When we last left off Intel’s X25-M continued to prove its worth as the best desktop SSD on the market today. But there was new hope in a small controller company based in Korea called Indilinx. Thanks to some quick acting, Indilinx and OCZ were able to put forth the first true value alternative to the X25-M: the Vertex SSD.

In Indilinx we Hope

Now other manufacturers are beginning to ship Indilinx Barefoot based SSDs and the latest updates to the controller’s firmware make the SSD even faster than what I tested just a week ago.

Although I thought I’d be done with SSDs last week, the saga continues with a few minor updates important to anyone looking to buy an SSD today.

The Intel Update

I met with Intel this week to talk about its SSD roadmap as well as where the X25-M is today. Unfortunately I can’t talk about most of the details yet, but more information is coming.

The performance issue PC Perspective uncovered is indeed a real issue, although not something that I’ve been able to run into outside of running specific benchmark patterns. I mentioned it was a non-issue in my last article and now, armed with even more information, I’m even more confident in that. I can’t say much now, but it won’t be too much longer before I can.

A few readers wrote me and asked why the X25-M doesn’t work under Bootcamp on NVIDIA based Apple systems (e.g. the new MacBook/MacBook Pro). I didn’t have an answer at the time but I looked into it. It turns out that there is a compatibility issue with some of the 80GB X25-Ms and those platforms, but Intel does have a fix.

For starters, if you have a 160GB X25-M or X18-M, you aren’t affected by this issue; bootcamp will just work. The latest production of the 80GB X25-Ms are also not affected by this issue, but not the original drives. If you have an earlier X25-M and one of these Apple machines and are experiencing Bootcamp compatibility problems Intel wants you to contact its support staff for a fix: http://www.intel.com/support/

Remember what I wrote in my last SSD piece: “I’d venture a guess that Intel would not leave its most loyal customers out in the cold after spending $400 - $800 on a SSD. I can’t speak for Intel but like I said, stay tuned.”

I’ll have more updates on the Intel drive in the coming weeks.

The Vertex Update


View All Comments

  • monoton - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Hello Anand,

    I've read your articles about SSD with great interest and enjoyed the in-depth reviewing very very much.

    Now with this update all I asked myself when seeing the headline was: Does it stutter (again)? You do mention random write performance but the maximum latency for random 4kb writes isn't stated at all. You were dwelling on that part so extensively in the other article that I thought it might have been a good idea to have it updated here. Please, pretty please, with sugar on top ;) let us know about it. Why else should we pay the extra cash to get the Intel...

    One other thing also: You had a comment in that other article about the method of simulating the "used" drives - did you also fill up the spare blocks this time? Because the comment says, that it would bias the test results towards the Intel drive.

    All in all no biggies, and I hope you continue to do these amazing reviews for a long time!

  • monoton - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Btw. the comment I'm referring to is the top one on pg. 19 of the comments. Reply
  • mschira - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Did you test any SSD directly plugged into the PCI-e slot likethe Fusion-io?
  • LinkerX - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Anandtech has become the go to site since Toms Hardware turned in to junk. Keep up the great work. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    "Your words and support are what inspire me to, even today almost 12 years since I started AnandTech, continue to work on things like The SSD Anthology or The RV770 Story. Thank you."

    (quote button doesn't work so I just used quotes)

    You mean you don't get paid for your articles? Tell the crustacean man to get on it.
  • Akkuma - Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - link

    I recently told my roommate I read AnandTech and have been doing so for years (about 6 or so now). He told me about how he went to high school with him (he is from Raleigh, NC) and was driving Porsches back then, handing out freebies from all the stuff he got to friends, bought his parents a home, etc..

    I don't hold it against the guy, but he is making some extremely serious bank from the site when he is one of the original computer hardware review sites.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Least he earned the money. We had people in my HS driving (brand new) Porsches that their parents had bought them. Reply
  • Bladen - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    Keep up the good work.

    I have always seen this site as the most professional of it's kind.
  • RyuDeshi - Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - link

    I agree. I can never read through an entire THG article.. yet I managed to real almost every last word of multiple SSD articles Anand has posted. Keep up the excellent work! Reply
  • semo - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    "OCZ and Indilinx want to slot their drive in between the JMicron garbage and the Intel drive"

    gold. those scumbags must have set back ssd adoption by years in certain sectors. i still hear the AMD processors are too hot nonsense every once in a while.

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