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Intel 320 Series 300 GB SSD Review

We were supplied with an OEM version of the 320 Series 300 GB solid state drive so we cannot comment on the quality of retail packaging or the included bundle.  Our sample was supplied within an anti static bag inside a small cardboard box.

Intel have chosen to use an aluminum enclosure for the 320 Series which should provide a good level of protection for the internal components.  The enclosure itself is only 7 mm thick so Intel have added a plastic spacer on the top to make it into a standard 9.5 mm drive.  If you remove this spacer you can use the drive inside slimline laptops like the Lenovo X220.

Removing the four screws in the top of the drive lets us access the PCB within.  It features twenty 16 GB Intel 29F16B08CCMEI 25 nm memory chips which are distributed evenly between the two sides of the PCB.  This gives the drive a theoretical capacity of 320 GB which is reduced to 300 GB through over provisioning.

On the top side of the PCB we find the Intel PC29AS21BA0 controller which is the same model that featured in the previous generation  X25-M G2 solid state drive.  This gives the drive theoretical read and write speeds of 270 MB/s and 205 MB/s respectively. We also find a 64 MB Hynix H55S5162EFA cache chip next to the controller.

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