A Comparison of Spare Area

All SSDs set aside some percentage of their flash for recycling and bad block allocation. The portion set aside isn't user addressable and is often referred to as Spare Area. Most consumer MLC drives have about 7% of their total flash capacity reserved for use as spare area. Intel's X25-V is no different. The table below shows the available space vs. total NAND capacity on the drive for both the Intel and Kingston drives:

Drive Formatted Capacity NAND Flash Spare Area %
Intel X25-V 37.27GB 40.0GB 6.8%
Kingston SSDNow V Series Boot Drive 27.95GB 32.0GB 12.65%

 

Intel's X25-V actually has the same percentage of spare area as the X25-M. It's the SSDNow V Series that is a bit perplexing. Formatted capacity for the "30GB" drive is 27.95GB. Given that NAND devices, like all memory, are made in powers of 2 there has to be 32GB of NAND on the drive. Either the Toshiba controller is using over 12% of the total NAND capacity as spare area, or there's only 30GB of usable flash on the drive. The latter could be true if the NAND devices had some existing bad blocks on them.

Either way, the X25-V basically delivers an extra 10GB at the same price point as the 30GB Kingston SSDNow V Series Boot Drive.

The Test

CPU Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset: Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel IMSM 8.9
Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64
Kingston’s 30GB SSDNow V Series Boot Drive Sequential Read/Write Speed
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  • jed22281 - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    Given it's in a similar size category...
    Shouldn't the 50GB OWC Mercury Extreme be included in this?
    Or is it only allowed to sit in X25-M territory?

    Is that the only other competitor for the Mercury Extreme?
    If true...
    In which scenario/s might one pick the Extreme over the X25-M?

    Thank-you!
    Reply
  • thllxb - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    I actually bought one intel-v 40g and i got the shipment today. The sequential read is very good, 190mb/s with nvidia SATA controller driver and 170mb/s with win7 driver. However, the random read speed is only 22mb/s with both drivers, much lower than the test result 60mb/s. I still need to find out why. Reply
  • jed22281 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Given it's in a similar size category...
    Shouldn't the 50GB OWC Mercury Extreme be included in this?
    Or is it only allowed to sit in X25-M territory?

    Is that the only other competitor for the Mercury Extreme?
    If true...
    In which scenario/s might one pick the Extreme over the X25-M?

    Thank-you!
    Reply
  • jed22281 - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    ^^^ anyone? thank-you! Reply
  • jed22281 - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    ^^^ anyone? thank-you! Reply
  • jed22281 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Given it's in a similar size category...
    Shouldn't the 50GB OWC Mercury Extreme be included in this?
    Or is it only allowed to sit in X25-M territory?

    Is that the only other competitor for the Mercury Extreme?
    If true...
    In which scenario/s might one pick the Extreme over the X25-M?

    Thank-you!
    Reply
  • NandFlashGuy - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I think it's misleading that you continue using the phrase "IMFT Nand". This gives the impression that all IMFT Nand is equivalent.

    IMFT does not sell Nand -- they are the just legal way that Micron and Intel can share the cost of manufacturing Nand together. Each parent company has the ability to define their own litho process or their own test strategies.

    This means that the Nand on the X-25 series is "Intel Nand", not IMFT or Micron Nand. Moreover, the Nand on the X-25 series receives much more extensive testing than what is sold to the removable memory market.
    Reply
  • chuckbam - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    Because of the growth size of the winsxs folder, I think 40GBs are to small for a boot drive. Reply
  • sdsdv10 - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    That might be the case for you, but not for everyone. I just upgraded my father-in-law's PC with one of the Intel 40GB SSD and a 250GB regular HD for data storage. Installation of Windows 7 Home Premium left just under 23GB of usable space. Besides IE, the only other thing he needed was Office 2003 (this took less than 350MB total). Still had 22GB of space left. It boots up very quick and opening programs in very fast (nearly instantaneous). A nice improvement over the previous incarnation with XP on a regular 7200rpm HD. Reply
  • JimmiG - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    28 or 37GB is definitely too small for me. If you're going to buy a SSD to speed things up, there must be enough space on it to actually install some stuff on it to speed up. If you can only speed up a few percent of your disk operations, it's pretty pointless.

    60GB would be the minimum for me, preferably 80+ GB. 30GB is barely enough for Win7 itself *or* a couple of games. I'm using 410GB on my "Applications" drive, the one that contains the OS and games and programs I use (almost no user data like movies or pictures).
    Reply

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