Intel 313 Series SSDs (also known as "Hawley Creek") were originally scheduled for Q4'11 release but obviously they were delayed. VR-Zone is now claiming that the release will take place alongside the Ivy Bridge processors and the 7-series chipsets. That could mean an April release, though there are also rumors of a delayed IVB launch. Either way, here's a quick rundown of the upcoming 313 SSDs.

The 313 Series is the successor of the 311 Series (or Larson Creek if you prefer codenames), which is a 20GB SLC NAND SSD meant for caching with Intel's Z68 chipset with Smart Response Technology (SRT). SRT will be even more useful with the Ivy Bridge platform because there will be widespread support among the 7-series chipsets: two of the three consumer desktop chipsets (Z77 and H77) will feature SRT, along with one of the business chipsets (Q77). We will also finally see mobile chipsets with support for SRT.

The major change with the 313 Series is that it will switch to 25nm SLC NAND and offer a 24GB model, but otherwise we are looking at a product very similar to 311 Series. The controller is Intel's own, but that's all we know for certain. Most likely the controller is the same as in 310, 311, and 320 Series, i.e. Intel PC29AS21BA0, because Intel's roadmap shows no plans for any other SATA 3Gb/s SSDs. It wouldn't make much sense to make a new SATA 3Gb/s controller just for one product, or to create a new SATA 3Gb/s controller in general at this point. Unfortunately we don't have any performance figures but given that the controller should be the same, the performance should be on par with 311 Series—the 24GB model should have slightly higher write speeds as it uses six NAND channels while the 20GB model uses only five.

Comparison of Intel 311 Series and 313 Series
NAND Intel 25nm SLC Intel 34nm SLC
Capacities 20GB, 24GB 20GB
Interface SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s
Controller Intel PC29AS21BA0 (?) Intel PC29AS21BA0
Form Factors 2.5", mSATA 2.5", mSATA
Sequential Read N/A 200MB/s
Sequential Write N/A 105MB/s
Random Read N/A 37K IOPS
Random Write N/A 3.3K IOPS

As for pricing, VR-Zone is claiming a suggested retail price of $99 (20GB) and $119 (24GB). For comparison 20GB 311 Series had an MRSP of $110 and retails for ~$120 now, so a ~$10 price drop sounds plausible. A few German retailers have already listed the 24GB model and it's selling for around €104 without tax, which translates to ~$138, but Euro prices tend to run higher than USD. Moreover, one of the sellers is listing availability as 2-3 weeks so 313 Series may hit the retail channel sooner than April. However, some of the retailers are listing the SSDs as OEM models, which explains the early availability and possibly high pricing as well.

Source: VR-Zone

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  • Hulk - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    I think this is a case of trying to bring a product to market to fill a price point and by the time the product gets to market the price point has evaporated. We're seeing SSD's every day that are well under $1/GB and dropping fast. There just isn't any time or room in the market for this product. And I think a product like this is more complicated than simply having a single SSD drive and perhaps a traditional second drive. A manufacturer can put the OS on the SSD and set up "My Library" to be on the traditional mechanical drive. No fuss no muss.

    Just my opinion but I'd be surprised if this was the next big thing. We'll see in a months.
  • KeypoX - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    Why are these so expensive? They are smaller and slower than other SSDs.
  • TheWrongChristian - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link


    But they should last forever. Assuming data is only written to the drive when the driver deems the data worth caching, not a huge amount of writes will be done, and the writes will not be performance sensitive. So low write volume combined with SLC NAND FLASH (and reliable firmware!) makes for a fire and forget cache drive.
  • Lugaidster - Sunday, February 26, 2012 - link

    It's the only publicly available cache solution that doesn't require special hardware. I know it's a beta, but still. I'd say it's a good way of putting things into perspective since everyone with an SSD can install it. Since I don't pretend to buy a new computer for the next 6 months (at least one that's SRT compatible), I wouldn't mind a comparison just to see how much (if any) I'm missing out.

  • Ghandalf - Monday, February 27, 2012 - link

    This drive could be a wonderfull zil drive for zfs if it has a capacitor. Are there any information about this?

    Unfortunately, the intel 311 did not have any capacitor.

  • Transmitthis14 - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    I'd like to know if I can retire one of these SSD's and use it in an old laptop as the main drive.

    For example, I would use it in my desktop as a cache, then 2years later, when prices are better, I would probably buy a large ssd for my desktop. If the cache SSD, can be wiped and have some firmware installed to make it usable as a normal boot drive - then it will have a use.

    If it's just always going to be a cache drive, then the cost is not really comparable to "other" cache SSD solutions, or indeed a standalone SSD.

    As to the point about why use cache at all, I'm still in two minds about that, A nice simple solution, with only one drive to backup / manage has a lot to be said for it. I'd prefer to be playing my games, than un-installing and reinstalling them on different drives.
    But a standalone SSD has speed benefits, and better usage scenarios, resale value. So its really depends on individual use case and budget.

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