Intel 335-Series 240GB SSD review
Intel is a good brand, but it doesn’t have the mainstream presence of rivals such as OCZ and Corsair. Intel hopes to change this with the 335 Series. Intel aims to gain market share by combining a low price with new technology.
Instead of the 25nm NAND chips used in the majority of SSDs, Intel has shrunk the 335 Series’ memory to 20nm. Intel reckons the change will result in faster transfer speeds. Manufacturers have been reluctant to shrink their drives because a smaller manufacturing process can cause instability, but Intel says a new cell structure makes its new, smaller NAND chips as reliable as older memory.
Externally, the 335 Series is 9.5mm thick, which means it’s a little bulkier than some other drives. This could be a problem if you’re fitting the drive in a laptop that’s only got room for a slimmer drive.
Happily, Intel provides a generous range of accessories. In addition to a sturdy 2.5in bracket and some screws, Intel has also included a SATA cable and a Molex-to-SATA power adaptor, which means the 335 Series can be used out of the box, even if you’re upgrading an old PC. The three-year warranty is good, but some SSDs, such as the Corsair Neutron, have a five-year warranty.
The new memory helped the 335 achieve a decent set of benchmark results. Its large file write result of 351MB/s can’t match the 423MB/s of the OCZ Vertex 4, which is a good high-end SSD, but the 335 Series outpaced the OCZ when reading large files, scoring 368MB/s. The Vertex 4 scored 327MB/s in the same test.
The Intel drive also beat the Vertex 4 in our small file benchmarks. The 335 Series wrote and read small files at 135MB/s and 88MB/s, with the OCZ bringing up the rear with results of 84MB/s and 56MB/s. The Intel drive is better value, too, but only just. The 240GB Intel 335 Series SSD, which offers 223GB of formatted space, costs £143 inc VAT. That works out to be 59p per gigabyte. The OCZ’s 256GB capacity doesn’t offer a huge amount of extra space (238GB formatted), and its £159 price translates to 62p per gigabyte.
That makes the Intel a great buy for budget-conscious purchasers who still demand good performance. The smaller, faster NAND manufacturing process certainly paid dividends in our benchmarks, with its small file results being especially pleasing.
If you’re after an SSD and don’t want to break the bank, the Intel is a superb purchase. Just bear in mind that the new Corsair Neutron 240GB is a little more expensive but is consistently faster in our benchmarks.
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