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Old 03-29-2011, 06:30 AM
Michael Knutson
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Default Intel 320 SSD Review

"When Intel first launched its X25-M SSD in 2008, the chip-maker helped start a new era of high-performance solid state drives with reasonable prices. However, in the last three years, Intel has only updated its mainstream SSD once, while facing stiff competition from over a dozen other players. In fact, in our most recent SSD round-up, Intel's 120GB X25-M drive trailed drives from Samsung, OCZ, and Crucial by a wide margin. Now here comes the new Intel SSD 320 ($529 for 300GB, starting at $89 for 40GB), which promises not only blazing performance but offers strong encryption."

Nice to see that high performance SSD drive prices are finally dropping (but slowly). With high performance and 128-bit AES hardware encryption (requiring a password for use), the drive is fast, but doesn't support the new SATA 6Gb/sec interface, topping out at 3Gb/sec. Intel's product line ranges in size from 40 to 600 GB, at prices from $89 to $1,069  before any discounts. Performance on various benchmarks ranged from 'middle-of-the-pack' to 'near-the-top,' depending on the test. I do like the fact that hardware encryption is standard 'out of the box.'

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein
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