You know, SSDs or NAND Flash based storage has been fascinating me ever since the very beginning. And though that might sound like a decade ago our first ever review was the OCZ Core SATA 64GB Solid State Drive review -- back in July 2008. So yeah, that's only four years and ever since that time the technology advancements have been evolving incrementally. When we started with SSDs in 2008 the performance was roughly equal to a very fast HDDs, that would be 100 MB/sec for reads and writes where the norm. However with that mechanical head inside a HDD not being used anymore inside the SSD everybody was flabbergasted by the fast access times an SSD offered.
Then the first nags started to become apparent, controllers not being able to manage small files fast enough causing OS hiccups and obviously the series of controller issues we have seen over the past few years have just been nasty at times.
It's now Q4 2012 and the past year we have seen many improvements in the SSD segment. Stability and safety of your data have become a number one priority for the manufacturers. But with technology advancing as it does, the performance numbers a good SSD offers these days are simply breathtaking. 450 to 500 MB/sec on SATA3 is the norm for a single controller based SSD. Next to that the past year NAND flash memory (the storage memory used inside an SSD) has become much cheaper as well. Prices now roughly settle just under 1 USD per GB. That was two to threefold two years ago. As such SSD technology and NAND storage has gone mainstream. The market is huge, fierce and competitive, but it brought us where we are today ... nice volume SSDs at acceptable prices with very fast performance. Not one test system in my lab has a HDD, everything runs on SSD while I receive my big chunks of data from a NAS server here in the office. The benefits are performance, speed, low power consumption and no noise. You can say that I evangelize SSDs, yes Sir .. I am a fan.
Intel this week has launched a new SSD series as well, developed under codename Jaycrest the Intel 335 SSD has been launched. Intel has been building strong on their latest series, but the 335 is interesting for two facts, it should be a very price competitive model offering very enthusiast class performance. But next to that, for the tech savvies amongst us, a transition has been made towards 20nm Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND fabrication, and that's a much smaller fabrication process.
Intel advertises performance levels to be found in the read speed area of 500 MB/s, while the writing speed can reach 450 MB/s.
Now granted, the performance levels are high, no question there, but they are a bit below those of certain less expensive SSD drives. We'll chat about that in the conclusion though. Bare in mind that Intel initially will release the 240 GB SSD SKU only, part number SSDSC2CT240A4K5. But it will be followed in the first quarter of 2013, by 80 GB and 180 GB versions.
With 4K random write performance estimated at 52,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) have a peek, after which we'll dive into the technology behind it and obviously we'll present you a nice phat performance overview.
Intel 335 SSD review We review the Intel series 335 SSD with test and benchmarks. Intel has developed this product under codename Jaycrest and is the first SSD series that moves into 20nm Nand Flash memory production. We have lots to talk about alright.