Final Words

When Kingston released its 40GB version of Intel's X25-M last year, I liked it a lot. At $125, I still like the X25-V especially now that it has TRIM support. It's unfortunate for those who bought the Kingston drives last year, but it looks like there is a way to get TRIM working on your drives as well.

The X25-V is a great way to get an SSD into your system if you're not quite ready to splurge on a larger drive. With roughly 37GB of free space to install an OS and apps to, you can easily get your most frequently used programs on the drive. Pair it up with a cheap TB hard drive and you'll have ultra fast storage and a ton of capacity for under $250. Or if you're looking for something to make your travel notebook/netbook a lot snappier, the X25-V is perfect. The limited capacity does have performance implications as there's potentially fewer blocks to be used for cleaning, however TRIM helps alleviate that as an issue assuming you have a TRIM enabled OS.

Intel is quick to point out that pairing up two X25-Vs can give you more performance than a single 80GB X25-M for around the same price. While I'm still looking at RAID performance, the problem is that today there's no way to pass the TRIM command to drives in a RAID array. You gain better sequential performance and concurrent IOPS, but you have no way to actively curb performance degradation. In my opinion, that's not a worthy tradeoff. Intel did hint that its driver teams are looking at ways to pass TRIM down to RAID arrays however.

Kingston's answer to the X25-V is very interesting. You do give up another 10GB of space compared to the Intel drive for a formatted capacity of around 28GB, but in exchange you get better sequential write performance. Ultimately the tradeoff here is between sequential write speed and random read/write speed. The former is Kingston's advantage, while the latter is the X25-V's domain. PCMark Vantage favors Intel's X25-V, while our own storage bench preferred Kingston's 30GB Boot Drive. Given the X25-V's capacity and random read/write performance advantages, Intel gets the nod here over Kingston's 30GB drive if you're looking for a sub-$130 SSD. Note that if Kingston's pricing does manage to stay significantly lower than Intel's (thanks to Newegg's current pricing after MIR), Kingston might be a good alternative if you're looking to spend as little as possible and don't mind giving up some capacity for it.

While it's good to see competition at the low end of the SSD spectrum, I'm not expecting to see much more movement here until 25nm flash hits the market in Q4.

AnandTech Storage Bench
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  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    410GB for apps, are you insane? The only way I can see that possible is if you store every warez app out there.

    Even my bloated work machine only uses 21.3GB.
    Reply
  • davepermen - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    tell that to our work systems which have all sort of apps on + os (+office, sap, and many other things) and all have only a c:\ drive.

    it's perfectly doable. not for everyone (esp. not for gamers), but for more than people might imagine.
    Reply
  • iwodo - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    While the idea of $125 for 80GB Intel SSD is nice, but if we dont get any performance improvement over current Gen then market might wait again.

    SATA 3?
    ONFi 2.0 / 2.2?
    Faster Random Read / Write?

    I really hope we get new Intel SSD controller.
    Reply
  • Japunie - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    I'd like to see some benchmarks showing time saved. That's my main issue with a benchmark. Most show a higher number, but don't exactly show yo uhow much time your saving.

    Gaming benchmarks are self-explanatory but I would love to see more benchmarks showing the time difference as that to me is the ultimate reason to upgrade not just to have the fastest card, what have you.
    Reply
  • semo - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    i'm for more real world testing. fot consumer sata drives stuff like startup times and virus scans. for eneterprise sas drives i want to see exchange, sql, etc performance numbers. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    You're absolutely correct. I've posted this 3 times and emailed Anand directly, but he continues to ignore it.
    http://tinyurl.com/yjcr5vm">http://tinyurl.com/yjcr5vm
    http://tinyurl.com/ylflfao">http://tinyurl.com/ylflfao

    There's no question that he's dead wrong to not address the single thing that matters with hard drives: time. Without it you can't see how significant the difference between drives are, the AnandTech Storage Bench doesn't mean squat since drives like the SandForce use compression, and hard drives have a long history of performing differently in benchmarks vs real life. For proof of those last two points, check out http://tinyurl.com/yamfwmg">http://tinyurl.com/yamfwmg where RAID0 bought 20-40% more IOPS but zero load time.

    The only SSD time benchmarks I know of here are Pages 29 and 30 of the very first review http://tinyurl.com/yd73sf8">http://tinyurl.com/yd73sf8. Whuddayaknow, the Vertex boots up 1.2s slower than the X25-M, and loads WoW realms 1.4s slower. How about that, something tangible and meaningful to compare.
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Don't they usually?

    The kinds of numbers that are easy to understand:
    - Win7 boot time (after POST is preferred, but whatever)
    - Loading of a game, loading of a game while doing a background task.
    - virus scan
    - Loading and saving a large file in Photoshop or Excel.
    - Win7 Shutdown time.
    - Win7 Wake up (perhaps to quick).

    My own experience with Win7 and the intel X25-M-G2

    Win7 boot:
    1m25s = Temp 160GB HD SATA (not a fast drive)
    0m09s = Intel SSD (same computer)
    0m35s = Another PC with a typical 500GB 7200RPM drive.
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    All the Sandforce drives are near the top, in general.

    But I'm not really seeing those drives out in the market? What are those prices like.

    I have my experience with intels X25 G2 drives and they still seems to offer the best overall deal. Reliability, TRIM and price (now). The 80GB G2 is down to around $200... so spend an extra $80 and double the space to work with and vastly improve the performance over any of those drives.

    A typical Win7 setup with NO user data is about 15GB, which mine is with various Adobe programs, 3 browsers, Office suite and dozens of add-ons. So a 30GB is barely enough for future usage. 40GB is fine, but the performance needs to be better IMHO in order for it to be an excellent desktop boot drive. In one of our desktops in an office, Win7 boots up about 8~10 seconds after POST. Everything is instant.


    Reply
  • Scalptrash - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    Less expensive, better specs. Hmmm... Reply
  • Ijiwaru - Friday, March 19, 2010 - link

    newegg lists the 30GB at 89.99 standalone and 114.99(84.99 after MIR) for the kit.
    buy has the kit at 78.95 after MIR
    amazon has the kit at 111.11

    Reply

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