Intel's 335 Series is its first SSD to use flash memory fabbed on a 20-nm process. The drive debuted in October with a single 240GB model, and the range has now expanded to include a 180GB capacity. This smaller variant has identical performance ratings to its larger sibling, which boasts the best overall performance of any SandForce-based SSD we've tested.
Newegg has the 335 Series 180GB in stock already, but the price tag is a little high. Expect to pay $180 for the thing, which works out to an even dollar per gigabyte. The 240GB version sells for $195, or about 81 cents per gig. That model was a little pricier when it first hit the market, and we'd expect the 180GB variant to get cheaper as it becomes more widely available.
Although the 180GB drives selling right now use Intel's older case design, the 335 Series is due for an aesthetic overhaul. By the end of this quarter, both models will receive the schematic-inspired treatment pictured above. I hope the case's bottom half has been tweaked, as well; the last several generations of Intel SSDs have used roughly finished bottom panels that detract from the overall look.
On a more practical note, I'm a little surprised the new case sticks with the 9.5-mm thickness rather than conforming to the slimmer 7-mm version of the 2.5" form factor. Intel may be pushing the 335 Series as a desktop drive, but it would be nice to have compatibility with the slimmer SATA bays of some notebooks. 7-mm drives are just as easy to put inside desktop systems.
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