Overall, we would say that the Intel SSD 320 Series 160 GB performed very well in our tests, even though the comparison drives performed better in a couple of them. This surprised us a little, as the Intel unit has a significantly lower maximum write speed than the two comparison drives.
Of course, the lower maximum write speed of the Intel drive did let it down in the sequential write tests. So the comparison drives are likely to exhibit better real world performance when writing large amounts of data sequentially. In the sequential read tests, the Intel unit performed very close to the 270 MB/s maximum claimed read speed, making it faster than both the comparison drives.
The Intel drive seemed to perform significantly better than the comparison drives in the read tests using 4 KB blocks in both CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD. It also achieved a very low access time in the AS SSD read test, meaning it can start transferring data faster than the other two drives. The Patriot drive did have a slightly quicker access time in the write test, but the difference was quite small.
In the PCMark 7, the Intel drive performed the same as the two comparison drives, indicating that there won’t be large differences in the real world performance of the three drives should you use them day-to-day in your PC.
Due to the higher capacity, the Intel SSD 320 Series 160 GB is
around USD 65 more expensive than the two comparison drives. But for many people, the extra capacity of the Intel unit will outweigh the increased cost, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it at this price.