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

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel
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Introduction

***Public Service Announcement***



(24JUL2009) Intel has informed me of a bug in the X25-M G2 shipping firmware (02G2).  This
bug is specific to setting a hard drive password in your BIOS.  If you
have set a BIOS HDD password, then subsequently change or disable that
password, the SSD may become inoperable.  Intel is correcting the issue
in firmware and will be posting a fix shortly.  In summary:

  • DO NOT set a BIOS HDD password on an X25-M G2.
  • If you already have, DO NOT CHANGE OR DISABLE the BIOS HDD password.

It will be safe to do either of the above once the X25-M G2 is flashed to a newer firmware to be released by Intel shortly. Firmware, when available, can be reached by this not-yet-live link.



***End Public Service Announcement***

***Update***

(10AUG2009): Intel has posted a firmware to correct the bug noted above.  Download it here.

***End update***

I've been a fan of the Intel X25-M series ever since reading Ryan's review back in September.  I also have it to thank for leading me into the hot seat of hardware reviewing.  My work with Ryan to report on fragmentation issues present in the early firmware, and follow-on collaboration with Intel to correct those issues, were among the first pieces I published.


Intel's announcement came only yesterday.  A new, second generation model of their mainstream series SSD's.  These drives were reportedly faster in every way, with higher capacity to boot.  Testers were not provided with early engineering samples this time around, meaning the settling dust from the press release was stirred back up by a slew of busy Storage Reviewers (myself included).  Our test sample came in just this afternoon.

Intel sure wanted this 1,500G shock rated SSD to make it to us safely.

I'm convinced they could have launched it to our lab via trebuchet and it would have arrived in working order!


So once the drive arrived I basically dropped everything and went straight into testing.  Read on for my results!
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