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Intel 320 SSD: lower prices, higher capacity, better security

Posted at 29 March 2011 08:00 CET by wconeybeer

Intel started off this week by announcing a fresh new “third-generation” line of Solid State Drives with lower price points, higher capacities, and improved security and performance over the company’s prior offerings.

The Intel SSD 320 line, aimed at both consumer and enterprise customers, is reported by company officials to cost up to 30 percent less than 2nd generation drives while providing users who upgrade from an HDD with a performance boost of up 66 percent in regards to overall system response speeds.

“Intel designed new quality and reliability features into our SSDs to take advantage of the latest 25nm silicon, so we could deliver cost advantages to our customers,” said Intel marketing director Pete Hazen. “Intel’s third generation of SSDs adds enhanced data security features, power-loss management and innovative data redundancy features to once again advance SSD technology. Whether it’s a consumer or corporate IT looking to upgrade from a hard disk drive, or an enterprise seeking to deploy SSDs in their data centers, the new Intel SSD 320 Series will continue to build on our reputation of high quality and dependability over the life of the SSD.”

This new line has been completely redesigned in the inside, according to Intel’s press release. The SSD 320 Series uses a “proprietary firmware and controller,” which the company is touting to differentiate this line from others currently on the market. The improvements contained within the new drives include support for 128-bit AES encryption and a redundancy system that is supposed to help prevent data write failures if power flow to the SSD is interrupted.

The 320 Series uses the 3Gbps SATA2 interface, which Intel claims is able to produce speedy sequential write speeds of 220MB/sec and read speeds of up to 270MB/sec.

Cost for retailers buying in lots of 1000 are 40GB for $89, 80GB for $159, 120GB for $209, 160GB for $289, 300GB for $529 and 600GB for $1,069. Of course, pricing for retailers will be varied depending upon their markups, but a quick search of reveals results for each capacity with their MSRP and some introductory pricing specials.

As I sit here working on a laptop that still has a HDD, I’m finding myself more tempted by the allure of quick SSD speeds and the lack of moving parts. Of course, the drop in price certainly helps to fuel that desire. It may just be time for an upgrade soon.

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There are 9 comments

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 29 Mar 11 14:33
    Intel is overpriced on just about every product they sell. Considering that they are at the TOP of the premium price gouging for SSD, that's no consolation that they cut prices and increased capacity. 1 terabyte SSd drvies are available, but at huge prices near $1k. Just getting $1 per GB is a pricepoint hard drives surpassed about 15 years ago. While nobody ever expects SSD to be pennies per GB before we're quite old and grey... they could at least throw consumers some competitiveness. After one slight drop in late 2009, there's been almost no solid state memory drops other than DDR computer memory (seasonal, demand driven). SSD, and flash have remained stable, if not outright price INCREASES. I'd even say that these prices POP higher with a 2 - 4 week lag in spikes in gasoline/oil prices.

    The flash/ssd industry will have to go a long way to prove their serious about price cuts and offering a better value.
    Dr. Who
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 29 Mar 11 15:11

      You don't have permission to access /404/ on this server.

      I guess I am not special? I'll let the staff know on this.
      Burns Attack
      Posted on: 29 Mar 11 18:29
        Lower Price ???
        Senior Administrator and Reviewer
        Posted on: 29 Mar 11 18:43
          Price aside, the performance is very "last year".
          Dr. Who
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 29 Mar 11 19:35
            Prices are nice for those still using regular hard drives though you think?
            MyCE Resident
            Posted on: 30 Mar 11 17:10
              Originally Posted by Dee
              Price aside, the performance is very "last year".
              , I just installed the 120 Gb "slower" Revo PCI SSdrive=amazing. Drive is still faster and cheaper than SATA 3 interface SSD's. With ATTO getting read of 530242 kb and write of 508882 kb!! With my "old school" quad core and DDR2 memory. $270.00 USD.
              MyCE Member
              Posted on: 31 Mar 11 20:53
                SSD Drives are overrated. I bought one last year and it is just slightly faster than my 750 GB 64MB cache HHD. When they can go GB vs. GB for same price, then maybe they will catch on. Right now, they are still a fad and stupidly overpriced. Besides, I would never corrupt my AMD system with an inferior Intel product.
                New Member
                Posted on: 31 Mar 11 22:03
                  Besides the AMD fanboyism, I'd agree with Trust2112. Bought a few 60gb OCZ Vertex 2 drives, and when you have a PC that has to boot into DOS first, it really doesn't speed up the process much as all. I did notice a significant difference on my OSX partition loading however, but not really enough to justify the costs, so I sold I them on Ebay and replaced them with WD Caviar Black 1.5TB drives that cost me less than what I got for my SSD drives.

                  I'll probably be back, once the hype settles down and you can get at least 200-250gb for what 60gb drives are selling for now, and hopefully increased performance.
                  Anton P. Enus
                  New Member
                  Posted on: 03 Apr 11 09:03
                    I've had 2 WD Caviar Black 500GB drives in RAID0 for a system drive and it still came nowhere near to being as zippy as my OCZ Vertex 2 for loading Windows and running apps. The OCZ was doing reads/writes 100MB/s faster than WD Caviar Black in RAID0

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