Home / News / Peripheral News / Intel 320 SSDs Offer Higher Capacity And Lower Prices

Intel 320 SSDs Offer Higher Capacity And Lower Prices

David Gilbert


Intel 320 SSDs Offer Higher Capacity And Lower Prices

Intel has finally announced the replacement for the X-25M SSD in the shape of the Intel SSD 320 - raising capacities while lowering prices.

Based on its 25-nanometer (nm) NAND flash memory, the Intel SSD 320 replaces the X25-M SSD which we first saw way back in 2008. Not only will the new models be available in higher capacities but they will also be cheaper due to cost benefits from its 25nm process. The Intel SSD 320 Series comes in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and the massive new higher capacities of 300GB and 600GB versions. It uses the 3gbps SATA II interface which Intel says means it can be supported by more than 1 billion SATA II PCs installed throughout the world.

With SSDs becoming more and more popular, this latest range from Intel will go some way to quash the perception that the drives are too small and too expensive. Aimed at the consumer desktop and laptop market, Intel hopes the 2.5in drives will appeal to those people who want a speed boost but don’t want to have to pay out for a whole new system. While the prices quoted by Intel in its press release are for shipments of 1,000 units, it does give us some indication of what the prices for consumers will be like. The 40GB model, the smallest in the range, will cost just $89 while the next on the list, the 80GB will cost $159. The rest will cost: 120GB - $209, 160GB - $289, 300GB - $529 USD, and the top of the range 600GB model will set you back $1,089.

While Intel are not the only ones looking to push the capacity/price boundaries in relation to SSDs, the release of the 320 range will hopefully keep pushing prices down and capacities up.

Source: Intel


March 29, 2011, 7:13 pm

Was reading reviews on these this morning and they are pretty disappointing. The vertex 3 floors the 300Gig 320 in most tests. Maybe, maybe if I could get a 80Gig version for less than £150 but that's even a big ask.

I've had a DJ211 diskstation, 2TB harddisk and a usb wifi dongle sitting in a cart on dabs for 2 weeks now. I have been waiting too add a SSD to that order as the delivery is 13 fecking quid but I am quickly losing patience. Don't know if I care to splash out £220 for a blazing fast 120Gig vertex 3 or 'cheap' out on a 64GB SSD that has lower (but i'm sure still amazing) performance. Think I will pull the trigger on the NAS and leave the SSD for a while, damn the delivery expense!

First world problems eh ;p


March 29, 2011, 8:36 pm

@Runadumb - According to the always indepth reviews at Anandtech, the 320's don't support 6Gbps sata. Which is a disappointment if true, and does limit the speeds it can achieve (if you have the hardware).

It looks increasingly like the Vertex 3 is the SSD to go for this generation (as you point out). At around £220 for the Vertex 3, it just depends how much the Crucial M4 and Intel 320's sell for when they reach us.

Having just got a C300, I decided to go for it as my computer only supports 3Gbps sata, so the Vertex speeds would be wasted on my setup. Also, I'm assuming the real world difference wouldn't be that huge. Frankly, the C300 feels responsive enough for me.

Brian ONeill

March 29, 2011, 9:04 pm

I got a Kingston SSD V100 128GB a few months ago for my desktop and I am extremely happy with it. Everything is pretty instantaneous. I was going to get another ssd for my laptop, so it would be great if TR could do a ssd round up. There is so many out there is really confusing.


March 29, 2011, 9:47 pm

@Me - Looks like the 3Gbps limit is mentioned in the TR news article - that'll teach me for quickly scanning news articles :) Also +1 to Brian's idea about an SSD round-up, though don't know whether it'd be best to wait till the 2011 models are all released.


March 29, 2011, 11:25 pm

I see absolutely NO point of SDDs up to capacities of 120-160GB given the SD cards of such capacities and VASTLY small form factor. The speeds (class 10) for such capacities are adequate.

I sometime wonder about whether the people involved in such decisions have a clue about the REAL world. Just as I did when I just saw the review of "Samsung SSG-3700CR glasses and SWC1000AC wireless charger": SOD IT!!!! was my reaction just looking at the price.


March 30, 2011, 12:39 am

Are people really willing to spend upwards of £100 just to save a minute of their time?!

I bought a 64gb Corsair SSD a few months ago and sure it sped up my boot times and opening office documents but I quickly realised that it was an insane decision and a 7200 1.5TB for a similar price was a MUCH better investment. Very glad I sold it on again before it lost its value. Perhaps in 2+ years when 2TB+ drives are affordable I'll reconsider, but until then I'll spend my extra minutes putting the kettle on!


March 30, 2011, 2:23 am

@Jamesandpie that is the most negative thing I have heard someone say about an SSD. Especially coming from someone that owned one. I have yet to take the plunge as I also find the price really hard to justify but the friends I know that have one bang on about just how slow mechanical harddrives feel now.

I'm battling with my conscious on this one. A 120GB drive is too large as a boot drive and not even close to being useful as my steam drive so I figure a 64GB would suit me best. Then I see the speeds the vertex 3 hits and I get all envious at how it destroys all the current drives speeds. The best thing I could do is give it a month or so and see what is coming in around the £100 mark.
Still damn expensive for a Harddisk but many times faster. I think it's going to be a very long time till these drives hit the sweet price/size ratio to even think about using one as my steam drive :(

Kinda crazy that a NAS, 2TB HD and wireless dongle are coming in around the same price as the 120GB SSD :S


March 30, 2011, 3:13 am

@Enigma. SD cards are much, much slower than a proper SSD. You can run an OS from an SD card, but it won't be any faster than a slow laptop drive. I did it for a while in my X40 thinkpad. There is a point to the smaller capacity SSD drives- they are used as boot drives, to speed up launching of applications and general work. I have a 40GB Corsair 2E as the boot and applications drive in my Mac Pro and it works perfectly fine, with the OS, Adobe Suite and the various other applications I need. To get more performance I could have got a larger drive and put the Photoshop scratch disk on it, but most of the time I don't hit it that hard as it's got enough RAM to cope.

I see these being popular for preinstalled drives from vendors, so they can tick the SSD box with a stable product, that whilst not being to top of the line in terms of speed is more reliable than the OCZ and other tweaky models that are less mature.


March 30, 2011, 4:53 am

@Jamesandpie - in all honesty I've never heard a reaction like that. You're certainly the first person I've known who has bought a modern SSD (last 12 months) and happily returned to an HDD.

I would counter that stripping non-essential files off my laptop and switching to an 80GB SSD 18 months ago was the best gadget move I've made. If I were you I'd get external storage and spend less time everyday with the kettle.


March 30, 2011, 4:56 am

PS @Enigma - Mattj is right, they are infinitely slower than dedicated SSDs. More importantly SD cards have extremely limited rewrites. It's enough for storing pictures or video, but they are not equipped to handle the 1000s of files that are constantly swapped around with an OS on boot alone. The SD card would be ruined inside a week.


March 30, 2011, 8:41 am

@gordon whats the performance like 18 months down the line,any reasonably noticable drop after a so long?


March 30, 2011, 9:02 am

@enigma i dont think you get the point,sd card has what 20mb transfer,50mb for hdd and 300+ for ssd,whats that? half an hour to fill a 32gb sd compared to 2 minutes on an ssd.


March 30, 2011, 6:13 pm

Gordon Kelly I presume? Hi.

You guys are missing the point that for capacities below 160GB SSDs in GENERAL are not significant. For the sort of throughput of 300mb+ SSDs are capable is more useful for high capacity HDs or in specialised applications which may justify the ridiculous prices.

Furthermore, installing a 300+mb SSD in a PC/Laptop that is built for HDD is not going to benefit fully from the performance of an SSD.

What general PC/Laptops need the SSD performance for such high price?

An SSD will work as fast as the slowest element of the PC/Laptop: Say you put in a 32GB SD card to download files onto a PC/Laptop with an SD is still going to take "half an hour"

>> SD cards for capacities up to 200GB but YES we need 50-100+mb throughput.
>> SSDs for capacities 500+GB and their characteristic blistering throughput performance lend OBVIOUSLY to today's TB HD.


March 30, 2011, 7:41 pm

How about a 80-100GB SSD in a PS3 or X-Box?!!! There's a good use for them. ;-)


March 31, 2011, 1:48 pm

I bought an Intel (80Gb) X-25M a few months ago and it definitely is one of the star purchases of 2010. I wondered whether an SSD would be worth it for a year / two, then when my hard drive started to fail I had the jump.

The reduced boot times to me are a godsend and worth the cash on it's own. The PC now takes longer to check the BIOS than it does to boot into Windows and when I enter my password the desktop is useable straight away.

Everything now loads with a snappyness that you just don't get with HDD's.

In fact the only problem I have is that I want to buy a Sandy Bridge based laptop soon and now (having used one) it MUST have an SSD fitted. However this option is still unavailable on most systems announced.

comments powered by Disqus