Intel has a reputation for producing some of the most reliable solid state drives on the market. They tend to lag behind the market slightly in terms of technology, as they spend more time ensuring that their SSDs offer the best performance and reliability. Today we are going to take a look at Intel’s latest mainstream SSD offering, the 330 Series.

The 330 Series is available in various capacities from 60 GB to 240 GB. We have the 120 GB version to test, which sits somewhere in the middle of the range. This capacity is ideal, as it should provide enough space for most users to install all their programs and games without incurring the cost of a larger 240 GB SSD.

Desktop PC users will usually be able to combine a 120 GB SSD with a hard drive to store large media files, which don’t require such fast transfer speeds.

Before proceeding, we highly suggest that you read our “Anatomy of SSD Units” tutorial, which provides all the background information you need to know about SSDs. Both of the SSDs featured in this review use MLC memory chips.

Intel 330 Series 120 GB Solid State Drive ReviewFigure 1: The Intel 330 Series 120 GB SSD

In the table below, for comparison purposes we are assessing the Intel 330 Series with the Kingston HyperX 3K 120 GB. Both units use a SATA-600 interface and occupy a 2.5” form factor.

Manufacturer Model Model # Capacity Price
Intel 330 Series SSDSC2CT120A3K5 120 GB USD 105
Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 120 GB USD 105

Prices were researched at on the day we published this review. The price listed for the Kingston HyperX 3K is for the standalone drive. There is an “Upgrade Bundle” version available for USD 110 that contains all the items required to upgrade a PC with an SSD.

In the table below, we provide a more in-depth technical comparison between the two drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
Intel 330 Series SandForce SF-2281 NA Intel 29F16B08CCME2 (8 x 16 GB)
Kingston HyperX 3K SandForce SF-2281 NA Intel 29F64G08ACME3 (16 x 8 GB)
Henry has been taking apart computers since the age of 10, which eventually lead to a career in technology journalism. He's written for numerous leading UK technology websites as well as writing advisory articles for Best Buy.