Intel SSD 330 Review: 60, 120, And 180 GB Models Benchmarked

Benchmark Results: 4 KB Random Performance

Random Read Performance (background info)

Examples include antivirus scans and typing in Word

We've spent time with a great many SandForce-based SSDs, and we know that two drives that share the same NAND interface also share the same performance characteristics, regardless of the brand on the label.

Our goal here is to dig into the SSD 330's performance. However, presenting lots of throughput data on a graph ends up with too many products falling too close together, resulting in a ton of clutter. So, we're simply using Intel's SSD 520 and and OCZ's Agility 3 to represent SandForce-based SSDs with synchronous and asynchronous memory. We're also using a 120 GB Vertex 3 because we're missing the SSD 520 at that capacity point. 

Incidentally, the SandForce-based SSDs deliver comparable maximum random read performance, regardless of NAND type. In the chart above, the SSD 520, Vertex 3, and Agility 3 all top-out around 360 MB/s. The SSD 330 is an exception, and it "only" achieves roughly 330 MB/s. This places Intel's newest model ahead of Samsung's 830, but behind Crucial's m4.

With only one outstanding I/O command, the SSD 520, Vertex 3, m4, and 830 all deliver about 75-90 MB/s, while the SSD 320, SSD 330, and Agility 3 start out at roughly 66-68 MB/s.

Random Write Performance

Examples include email, file compression, and Web browsing

At a queue depth of one, the SSD 330s deliver ~70-80 MB/s, nudging Intel out in front of OCZ's Agility 3, which does ~60 MB/s. Yet, the SSD 330 is still slower than the SSD 520, Vertex 3, m4, and 830, all which push between 80-90 MB/s.

Higher queue depths paint the SSD 330 in a more favorable light. While the SSD 520, Vertex 3, and Agility 3 all do very well, the SSD 330 only trails by ~10-20 MB/s, showing that even Intel's lower-end drives aren't quantifiably penalized in random write performance.

Create a new thread in the UK Article comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Steveymoo
    These queue depth graphs are really hard to read.
  • waxdart
    I agree about the charts. The Samsung 830 256GB still look like the way to go. They are all so close would I notice much between them anyway? I'm thinking about getting 2 much cheaper 200gb drives and raid them.