The Intel 311 Series SSD

Intel sent us their new 311 Series 20 GB solid state drive, codename Larson Creek, which has been designed specifically to be used with SRT. It differs from most SSDs on the market today because it uses SLC memory chips which generally last much longer than the MLC chips used in most SSDs. This does inflate the cost of the drive considerably, though, as SLC chips cost about twice as much as MLC ones.

Intel SSD Larson Creek 20GB EnclosureFigure 1: The Intel 311 Solid State Drive

The drive itself adopts the standard 2.5” form factor, meaning it should fit into most modern PC cases. If not, there are numerous 2.5” to 3.5” adapters available on the market which will only set you back a few dollars. Intel has chosen to use an aluminum enclosure that should protect the insides of the drive well. To remove the enclosure, we must remove the four screws in each corner of the drive.

Intel SSD Larson Creek 20GB PCBFigure 2: Inside the Intel 311 Series Solid State Drive

The drive features the same Intel PC29AS21BA0 controller as a number of other SSDs in their range alongside an ISSI 32MB IS42S16160D-7TLI cache chip. This supports maximum read and write speeds of 200 MB/s and 105 MB/s, respectively. There are only five SLC memory chips in total, which are also made by Intel. They carry the part number 29F32G08CAND2.

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.