Intel launches SSD 330 Series entry-level drives at dirt-cheap prices

Intel launches SSD 330 Series entry-level drives at dirt-cheap prices

Summary: Intel's new budget line will start at just $89 for a 60GB drive. Ready for an SSD upgrade?


With competition ramping up in the crowded solid-state drive market, Intel has started refreshing some of its SSD lines. The latest is the entry-level SSD 330 Series, which improves performance over its predecessor while maintaining budget pricing.

Starting at just $89, the SSD 330 uses the SATA 6Gb/s interface to deliver sequential read speeds of 500MB/s and write speeds of 450MB/s, compared to the older SSD 320's 270/220 MB/s speeds. (You can find more details here.) And whereas the smallest SSD 320 drive was 40GB, the smallest SSD 330 is 60GB. There are also 120GB and 180GB flavors for $149 and $234, respectively.

While the SSD 330 series offers performance closer to the previous generation's mid-range SSD 520 drives, its potential reliability may be less. Depending on the capacity, the SSD 330 provides as little as 12,000 IOPS/20,500 IOPS for random read/writes, which is even lower than the SSD 320 offers. Intel has also shortened its warranty for the SSD 330 to three years from five years.

If that doesn't bother you, it looks like the SSD 330 combines decent performance and a low price for people looking for a cheap SSD update. Will Intel's new drive make your next upgrade list?

Topic: Intel

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  • Sorry But...

    I have a really hard time paying that much for any drive that small.
    • ????

      Seriously? A SSD drive is nomally used as a system / boot drive. Even for a small system it is more than aduquate. For big ammounts of data no but for specific purposes that size iis more than sufficent.
      • I said that, too

        I said that too and I've been very happy with my 60 GB SSD in the 2 years I've had it. BUT, let me say it's getting cramped. By the time all the hotfixes and updates to the OS, plus updates to apps, the used space gets bigger and bigger. Don't forget the pagefile and the hibernation file. The hiberfile.sys alone is the same size as your RAM and it CAN'T be moved.

        Look, I'm still glad I bought it, but if I were buying today (and I just *might be*), I would have to go for 100GB or more. I'm sure whenever Win 7 SP2 arrives, I'll be far happier with some breathing room.

        WinTard: Thanks for taking the time to add to my comment. I wasn't clear enough, clearly. I know I can disable hibernation, but I find it too useful. As for your admonition to NEVER have the pagefile or hibernation file on your SSD, can you cite a source please? I challenge you to reconsider, using as my source. Steven Sinofsky is a pretty smart fellow at Microsoft and he says, in part:
        "In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD."
      • On SSD, there are essential tweaks to differentiate it from spinning

        mechanical drives (in contrast to solid-state NAND Flash chips).

        @bmgoodman: You can disable thus delete the hiberfil.sys

        You said: [quote]Don't forget the pagefile and the hibernation file. The hiberfile.sys alone is the same size as your RAM and it CAN'T be moved.[/quote]

        First, you should NEVER hibernate or swap onto an SSD. Because those are unnecessary writes.

        Second, let's address your hiberfil.sys {there's no 'e'}:

        Use the Windows 7 built-in powercfg.exe (run cmd as administrator) to disable the hibernation function.

        Here's the cli (Command Line Interface): powercfg -h off

        CLI implies to first invoke a CMD administrative shell elevation by pressing [ctrl][shift] and the windows command processor icon in the start menu. Then type the cli. This disabling of the hibernation will take effect upon restart of the system.

        This is the help obtained from powercfg.exe:
        [quote] -HIBERNATE, -H
        Enables-Disables the hibernate feature. Hibernate timeout is not supported on all systems.

        Usage: POWERCFG -H <ON|OFF>
        POWERCFG -H -Size <PercentSize>
        -Size Specifies the desired hiberfile size in percentage of the
        total memory. The default size cannot be smaller than 50.
        This switch will also enable the hiberfile automatically.

        Because all SSD Flash technologies write lifetime are finite, care must be taken not to write unnecessarily to the SSD.

        Flash technologies have advantages with corresponding disadvantages.

        The best feature of SSD is the speed.

        The worst feature of SSD is that after a while, certain 'worn' bits cannot be changed, thus requiring fancy footwork on the part of the SSD firmware to 'remap' all logical blocks around, so they wear evenly.

        Google: ssd wear leveling for a deeper understanding of the issues involved.

        It is [b][u][i]critical[/i][/u][/b] to utilize an Operating System that implements the TRIM Protocol, or your SSD will die a slow-painful-death starting around 6 months of use.

        FYI: Windows 7 fully implemented the TRIM Protocol back in January 2009 when they released their beta.

        Please google: trim protocol for more.

        I highly recommend everybody learns more about SSD by googling

        And also reading this excellent ZDNet article: Windows 7 and SSDs: Setup secrets and tune-up tweaks www . zdnet . com /blog/bott/windows-7-and-ssds-setup-secrets-and-tune-up-tweaks/2910

        The more you learn, the more you realize you didn't know. That's the downside of continuing your education. The benefits come next.
        ~ WinTard[/i]
  • 500MB/s Read & 450 MB/s write $89 60GB

    Look at those numbers and then look at the price... the subject says it all.

    However it possible that most users don't realise that a fast normal drive reads and writes at a bit over 100 MB/s... which is why numbers that are almost 5 times faster aren't making them sit up and take notice.

    All I can say is WOW!!!

  • reliability

    What is the reliability relative to standard drives? If you read reviews for standard drives, there isn't one sold that hasn't crashed on someone, but I've had pretty good luck in the last 10 years.

    What I wouldn't be happy about would be having to replace an SSD sooner than a standard drive.

    Just askin'
  • Not quite there yet.

    Still waiting for 1Gb at less than $1. Then I'm buying.

    And reliability is still a concern, although Intel does have the best reputation out of a shaky lot. With the current state of affairs, I'd feel it necessary to have an old fashioned platter based backup boot drive that would be mirrored from the SSD every day, so when the SSD suffers the inevitable catastrophic failure, I could just swap the platter with the SSD and proceed at reduced speed until the SSD is replaced.

    It would be great to run an SSD and platter in RAID 1, but I've heard bad things about that, such as: the SSD/Platter combination may run at the speed of the slowest drive. Apparently the RAID controller board needs to be specifically designed to handle mixed drive technologies. Performance data on this configuration is sparse on the web.
  • 64 Gig SSD HD is PLENTY BIG enough!!! For me anyway...

    Pros: This SSD works GREAT!!! I love it... I'll NEVER go back to a STANDARD HD for my MAIN Drive again!!!

    My NEW system has been running for OVER 8 month without ANY GRIPES OR BUGS!!!

    Cons: I had JUST bought (about 6 months ago) a COMPLETE SYSTEM which was delivered in ONLY 2 DAYS. ALL for around $525 - the ONLY thing I was NOW missing was the OS (Win 7-64Bit) & an SSD HD (a SAMSUNG 470 - 64GB).

    Other Thoughts: People ask me WHY I didn't get a BIGGER SSD (other than 64GB)? Why should I??? This 64GB HD is big enough (AND cheap enough) for my needs. Plus I have another HD (1GB) as my D-Drive that I use for my BIG games and storage and such...

    This SSD holds the following programs with NO PROBLEMS - PLUS IT LOADS SO FAST I don't even have time to get up from my seat!!!

    HP MediaSmart Server
    Microsoft Office Pro 2002
    Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64 Bit)
    Adobe After Effects CS5
    Total Commander 7.55
    Advanced WMA Workshop
    DVD Decrypter
    DVD Shrink
    DVDFab Decrypter
    Evrsoft First Page 2006
    Mozilla Firefox
    Mozilla Thunderbird
    No1 DVD Ripper
    Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9.0
    TMPGEnc DVD Author 1.6
    TMPGEnc Plus-
    TuneUp Utilities 2011
    Ulead VideoStudio SE DVD
    VideoLAN VLC
    X-Setup Pro



    Plus I also have around 20 other programs ALL stored on the SSD. PLUS I STILL HAVE 39GB Free space... So who's complaining???
    • HD

      I think you meant 1TB (Plus I have another HD (1GB) as my D-Drive that I use for my BIG games and storage and such...)
  • SSD

    I recently built a new system, with an MSI 723 , 64 bit mobo, 600 watt power supply, AMD FX 8120, 8 core processor, 8 gig DDR3, and a Samsung 128 gig SSD. Have win 7, and Mint Linux 12, 64 bit OS's. Boot up time for Linux is under 15 seconds, win 7 is around 25 seconds. But, the real speed comes when installing software.
    • My boot time with a Samsung SSD under Windows 7 Ultimate x64 is 12 seconds

      flat! On a Dell Latitude E6520.

      You said: [quote] But, the real speed comes when installing software.[/quote]

      Does the SSD know that you are installing the software, or that it is simply working according to design specifications?

      Here's technical details on my SSD drive in the Dell laptop:

      I use the 256 GB Samsung SSD as OS disk C. I use an external eSata Seagate 750 GB 7200RPM 2.5" magnetic drive for data disk D.

      And using Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a six-core AMD and 1TB Seagate magnetic hard disk (7200RPM 6Gbps) it cold boots in exactly six (6) seconds as measured by a chronometer.

      Unfortunately, Ubuntu doesn't recognize the USB-3 ports, nor the HD 8 channel HD audio Realtek chip (with HDMI and optical out). But it will boot in exactly 38 seconds on the same identical hardware.

      See the device manager under Win8:

      and the performance index under Win8:

      Six seconds to boot Windows 8.
      Thirty eight to boot Ubuntu 11.10.

      What gives?

      Suicide is cheating the doctors out of a job.
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      My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
      ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

      I don't have any solution, but I certainly admire the problem.
      ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

      Inform all the troops that communications have completely broken down.
      ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

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  • Intel's neww SSD

    More or less those drives are designed to work with Intel RST /Rapid Storage Technology/ X68 and X79 support it. Combine the capacity of the regular SATA 6GBs drive with extra cache coming from SSD. Most frequently used apps running on SSD.
    Speed gains up 50%, but 64GB drive maximum. Hope it helps clear the picture.
    andy alchemist
  • Drive size

    What people need for drive space is pretty ridiculous if they are looking at a 180gb drive and lamenting that it is too small. Come on kids, clean up your hard drive once in a while. If this is your desktop then get a 2nd drive, good old iron, to store those photos and songs. And be sure to backup your system regularly.
    • Dump the junk

      I have been very pleased with the performance of my now aging Crucial C300 with 120GB. W7 plus Office and numerous apps have it about half-full and a couple of 'spinning' 1TB drives mirrored provide a fair level of reliability, somewhere to backup the SSD and general data storage.
      As for saving space on the drive, there are plenty of free or cheap utilities to clean up temp files and de-duping can be useful. I don't bother with a hiberfile as the boot time is quick enough, I have tried minimal and no Swapfile and there is no (perceptible) loss in performance if you have a decent amount of RAM.
      A *big* space saver is deleting all the downloaded update files which can soon get into multiple GB so dumping the contents of [windir]/SoftwareDistribution/Download is something I regularly do.
  • Still priced too high

    There's already deals offered by Newegg, Amazon and more that get current SSD prices down to about a $1 per GB. I know the listed above is full retail so hopefully with discounts we'll see them drop further. It's a good start, and SSDs are plenty worthwhile nowadays for your system drive.
    • ??

      Did you say there are already deals or there is already deals? One of those phrases is poor grammar. Just ask your gra'ma.
      • Give it a rest...

        People here aren't writing a book or an essay for school, or a letter to the president. They're just concerned with expressing their views and nothing else.
      • adornoe@..., shaddup

        shaddup ya god'damm fascist and go back to the Larry Craig men's room where ya belong
      • Scorpio: Are you still annoying the grown-ups?

        Hasn't your mother been arrested yet for contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

        BTW, if "Craig" is actually hanging out in men's rooms, he must be there waiting for you. You're so hung up on Craig, that he's probably looking forward to meeting you.
      • You can take your pick here, teabagger

        They all apply to you, you scrotum sucker.