back to article Intel X-25M solid-state drive

After leaks galore about Intel’s foray into solid-state drives, we’ve finally got our hands on an 80GB X25-M - dial 'M' for 'mainstream'. Intel X-25M and X-18M Intel's X-25M and X-18M: dial 'm' for 'mainstream' The X25 and X18 family of SSDs will both be initially available in 80GB versions. There's a 160GB X25 due in Q4. …


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the price isn't too steep

£400 for 80GB comes out at £5/GB. Obviously amateur/home-users won't want to pay this, but it's not aimed at them. For commercial users, it compares favourably with the cost of enterprise storage (esp. when you consider the extortionate amounts they charge for proprietary cache-ram and controllers to make their slow old disks perform at anything like the required pace).

In fact at that price a 1TB database could be implemented for £10k - assuming duplication for resilience/backup purposes. It would also perform 10 - 50 times better than the equivalent spinning storage, take up less space, generate less heat and require virtually no administration, tweaking or tuning.

It's within living memory that STK Icebergs provided 77GB in a cabinet, at a cost of many, many times one of these puppies. Corporations were extremely happy with the price/performance at the time and would gladly install these, now. The only question would be regarding the reliability/lifetime of the cells.

Paris Hilton

Removable drives on laptops please

With the rise of SSDs and them still being a premium pricing, they will sell as long as you can take them with you.

put a easily accessable external drive bay in all laptop cases, like you have access to memory, then it will be worth the £800 investment for the 160gb drive as when the laptop craps out you can take it with you to the next machine.

I've got a sony 17" laptop here with dual drives which are accessable. i would seriously consider getting the 80gb drive to use as a system drive for software/paging and a large slower drive for data had a green 1 pixel line not appeared down the screen yesterday.

ho hum, another sony laptop down with screen troubles after 18 months.

and Paris? well cause instead of being in rainy cold britian,I'd rather be in Paris.


An interim market for SSD

...perhaps smallish 32Gb drives as an upgrade (and truly functional alternative to) Readyboost?


Had me 'till the final conclusion

"We’re looking forward to the 160GB version, but we can't wait for the price to drop."

Or rather, we're all looking forward to the 160Gb version, but we can (with intent) wait for the price to drop on the current models, let alone what the 160 Gb will end up costing.

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Dead Vulture

Didn't alter performance

"The revised firmware had no apparent effect and didn’t alter performance"

Apart from the almost 3% drop in average read speed shown in the screen shots.


Shame about the price

I'm working on a HP 2510p which is by far the most beautiful machine I've ever used. But dam this hard drives crap.

I've been looking at splashing out a fair few hundred for a SSD and the OCZ v2 seems the most appealing. Though if this compares to a spangly new Raptor I may seriously consider remortgaging my house for one of these beasts.

Has anyone here used the V2 OCZ yet? Are they as nippy as claimed to be? Worth the money?



Which in real world terms, a 3% drop is the time it would take you to rub your eyes/take a drag of a cigarette/grab a gobful of coffee as a couple of gb of data is read. It's still fucking fast. Load a GB of data into ram in under 5 secs? Five years ago, you'd have been laughed at for suggesting such a thing without a large, sophisticated [from a normal user standpoint] multi disk array, or an investment in pretty specialised hardware [15k SCSI disks etc].

Now, you can [after emptying your wallet, admittedly] do that with a consumer storage device on a consumer data bus.

And with more and more consumer SATA buses supporting RAID0/1 at least, and some RAID5 out of the box...come on, 3% is splitting hairs!

Steven R



would have been nice to see a comparisson with the OCZ core V2..

ah well ho hum..


Didn't alter performance.....

Exactly.. Oh shit we haven't crippled it enough quick send another crippleware update...

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i love SSD's!

this is good.

i think the reliability thing should work it's way to the center of the table in the short term, as so many other things are ticked off.

much lower power.

much lower heat.

much lower noise.

greater resistance to shock.

..and best of all blistering read speeds!

the write speed thing, imo, will only concern servers farmers and even then, some sort of write cache could be brought into play to help out on that front. ok , so the power may go off and you lose the cache, but in reality how many times does that actually happen? (it's never happened to me).

i am getting very itchy feet to buy one of these..i can afford it, but don't like wasting money..thing is, when you hear things like 'if it's this good with MLC, wait till the SLC version!', i just wanna sit on my hands and wait till the market stabilises over tech/methods of delivery of this new appendage to the storage space.

..but boy have i been waiting for this. used to play around with ramdrive.sys waaaay back..we NEED to put these old spinning platters behind us!

btw, did you know that the name "winchester" came from the fact that the early hard drives were 30mb fixed and 30mb removable? just one little (prob) myth that i heard many years ago..

anywayzup, i'm waffling, adios!



p.s. stuff and nonsense:


Won't you have to buy a batch of 1000 anyway?

Once you've RAIDed enough together to store a resonable batch of pirated videos you'll already be around 1000 anyway.

Gosh, I wish every laptop included an external port where I could connect removable SSDs. Perhaps I'd call it a USB port, eh?



read this...,review-31019.html


more on Tom's

Tom's followed up the SSD piece with this:,review-31086.html



Hmm... Tom's piece notwithstanding, I'd be interested to see how it speeds up my VMs. I have a number of (yes, defragmented) VMware VMs running demos and trials, and I can often sit waiting for several minutes while they sort themselves out - particularly the busier ones, and especially if I have too much running in the host and they start swapping. If an SSD knocked that down by even half, it'd be worth the money...


You missed the interesting part...

Supposedly the interesting thing with intels SSD is their controllers.

There is a pretty insightful article at anandtech:

where they discuss the difference in wear-levelling and block management between Intels latest and the ubiquitous JMicron controllers used by everyone else. (Admittedly it reads like PR from Intel, but it still contains some interesting comparisons.)

The problem with Flash is that you need to erase a whole block in order to write a small amount of data. Typically the blocks are large (128 - 512kb) and erasing is slow. (On the order of several ms, up to hundreds of ms depending on power supply, memory contents and the phase of the moon.)

(Also noted at arstechnica:

and even by the reg: )

It would have been interesting to see how Intes new controller handles all these aspects. (According to Anandtech pretty well, but I'd love to have it corroborated by you.)

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