Final words and conclusion. You know, I'd expect Intel to have moved onwards to the SATA 6G controller immediately on all their latest products, so it's a little weird to see the 320 series being released with a SATA2 (3G) interface. In certain situations the faster interface would have helped out quite a bit with some extra peak performance.
The product is what it is though, a SATA2 based mid-ranger, it hovers in-between the SandForce 1200 series based products and the Indilinx solutions with anomalies up and downwards here and there.
Overall that is a snazzy position to be in if I'll be totally honest here. The SSD is plenty fast for desktop usage and would haul massive ass in a laptop. Especially when you are used to an HDD and move towards an SSD, when in use this SSD is like a train that hits you at great speed.
Thing remains though, that after testing the first SATA3 (6G) SSD solutions like the Intel Series 510 and OCZ Vertex 3, you start to compare to that level of performance real fast, it makes you really thirsty for performance. The reality is that this SSD is very fast and more importantly, it's a more cost effective solution. And the reaility is also that many of you are and will remain to be a long time on SATA2, making this a perferct match.
See, the Intel 320 SSD is using the new 25nm NAND flash memory, and that makes the product a good chunk cheaper. Sure SSDs are still very expensive, but my major complaint all these years has been that the price per GB needs to come down, and that's the sole reason why 25nm NAND Flash memory was developed. Last year we where at the 2 to3 EUR per GB range, and overall that has lowered already. The Intel 320 ups it another notch, as you pay roughly 1.50 EUR per GB (depending on the model). And that's just a very positive trend. Here's what's pricing is like in the Netherlands:
Intel 320 40GB - 77 EUR (1.93 EUR/GB)
Intel 320 80GB - 141 EUR (1.76 EUR/GB)
Intel 320 120GB - 180 EUR (1.50 EUR/GB)
Intel 320 160GB - 245 EUR (1.53 EUR/GB)
Intel 320 300GB - 430 EUR (1.43 EUR/GB)
Intel 320 600GB - 867 EUR (1.45 EUR/GB)
Now as you can see, you do need to monitor a little which product has the best price per GB and that indeed is the 120, 160, 300 and 600 GB models at the time of writing this article.
For those that are ready to step up to the next level in performance, the 320 Series SSD from Intel might be a logical solution. As such the product comes recommended.
Intel series 520 240GB SSD review We review the Intel series 520 240GB SSD. They now have multiple SSDs on the market initially with their proprietary controller, then a Marvel controller, and today Intel releases the Series 520 SSDs based on SandForce, well LSI these days.
Intel series 320 SSD review We review the Intel series 320 SSD. Armed with cheaper NAND flash memory this drive competes at the middle segment tagged with a decent price. But will it be enough to compete with the competition ?