New Intel 80GB SSD is faster than the best HDD

Intel's X25 boasts a 256.7MB/sec. burst speed

 Intel's X25-M Solid State Disk Drive

Intel's X25-M Solid State Disk Drive

Solid state drives (SSDs) are finally coming into their own -- they're faster, more durable, and use less power than traditional mechanical hard drives. However, the strongest indicator that this may be the storage tech of the future is Intel's release of its X18 and X25 solid state drives.

In our tests, the X25, released this week, is faster twice as the next fastest SSD we've tested and beats the fastest hard disk drive in reads and ties it in writes. The 80GB version, which we tested, is priced at US$595 for quantities up to 1,000.

Both the X18-M and X25-M SSD models are aimed at the mainstream market of laptop and netbook computers; they come, respectively in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors (as their names suggest).

So what's different about these drives? Well, I tested the 80GB X25-M, and I can tell you is that it is one of the fastest drives -- solid state or not -- that I've tested thus far. Intel turbo charges this drive by interleaving NAND flash chips and using 10 parallel channels and optimized firmware.

SSD vs. HDD

Recently, one of the fastest drive I've reviewed was Western Digital's Velociraptor hard drive. Its 10,000rpm spindle speed and 16MB buffer had it returning a 250.2MB/sec burst speed and 105.6MB/sec average read through HDTach. In my file transfer tests, 4,661 files of various types totaling 8.05GB, writing the data to the Velociraptor took a mere 4.4 minutes and reading the data from it and writing it to another drive needed only 4.04 minutes.

To be fair, the Velociraptor is too large for most laptops and netbooks (it's a 2.5-inch drive wrapped in Western Digital's 3.5-inch "Ice Pack" heatsink form factor). The next fastest I looked at (in the same article) was another Western Digital drive, the Scorpio Black, with a burst speed and average read result of 238.8MB/sec and 63.8MB/sec, respectively.

Intel's X25-M has them both beat. The SSD turned in 256.7MB/sec and 230.2MB/sec burst and transfer rates, respectively. Actual file transfers ran just 4.4 minutes and 3.7 minutes to and from the SSD.

How is it's speed in comparison to another SSD? No problem: Ridata's 64GB Ultra-S Plus is almost half as fast as Intel's X25-M when tested under HDTach while its real-world file transfer times are noticeably slower. The X25-M is a fast SSD.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bill O'Brien

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?