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Intel SSD 320 300GB Review

The Intel SSD 320 is the much anticipated follow-up to the Intel X25-M, easily the most popular consumer SSD to date. The SSD 320 (commonly referred to as the X25-M 3rd Generation) is a mainstream SSD, letting the big brother SSD 510 go after the enthusiast space. Mainstream doesn’t mean boring though, the SSD 320 posts quoted sequential read speeds of 270MB/s and writes of 220MB/s, which is still quite respectable. And while the SSD 320 is more of an evolution of the X25-M, there’s still a lot that’s new, like Intel 25nm NAND and capacities up to 600GB, a first for consumer SSDs.
Intel SSD Range
The capacity is a pretty big deal for many. The 2.5″ form factor (7mm drive height with 2.5mm shim) of the Intel SSD 320 comes in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB and 600GB capacities, essentially a flavor for everyone from boot drives through massive (by SSD standards) system drives. Intel is also offering the SSD 320 in a 1.8″ form factor for smaller notebooks, tablets and the like. These will be available in 80GB, 160GB and 300GB capacities. All of the capacities feature Intel’s own 25nm NAND, which has a long history of Tier 1 performance and reliability.
•Very high reliability
•Strong performance gains over X25-M
•Enterprise-class data protection
•Huge capacities offered
•Intel passed NAND savings along to buyers
•Still not as fast as other performance-based SSDs
At the end of the day, the Intel SSD 320 needed to best the X25-M in SATA 3Gb/s performance, which it did handily. Intel tossed in some new goodies along the way with the power protection and massive 600GB capacity, without hitting the buyer where it counts – the wallet. While the SSD 320 can’t hang with the new SATA 6Gb/s models, that’s not the point. The 320 will find itself a happy home within enterprise SSD deployments as well as in consumer machines that are still using the SATA 3Gb/s interface.

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