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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bill O'Brien

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?