New Intel flash hardness performs faster for less
330-series SSD is cheap as chips
Intel has a new budget 330-series solid-state drive (SSD) coming on Friday, 13 April, according to Amazon and other online bazaars, and it almost doubles the current 320 SSD's performance.
Amazon UK lists the 120GB 2.5-inch Intel 330 SSD for £109.05. A Google search on its part number, SSDSC2CT120A3K5, will find dozens of mentions of the device.
Intel 330 SSD
Web store sabrepc.com has fallen over but before its server imploded, the site listed the flash device as a third-generation multi-level cell drive capable of SATA3, with a 60GB box costing $89, 120GB costing $149 and 180GB at $234.
Our understanding is that the 330 series are the Maple Crest SSDs and use Intel-Micron's 25nm process, 2-bit MLC NAND. They clock up to 500MB/sec sequential reads and 450MB/sec sequential writes. No random read and write IOPS numbers are available.
Intel's current 320 series, also using 25nm MLC NAND, does 270MB/sec sequential reads and 220MB/sec sequential writes, so we're looking at an approximate doubling in streaming I/O performance. They come in 40, 80, 120, 160, 300 and 600GB capacity points, way past the 180GB 330 maximum.
But we do have Intel Jay Crest and Oak Crest 300-series SSDs coming in the fourth quarter of this year. They could be implemented in 20nm NAND and so provide headroom for higher capacities.
The 320s do up to 39,500 random read IOPS and 23,000 random write IOPS; a pretty poor showing, really. We might expect the 330 to reach the 50,000 and 40,000 read and write IOPS levels and perhaps go beyond.
The 330 pricing is pretty decent, less than a quid per GB. If these e-tailer specs are true then Intel could sell boatloads of the drives as consumers retro-fit them to their desktops and notebooks to get a performance boost. ®
I may be wrong but at this price point surely the target audience is for the home user , probably using it to host the O/S. In which case , as important as the read/write figures are surly it's the RTBF figures we should be comparing.
Re: meaningless metrics 101
The importance of the IOPS is to know (or have a rough idea, at least) how the SSD would perform doing small writes/reads.
Think about it for a moment.
Case 1: I am writing a movie to the SSD; The IOPS count is low, and the bandwidth used is high. Not so important the IOPS here.
Case 2: A file server. Not a media server, a file server. It has to read/write thousands of small files (word, excel, text documents, and so on). Now the IOPS are relevant - because each file would count. In a situation like this one could, easily, get choked with the number os IOPS, and never scratch the speed of read/write.
What? This is a consumer product, not a server one ? Fair enough. Imagine you are a developer, and your project (along with dependencies and libraries) have thousands of small files. Or, even better, think about your boot! Yes, all OS (Linux, Windows, BSD, whatever) read a huge amount of small files - and here the IOPS are important.
So, yes. The IOPS are a very real and important metric. Maybe not to everyone, but to call it bogus...
Re: meaningless metrics 101
"What is an IOPS?"
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