We'd heard a lot last year about how Intel's latest generation 24nm Flash memory would lead to a big shift in SSD price/performance. By being able to fit more memory onto a Flash chip, manufacturers would need fewer chips, which would drop the cost per gigabyte of SSDs and make them more viable.
The 320 series marks Intel's first drive to use the 24nm flash, and surprisingly it is pretty consistent in price with other drives on the market.
While Intel was a driving force behind the push of SSDs into the home user market, it now seems that the company is more focused on Smart Response and SSD caching (more of that in the Intel 311 review) than it is on pure SSD solutions.
Curiously these new drives from Intel only support SATA 3Gbps. This seems in part due to Intel's generally slow move to SATA 6Gbps (its chipsets are still largely SATA 3Gbps focused, with only two SATA 6Gbps channels) but it also indicates that its controller chip still doesn't have the grunt to push out SATA 6Gbps speeds.
The results from the 320 were decent but not stand-out. Multithreaded read speed was relatively low, at 56.67MB/s while write speed was a respectable 118.99Mb/s - but again, price per gigabyte is just below the much better performing OCZ Vertex 3. If Intel is capable of wielding its legendary pricing magic and getting the 320 series down a bit in cost then it could be viable; we have a situation where this could be a serious competitor but instead it just sits in the middle of the pack with no stand-out areas.