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Intel X25-M 'G2' 34nm 160GB SSD Review

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel
Tagged:

Packaging, Internals, and Specifications

Packaging


Intel has always taken an OEM approach to it's packaging.  They always seem to come in these plain cardboard boxes.  I prefer this approach.  Does anyone really need a nice pretty box?  The smaller size and lack of glamor ultimately leads to lower costs, leading to greater savings for the end user.  Since the box will likely go into the trash and the SSD will likely go into your machine, Intel is now including a spiffy "My SSD Rocks!" sticker.  Unlike how other sticker mods might work, this one actually means your PC is going faster than normal.

Internals

Controller: Intel PC29AS21BA0 F0N2881.1 0907.

Flash: Intel 29F16B08JAMDI 092217 (16GB Flash).

Ram: Micron 48LC16M16A2 (32MB SDRAM).


This side intentionally left blank.

Improvements to the write combination algorithm and the maintenance of a larger LBA remap table required the move to a larger 32GB SDRAM chip (up from 16GB on the 80GB G1).  The flash is of sufficient density to keep the underside of the PCB free and clear,

enabling an easy move to a future 320GB model.  16GB on a single flash chip is a huge improvement - Samsung currently has to stack a pair of 8GB chips on each other to match that figure.

Specifications

Going by the available data sheets, the G2 is very similar to the G1, but there are some improvements, on paper at least:

Spec

G1

G2

Sequential Read

250 MB/sec

250 MB/sec

Sequential Write

70 MB/sec

70 MB/sec

Read Latency

85 usec

65 usec

Write Latency

115 usec

85 usec

Read IOPS

35K

35K

Write IOPS

3.3K

6.6 / 8.6 K
Launch price

$595 / $945

$225 / $440

The latency improvements are nice, but X25's were already very speedy in that area.  The real significance here is the pricing.  *Starting* prices for these drives will be less than half that of the previous generation.  As long as the distributors can stick close to these figures, the G2 X25-M will be cheaper than nearly every other performance SSD currently on the market.

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