What’s Intel Doing?

From now until Q4 2010, the X25-M G2 appears to be the best we’ll get from Intel. In the 4th quarter of the year we’ll get the first 25nm ONFI 3.0 based MLC NAND SSDs from Intel.

25nm IMFT 2-bit MLC NAND Flash, 8GB, 167mm2

Available in 600GB, 300GB and 160GB configurations these drives will finally address Intel’s uncompetitive sequential write speeds. Not to mention see a healthy boost in random performance as well. The 300GB and 160GB drives will also be available in 1.8” form factors. The X25-V will also get a bump up to 80GB thanks to 25nm NAND.

Around the same time we’ll see a refresh in the X25-E space with 34nm MLC flash. Yep, you read that right. Intel appears to be going after the enterprise market with MLC flash. Which means that Intel’s third generation SSD controller is going to have write amplification under control in a serious way.

Until then, we won’t see anything new from Intel. These next couple of quarters will be spent ramping up 34nm NAND production and watching newcomer SandForce duke it out with Crucial/Micron.

Crucial/Micron RealSSD C300 - The Closest Competitor Samsung Finally Gets TRIM


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  • mindless1 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I meant the above within the context of it using a PCIe, otherwise the SATA600 link would clearly be a bottleneck. Reply
  • mckirkus - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I know what you're saying. But I'm wondering what PCMark scores look like when you remove drive IO as the bottleneck. If the best SSDs are scoring 20,000 would the same system with no disk bottleneck score 25,000? 30?

    In other words, with only SSD scores we're still not sure how close we are to removing the drive bottleneck in system performance. IMO this is an important question and the answer would give these SSD scores some context.
  • overzealot - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    I just tried out PCmark on a 2gb ramdrive. My q6600 (stock) had 1 core maxed from about 20% through each test, and got a score of 362,471 in the HDD test. That's with DDR800 folks.
    I'm guessing all the results would be CPU bound so my system is really not the best place to test it.
  • overzealot - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    Physical Memory: 4 GB (2GB Ramdisk, so really 2)
    Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5770
    Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate (6.1.7600) 64-bit
    Full suite results:
    PCMark 6,566.0 PCMarks
    Memories 5,596.0
    TV and Movies 4,326.0
    Gaming 5,133.0
    Music 6,085.0
    Communications 5,948.0
    Productivity 6,242.0
    HDD 345,794.0
    The scores for everything would be way too long, here's the HDD results:
    HDD - Windows Defender 1,797,924,224.0 B/s
    HDD - gaming 2,064,242,048.0 B/s
    HDD - importing pictures to Wind 1,810,203,648.0 B/s
    HDD - Windows Vista startup 2,053,050,752.0 B/s
    HDD - video editing using Window 1,549,093,504.0 B/s
    HDD - Windows Media Center 1,607,108,864.0 B/s
    HDD - adding music to Windows Me 1,423,892,096.0 B/s
    HDD - application loading 1,355,910,784.0 B/s
    HDtach rates it at 3GB/s.
  • jimhsu - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    There will also be an I/O bottleneck unless the entire dataset can fit directly onto the CPU. The RAM/CPU bottleneck is the Von Neumann bottleneck which is a well known one in computer science (time/space tradeoffs). It's just what's the point at which the bottleneck ceases to become a user issue... Reply
  • srue - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    "Despite early messaging to press, the 40GB Kingston SSDNow V Series Boot Drive will never get official TRIM support for Kingston. Luckily some adventurous folks have figured out a way to trick Intel’s firmware updater into thinking Kingston’s drive is worthy of such a gift."

    That first sentence upsets me because I purchased the drive believing TRIM support would eventually come. Granted, I probably would have done the same knowing what I know now, but I thought I was getting a better value.

    Does anyone have a link to the trick mentioned in the second sentence?
  • Glenn - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Here ya go.
    I did this last week and it works great.
  • srue - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I found the instructions on overclock.net. Reply
  • mschira - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    So I think I would rather go with an intel X25-M

    By the way, what do you guys reckon are two X25-M 80Gb connected to the Intel Motherboard Raid in Raid 0 faster than a X25-M 160Gb?

  • leexgx - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    RAID 0 = no Trim support (maybe get TRIM support)

    160GB SSD would require no fussing to keep the drive tidy (with windows 7 that is standard drivers in AHCI mode) it stay at its advertised speeds as long as the Chipset driver was not installed or the intel matrix driver was Not installed

    i give up for the most part commenting about how pointless RAID 0 with an SSD is, all you get is more data rate speed that you not even notice (unless your messing with Very big files 5-10GB but you lose TRIM so it degrade fast if you Write that much data a lot, One drive would still be faster) SSDs are about 2x data rate (a lot focus on this to much when its random you should be looking at ), 30x random data rate faster or more and the IOPS is 50x faster then an HDD (normally)

    RAID + SSD = Fast for about an week or month then it be slower then 1 SSD

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