|Intel SSD 335 Series Solid State Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 29 October 2012|
Page 10 of 10
Intel SSD 335 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.
SandForce has made an enormous impact on the storage market, and as a result Benchmark Reviews has tested plenty of their products over the past few years. 2012 has been filled with countless reviews of SF2281-based SSDs; most sharing performance nearly identical to one another. It was surprising to find a SandForce SF-2281VB1-SDC inside the Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive, but it makes perfect sense because the SF-2281 has been a wildly popular controller due to solid performance and reliability. This is an excellent starting point for a value-branded storage solution, but it's the IMFT 29F16B08CCMF2 20nm NAND Flash that really sets the Intel SSD 335 Series apart.
Our performance rating considers how effective the Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive performs in operations against direct competitor storage solutions. For reference, SandForce specifies the SF-2281 controller capable of 500 MB/s maximum read/write speeds, which Intel adjusts to much more conservative levels of 500/450 MB/s sequential read/write. In our storage benchmark tests, the Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive (model SSDSC2CT240A4K5) performed at or above this speed, and competed with the fastest products previously tested. Our test results proved the Intel SSD 335 Series was good for delivering 558/533 MBps peak read/writes speeds using ATTO Disk Benchmark, which matches performance with the fastest SandForce-based SSDs we've tested. Linear testing with Everest Disk Benchmark produced 465/470 MB/s, placing the Intel SSD 335 Series among the top results.
The 240GB retail kit sent us for testing advertises 4 KB random I/O reads reaching 42,000, and up to 52,000 write IOPS (94,000 combined IOPS). Using a SandForce-provided configuration for our own Iometer operational performance tests, we used a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O's per target that measured 80,015 combined IOPS performance. In this test, the Intel SSD 335 Series performed well and positioned itself among the highest-I/O products, and measured better than nearly all other SandForce SF-2281 SSDs. In the 4K 32QD tests with AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark, the Intel SSD 335 Series continued to match up to enthusiast storage solutions like the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS Edition.
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 SSD 335 Series, with simple branding at the top for identification. Intel adds a square pad of thermal interface material between the SF-2281 solid state storage controller and the enclosure wall, a manufacturing step most companies skip, which allows for better heat dissipation and improved component longevity.
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 immune to most abuses by nature of their durable technology, which is further extended with the addition of a hard metal shell. If any Intel SSD 335 Series product fails during the limited 3-year warranty period, end-users can contact Intel's customer support. I've personally used Intel's warranty service, and found their customer support to be among the very best on the Planet.
Because so many SandForce-based products are physically identical to each another, the overall value tends to focus on price, warranty, and customer support. As of launch (29 October 2012), the 240GB Intel SSD 335 Series solid state drive is available online for $209.99 at either Newegg or Amazon (model SSDSC2CT240A4K5). This price places the Intel SSD 335 at the lower-midrange for 240GB solid state drives.
The second-generation SandForce SF-2281 controller inside Intel's SSD 335 Series achieved performance levels eclipsing the fastest SATA-based storage solutions we've tested. It's clear by Intel's specifications that SSD 335 is designed to deliver exceptional transfer speeds with emphasis on improved I/O performance. IMFT 29F16B08CCMF2 20nm NAND Flash components help differentiate the Intel SSD 335 Series from the large selection of competing SF-2281 alternatives, as will the reduced price. While Intel's three-year product warranty is less impressive than their other models that come with five-years of protection, Intel's high level of after-sales customer support is far and above anything the competition could dream of. In consideration of its top-level performance, reasonable price, the industry's first implementation of 20nm NAND, Intel's SSD 335 Series solid state drive series earns our Golden Tachometer Award for excellence.
+ Outstanding 558/533 MBps read/write speed with ATTO
- Similar products carry five-year warranty
Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.