebook PC, Intel SSD 335 Series uses the smallest, most efficient next-generation multi-level cell NAND flash available.
The Intel SSD 335 Series kit includes the solid state drive, a SATA 6Gb/s signal cable, 4-pin Molex to SATA power cable, and 35-inch adapter bracket with screws. The Intel SSD 335 measures 3.94"/100mm long, by 2.76"/70mm wide, by 0.37"/9.5mm tall. Intel offers only capacity for their Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive: 240GB.
Intel utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for their SSD 335 Series solid state drive, which reveals the internal components after removing four small counter-sunk screws located along the top of this solid state drive. Each half of the drive enclosure is given a textured aluminum finish, which conceals fingerprints or smudges better than a glossy painted surface would. Intel branding is marked at the topside of the SSD enclosure, with a label attached to the bottom that denotes model and capacity.
Standard 2.5" drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled and threaded into the Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive chassis, which allows for quick upgrade or addition into any existing notebook and other compact computer system. Using a universal 3.5" to 2.5" tray adapter (included with this kit), the SSD fits easily into desktop computers. The mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes I was booting from a restored Windows 7 System Image with ease.
Unlike most Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are nearly impervious to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. On the Intel SSD 335 Series, a square thermal interface material pad mates the SandForce SF-2281 processor to the underside half.
Similar to other second-generation LSI/SandForce-driven SSDs, Intel SSD 335 Series features a SF-2281VB1-SDC SATA 6Gb/s processor. Offering 8 flash channels with 8 Byte lanes configured (one lane per channel), the SF-2281 maintains a BGA-256 package. More detail is available in our LSI/SandForce SF-2000 Series SSD Processor Overview article.
SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC Controller
All LSI/SandForce SSD controllers offer native TRIM garbage collection in supporting Operating System (such as Microsoft Windows-7), Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set. LSI/SandForce built the SF-2200 series to produce 500 MB/s sequential read and write bandwidth with 60K (burst)/20K (sustained) IOPS random write (4K transfers). The firmware controls the performance variables on LSI/SandForce SSDs, and some manufacturers have licensed custom firmware to unlock additional performance for their products.
The SF-2281 SSD processor provides enhanced ECC with BCH data protection, and also includes LSI/SandForce's unique RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. RAISE provides the protection and reliability of RAID on a single SSD drive, thanks to flash architecture, without the significant write overhead of parity. The LSI/SandForce DuraClass technology automatically stores data using Trusted Computing Group (TCG) OPAL security with 256-bit AES encryption and automatic, line-rate double encryption with a drive-level password, preventing data extraction directly from the physical flash memory modules.
IMFT 29F16B08CCMF2 20nm NAND Flash
On the Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive, a LSI/SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC processors enables 20nm NAND flash support with data transfer rates up to 166 Mega Transfers per second. SF-2281 controllers also offers advanced ECC engine correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector to assure high data integrity and support for future generations of flash memory. On the 240GB Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive, sixteen 20nm multi-layer cell Intel/Micron Flash Technology (IMFT) 29F16B08CCMF2 synchronous NAND Flash modules are joined to the SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC controller.