As always with its own SSDs, Intel picks the highest grade NAND from the production line and the 335 uses sixteen 16GB 29F16B08CCMF2 chips to reach its 240GB capacity. Well, it's 256GB actually but 7 per cent of the capacity is set aside for over-provisioning.
ATTO and AS SSD results
Intel quotes sequential Read/Writes for the drive at 500MB/s and 450MB/s respectively. These claims are very much on the conservative side going by the figures the drive produced when tested with the ATTO benchmark – 556MB/s for Reads and 533MB/s for Writes – which puts the 335 SSD right up there with the best of them.
Switching to the CrystalDiskMark benchmark on its default in-compressible data setting produced a Read figure of 468MB/s and a Write figure of 330MB/s. However, changing to the benchmark’s compressed data test showed up the usual increase in performance that the SandForce controller brings when handling this form of data; the Read figure rose to 496MB/s but as usual with this controller, the Write figure shot up, in this case to 490MB/s.
CrystalDiskMark results: In-compressible data (left), compressed data (right)
The 335 is built on a 9.5mm format, thus, in a stroke, excluding it from being used as an upgrade/replacement drive in thin notebooks or ultraportables. This does seem a bit odd on Intel’s part as these devices would be ideal candidates for the drive, but then again the company did do the same thing with the 330 series.
Odder still, regarding this form factor limitation, is that the die shrinkage also contributes to lower power consumption figures. Intel quotes 350mW active and 275mW idle which really gives the 800mW active, 600mW idle SSD 330 and 520 models a run for their money. Who wouldn't want to stuff one of these in an Ultrabook?
Oh, and yet another odd thing is that the mini CD bundled with the drive doesn’t contain any helpful software just warranty info and some instructions, so you have to download the rather excellent Intel SSD Toolbox from Intel’s site. The drive is also backed by a three year warranty.
The Reg Verdict
The 335 isn’t a major leap forward from the 330 in terms of throughput but it does have the advantage of using less power and an affordable price tag. In its current form and capacity though, the SSD 335 is more of a platform for Intel to introduce its latest NAND technology. Without a current in-house controller of its own for the consumer space, Intel, like other LSI SandForce users, is having to tread water and tweak while waiting for the next generation of the controller to appear. ®
Review: Intel 335 240GB SSD
Don't trust CrystalDiskMark
It's using comic sans font.
Power fail behaviour?
One thing a lot of reviews miss out, and given the increasing ubiquity of the drives is somewhat worrying, is whether the drive contains a supercap or small battery or something so that it can drain the RAM cache to flash when the power fails. Else any writes that were in flight at the time may be lost, which could do a nasty job of scrambling your filesystem (depending on the FS, of course)
Re: no rating?
To be honest ratings are pretty useless.
I'd rather just have an honest user experience review and that's it.
Re: 7% overprovisioning and a data protection nightmare
No different to bad / reallocated sectors that spinning media now transparently re-allocate on-the-fly when there's a problem and barely bother to tell you about it via SMART reporting (it's a minor statistic published nowadays, doesn't even warrant a more detail SMART warning/error report).
There is no way to ensure that the data on a drive isn't still present (and, no, nobody has ever recovered "historical" data from a magnetic drive even with the most expensive hardware in the world - go research it - but that doesn't mean that you overwrote everything, as you worry about with SSD). It doesn't matter the technology.
Don't give away drives that had your personal data on if you're worried about this. Do what every sensible person in the world does - just destroy the drive. No problems, no issues, no time wasted waiting for a disk to write several times over its entire capacity (if it can even do that any more), and no worry about "what you might have forgot" in terms of reallocated sectors, low level formatting, on-board Flash cache, etc.
Burn the damn thing down to ash. Problem solved. No matter what the technology.
Nice to see some actual hardware reviews again on the Hardware site. However, why the continuing trend for dropping The rating on the product. Its the go-to figure to see if you approve or not.
Is this for editorial reasons, or just to keep the manufacturers sweet? Or just to encourage us to click the amazon link even on crapware?