|Intel X25-M SATA 80GB MLC SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Miles Cheatham|
|Monday, 19 January 2009|
Page 10 of 10
While we at Benchmark Reviews thoroughly enjoyed testing the Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD we would be totally remiss if we didn't make mention of the current American economy. Manufacturers such as Intel are having to become extremely creative when it comes to bringing their products to market and keeping the bottom line purchase price to the consumer as low as feasibly possible while still producing a quality product. Intel has kept the appearance of the X25-M as simplistic as possible while still producing a product that meets the needs of the mainstream market for which it is intended.
Product appearance for SSD's is no easy task to master successfully. We're talking about a product that either hides inside a server of desktop computer, and is usually only seen just once at installation. Intel has opted for a very simplistc flat black appearance, which under the circumstances of use is probably most appropriate. While some reviewers feel that a plastic framework for an SSD is most appropriate due to metal being heavier and less durable, I have a differing opinion. I feel that the metal case adds to the strength and durability of the X25-M and most likely aids in passive heat dissipation, which is most certainly an issue even with solid state drives. Granted plastic may help to decrease the products cost ever so slightly but in this case I feel metal to be the most appropriate solution.
Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product line! Intel has always produced some of the strongest and most resillient products available, with the X25-M certainly not being an exception to this trend. Solid State Drives are by nature immune to most abuses, but add to this a hard metal shell and you have to wonder what it would take to make this drive fail. If an Intel X25-M does fail the consumer had a 3-year warranty period, in which the drive can either be replaced or repaired through Intel's extremely robust support network.
Based on the collection of benchmark tests we conducted, the Intel X25-M MLC SSD performs at almost double the rate of its competition in the linear read category boasting an average read speed of 243.5 MBps. Probably the most incredible performance feat is the drives access time which is 0.09 ms, a speed that is almost unheard of in drives that utilize MLC memory modules. Linear write performance reported a maximum bandwidth of 72.8 MBps, which is the only real shortcoming in this drives repertoire. While the write speeds are certainly less than stellar we must remember that this product is targeted for the mainstream market where write speeds are certainly much less important than either read speeds or access time.
In conclusion, the Intel X25-M MLC 80 GB Solid State Drive offers an excellent balance of linear read bandwidth coupled with an astonishingly fast response time. Boasting a near-instant 0.09 ms, the Intel X25-M is roughly 88x more responsive than Western Digital's Raptor HDD. The linear read-from performance was nearly 100% faster than the Western Digital Raptor. MLC construction causes a definitive decrease in write performance where the drive is actually outperformed by the original Wester Digital Raptor. The price of this drive is one of the highest in the category of drives it competes with. However, one must remember that you are getting 16 additional gigabytes of storage for that price. Taking that fact into consideration, the average price per gigabyte beccomes a bit more palatable.
+ Phenomenal linear read speed of 243.5 MBps
- $6.25 per gigabyte of MLC SSD storage space
Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.
Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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