Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

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Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu May 12, 2011 3:58 pm

Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Intel's 311-series 20GB Larson Creek SSD is all about Smart Response technology, a hard drive caching algorithm which is part of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology v10.5! This is one of the main features of the Z68 Express Chipset and we take a closer look at this drive along with SRT on a Gigabyte Z68 motherboard. Read on to see how this drive along with SSD caching performs on the Gigabyte GA-Z68-UD3H-B3 motherboard!

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Article Title: Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1587/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $110 MSRP
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Re: Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Postby Major_A » Thu May 12, 2011 8:29 pm

Wow, you got a lot of snide replies to your questions. Instead of treating you like a site owner they treated you like a 5 year old that keeps asking "Why?".

I didn't see this so I'll ask. For $110 that's steep for a 20GB hard drive. Do you have to use an Intel drive to use the caching feature? For $110 you can get a higher capacity drive.
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Re: Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Postby Apoptosis » Thu May 12, 2011 8:45 pm

If you think those are snide comments you should see the off the record comments I got... You would be blown away, some were down right ugly and offensive.

As for the price of the drive, the drive I used in this review isn't priced bad considering it's an SLC SSD.

The Intel X25-E 32GB drive is $375 at Newegg or $11.71 per GB. The 311-series Larson Creek 20G SSD is $110 MSRP, so at that price it is $5.50 per GB. It's a pretty good value for an SLC SSD. With a cache drive you'll get a ton of small read/writes, so an SLC drives speed and durability is key for a cache drive. I actually talked to some of the major SSD companies about this drive before it came out and they were shocked to see Intel was so low on an SLC drive. It really is a good buy for what it is. The Legit Reviews database server runs on four Intel X25-E SLC SSD's running in RAID 5 and they have been flawless since they were installed back in 2009. Before that I used to run 10k RPM hard drives and I used to get failures every so often and finally said screw it and made the jump to SSDs and will never go back.

That said I think you'll see several companies bringing out smaller SSDs in the near future as any company can crank out a 20-30GB MLC NAND Flash drive for well under $100. The drive doesn't need to support TRIM since Intel SRT doesn't support it either. Intel doesn't have some good wear-leveling algorithms though. It's hard to review or test that on a cache drive.

To answer your other question. Joe showed how Intel SRT performed on an OCZ Vertex and Intel 510 SSD and saw a huge difference. You can run Intel SRT on any SSD and I think it's only a matter of time before other boards can run it. No reason P67 can't support this technology, it just wasn't validated and released yet. Don't get me started on Z68 versus H67 and P67. Let's just say if P67 was selling better that there prolly wouldn't be a Z68 right now ;)
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Re: Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Postby Kaos Kid » Thu May 12, 2011 9:06 pm

Yeah, I agree with Major A that you weren't treated with professional respect. If these "customer service" reps were working for me and I saw this as an indication of how they responded to ANY customer--let alone one that is doing a review on their product--they would soon be writing on their blogs about how long the lines were at the job fairs.

BTW, tres cool of you to demonstrate a registry workaround for those who encounter the same problems you did. :supz: Isolating that part alone as a sticky could come in handy in the future.
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Re: Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Postby DragonFury » Sat May 14, 2011 11:02 am

Obviously, not everyone is going to ship or build systems running in RAID mode. When I went into the BIOS and changed the drive mode from AHCI to RAID and restarted the system it would crash and the Windows 7 splash screen and continuously reboot. Obviously this isn't a good sign and means you can't easily switch over


I have had this issue myself quite a few times when setting up my computers, my HTPC would be in AHCI mode while I put my main computer as a RAID. At one point I had to recover data from my RAID array from the main computer, so I brought up all four HDDs to the HTPC set up Turned on the RAID array on the HTPC (it was using a AHCI mode), and then found out the main drive would not boot into windows. same exact thing happened it would get to the splash screen and crash. Now I have used an IDE mode on a single drive Windows install, then configure the SATA to run RAID for back up purposes and have no issues. But you cannot go from IDE mode windows install to a AHCI mode, nor can you go from a AHCI mode to IDE either. I typically set all my motherboards SATAs to a RAID configuration whether I am using RAID or not. I agree with Main Gear's way of setting up the SATA configuration. AHCI is a nightmare if you have to switch from this mode to another mode, RAID/IDE is a bit more friendly with each other if you find yourself needing to switch from these two SATA configurations.
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Re: Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Postby neuromancer » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:28 pm

Nice review. I also found out that Intel techs can be quite snide in their replies.

I do not know what company this person works for...

"I think if a DIY guy is gonna know enough about Z68 to want a new board and these features, he’ll do the research and know what he has to setup, ie Raid config etc.. My gramma isn’t gonna go but a Z68 board and make the mistake of a raid config issue. She’ll buy a pre-configured OEM system.."

But you should really contact them and let them know that the janitor should not be responding to emails. The tone of the reply is bad enough, but using words like "gonna" instead of "going to" is completely unprofessional.

Although it is kind of cool his Grandmother is purchasing motherboards. :lol:

Oh BTW, I have been installing RAID mode for other 4 years now :) I experimented with the difference between RAID and AHCI mode a while back and could not find any. A single drive installed in RAID mode, gets the same treatment as AHCI.

Great write up though, and TBH, I think I will pass on ssd caching.

EDIT: On a side note, for as long as I have been reading this website, I failed to create an account till today!!
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Re: Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD Review

Postby Kaos Kid » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:28 pm

"I think if a DIY guy is gonna know enough about Z68 to want a new board and these features, he’ll do the research and know what he has to setup, ie Raid config etc.. My gramma isn’t gonna go but a Z68 board and make the mistake of a raid config issue. She’ll buy a pre-configured OEM system.."

But you should really contact them and let them know that the janitor should not be responding to emails. The tone of the reply is bad enough, but using words like "gonna" instead of "going to" is completely unprofessional.

Although it is kind of cool his Grandmother is purchasing motherboards. :lol:


Go a step further and read between the lines...how come his Gammy is buying prebuilt OEMs instead of having him build one for her? Gotsta wunder bout thet... :P

lol I couldn't resist :)
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