It's been a busy spring for Intel. The Intel SSD 520 series was released in February, and a month later, Sandy Bridge EP was released. Only another month or so after that and the Intel SSD 313 Series was released. The upcoming weeks look at least as busy because Intel is preparing Ivy Bridge and 7-series chipsets, but at the same time Intel has been preparing something else in the SSD front: the Intel SSD 330 Series. It will be the successor of 320 Series, Intel's current mainstream SSD offering, and we have some preliminary specs that we would like to share:

Note: These specifications are not official and have not been confirmed by Intel. These have been taken from resellers' websites and may contain inaccurate information.

Intel SSD 330 Series Specifications
Capacity 60GB 120GB 180GB
NAND Intel 25nm MLC
Interface SATA 6Gb/s
Form Factor 2.5"
Read Speed 500MB/s 500MB/s 500MB/s
Write Speed 400MB/s 450MB/s 450MB/s
4K Random Read 12K IOPS 22.5K IOPS 42K IOPS
4K Random Write 20.5K IOPS 33K IOPS 52K IOPS
Street Price $89 $149 $234

If the specifications are correct, the 330 Series will finally bring SATA 6Gb/s support for Intel's mainstream SSDs. This is a very welcome feature because while the 320 Series isn't slow, it's still somewhat expensive when compared with the performance it provides. Other manufacturers' SATA 6Gb/s SSDs can look a lot more appealing as they are often 10% (or more) cheaper and the advertised speeds are over twice as fast.

The actual controller is unknown but the capacities hint towards SandForce. That would make sense because Intel has spent a lot time and money on their SandForce driven 520 Series. The only part of the equation that doesn't make sense is the performance. We are used to seeing 550MB/s read and 500MB/s write on SandForce SSDs but the specifications we have seen so far show something else. The interesting part here is whether this is hardware or firmware related. We will have to wait and see.

As for the pricing, the 330 Series appears to be very competitive. Right now you can get the 80GB Intel 320 Series for $135, which is only $15 cheaper than the 120GB 330 Series. Once again, I would like to emphasize that these are by no means official prices and may change when retailers get some actual stock. Official availability is unknown but Amazon.co.uk is listing April 13 as the release date, which is ten days away. I also emailed the reseller we got the specifications from and will update this article once I receive a reply.

Sources: Jimms.fi, (1) (2)

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  • crimson117 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Also on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007P71J9W/ Reply
  • cknobman - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Price is still a little to high.

    120gb needs to be <$135.
    180gb needs to be <$175.
    Reply
  • mckirkus - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    The 520 240GB list price is $581 and it's selling for $352 on Amazon right now.

    My point is that it's pointless debating price until the thing is actually available for purchase.
    Reply
  • magnetar - Saturday, April 07, 2012 - link

    Those prices would be fine for a newly released SSD of those capacities. The 128 GB Vertex 4 is $179 now, and 128 GB Crucial M4's have rarely if ever been below $149. They are also fine prices for an Intel SSD.

    Regarding the performance specs, perhaps Intel is just not playing the performance marketing games as is the norm with SF based SSDs. They pioneered that on the 520, by stating both compressible and non-compressible data speeds. I'm so sick of the, "550 MBs", "...now with 551 MBs...", "... and an amazing 555 MBs...", nonsense.
    Reply
  • Makaveli - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Those prices won't be retail once those jerks gets a hold of them. Reply
  • RussianSensation - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Current sandforce generation is now old. They are just reusing the same controllers.

    How about the new Vertex 4 with the new Indilinx controller launching tomorrow?

    http://www.ocztechnology.com/vertex4/

    Now that's actually worthy of talking about.
    Reply
  • This Guy - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Probably something something NDA. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Yeah for real. OCZ isn't going to launch a new SSD without an AT review - they're obviously under NDA.

    They're probably under NDA on the 330 as well, hence the big "we found this on amazon.co.uk" disclaimer in this article.
    Reply
  • akumar - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    look @ the youtube video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nis7EhEqo1o
    Reply
  • Hulk - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Or was it that they just weren't going to make their own controllers? Reply

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