Brian

Intel X25-V Review

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The 40GB X25-V is part of Intel’s new Value SSD line which aims to merge both performance and value for consumers who are starting to think about upgrading to a SSD, or want to use an SSD as a boot drive. Right now this new SSD has a retail price of $125, making it the cheapest Intel SSD, and half as much as the 80GB X25-M model. While advertised performance stats of 170MB/s read and 35MB/s write don’t exactly turn a lot of heads, should you consider picking one of these up? Read our review to find out.

Full Review

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Just read that Intel X25-V review.

A lovely one - nice to read, easy to understand :)

Personally though - I think it might be an idea to stress that everyday OS "operations" require 4K speeds and sequential speeds are unimportant there.

But I liked it :) Well done :)

(Guess my X25-M beats it though :D - at 4 times the price...)

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I want to know when we will see the 600MB/sec SSD. Providing that the controller chip can support it, literally tomorrow all the manufacturer could offer such a drive. If you look at the layout there is room for 20 nand chips, and they are only using 5 of them.

From a purely theoretical standpoint.

Read goes from 170MB/s > 600MB/s

Write goes from 35MB/s > 140MB/s (4k writes still suck though)

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We'll let you know on the speed ;)

Really though, SATA 6Gb/s SSDs should provide even more speed. We should see a few coming up soon.

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I want to know when we will see the 600MB/sec SSD. Providing that the controller chip can support it, literally tomorrow all the manufacturer could offer such a drive. If you look at the layout there is room for 20 nand chips, and they are only using 5 of them.

From a purely theoretical standpoint.

Read goes from 170MB/s > 600MB/s

Write goes from 35MB/s > 140MB/s (4k writes still suck though)

It doesn't scale like that - the 80GB uses 10 Nand chips and the 160GB one would use 20.

However their speeds are closer together with the 160GB one with a higher sequential write.

So the controller doesn't handle more - on the other hand, Sata is another limit, most computers have Sata 2, some Sata 1 - so that's 150 and 300MB/s.

The other question is - do you really need those speeds - 99% of all people don't - and the limited group who does will do so for professional purposes which generally means they have more money available and can set up a RAID array for increased performance.

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Hah, the age old question of how fast do you need? I think you could argue most of the world would be fine with the technology that exists today for the foreseeable future, but that's no fun ;)

Certainly though the faster drives will come at a premium - from the same guys that push the envelope now...OCZ/SandForce comes to mind.

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Hah, the age old question of how fast do you need? I think you could argue most of the world would be fine with the technology that exists today for the foreseeable future, but that's no fun ;)

Certainly though the faster drives will come at a premium - from the same guys that push the envelope now...OCZ/SandForce comes to mind.

That is true.

I mean, a lot of the advances are artificially driven forward - heck, without the games industry advances would have been much slower.

On the other hand with those netbooks (how can one use them? :D) and "HTPCs" as they are called we had a step back in performance for the first time I think.

There will always be a group that needs higher performance, video editing would be one, gaming another (one that I don't understand as I think Intel graphic cards are fine for games, laptop ones too :)) - I suppose photography is another, engineering...

But most people don't need them - that's why those "weak platforms" sell - I suppose we could have two markets easily nowadays, that is a "professional" one with high end products and the consumer market.

Edited by DetlevCM

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Those low-power platforms, I've been on them for nearly 7 years with my notebook selections, are a great blend of just enough performance and battery life...or in the HTPC scenario, low power consumption. Since the HTPC is conceivably on 24/7/365 an energy sipping CPU is preferable to one that has more power than needed to get the job done. So while the power went backward, the power efficiency got better.

As toy our gaming thoughts, geez, I hope the gaming nerds don't read that ;) I'm with you though, Civ and aged games like Age of Empires are good for me. I don't have time to get immersed in the current generation of high-end games.

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Those low-power platforms, I've been on them for nearly 7 years with my notebook selections, are a great blend of just enough performance and battery life...or in the HTPC scenario, low power consumption. Since the HTPC is conceivably on 24/7/365 an energy sipping CPU is preferable to one that has more power than needed to get the job done. So while the power went backward, the power efficiency got better.

As toy our gaming thoughts, geez, I hope the gaming nerds don't read that ;) I'm with you though, Civ and aged games like Age of Empires are good for me. I don't have time to get immersed in the current generation of high-end games.

I must agree on the 24/7 running - low power consumption helps there.

I think NAS also use Atoms - or some do anyway.

And gaming - Age of Empires, yes, know that one :-) runs on an X3000 - I've got one of those infamous NVidia GPUs in my laptop too (8400M GS - via a switch :D)... but I've hardly used it :-) - but I've never cared too much about gaming - Age of Empires, Earth of Empires (gave that to my grandfather :-)) - nice timewasters, but that's it... nowadays its photography for me :-D or spending time on forums :-)

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Only one criticism of this review: comparison with HDD speeds would have been useful. At least for ignorant people like myself.

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We'll let you know on the speed ;)

Really though, SATA 6Gb/s SSDs should provide even more speed. We should see a few coming up soon.

You are correct. The Individual NAND does not scale and a 4k read/write is going to be as fast as the slowest cell, but I was not inferring a single read. The potential is there. All you have to do is look at the people that use SDD RAID. I am sure that if Brian had a second drive, and put them in a RAID 0 setup he would max out the current SATA 3Gbps connection. You don't even need the best NAND memory. OCZ is already proving this they have drives now that are breaching the 300MB/s topping out at ~350MB/sec ATM.

Simply put more NAND chips + more robust controller = faster drives.

Intels pc29as21ba0 controller is good are reads, but sucks at writes.

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Only one criticism of this review: comparison with HDD speeds would have been useful. At least for ignorant people like myself.

Hah, thanks for the input. Most people shopping for SSDs at this point know they're orders of magnitude faster, but your point is still valid.

We're working on a new chart generator that will let you add in whatever drives you want for comparisons. I think that will go over well.

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You are correct. The Individual NAND does not scale and a 4k read/write is going to be as fast as the slowest cell, but I was not inferring a single read. The potential is there. All you have to do is look at the people that use SDD RAID. I am sure that if Brian had a second drive, and put them in a RAID 0 setup he would max out the current SATA 3Gbps connection. You don't even need the best NAND memory. OCZ is already proving this they have drives now that are breaching the 300MB/s topping out at ~350MB/sec ATM.

Simply put more NAND chips + more robust controller = faster drives.

Intels pc29as21ba0 controller is good are reads, but sucks at writes.

Are you so sure about that controller?

This is how your Intel can read and write ;)intelssdbenchsafemode.jpg

The Intel Controller is, if anything perfect - fast enough at random speeds to make a difference, and fast enough at sequential speeds that you don't have to care at all.

You'd never notice a drive does a 200MB/s sequential write or a 100/MB/s sequential write - also because pretty much any interface expect eSata fond in home computers wont support higher speeds.

And USB 3 is not mainstream - USB2 is (heck, it'll be years before I bother with USB 3...)

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Why does Intel define there own product as 250 MB/sec read and 100 MB/sec write where OCZ define their 285 MB/sec read and 275 MB/sec hum? The real big sell of the pc29as21ba0 is the random write is better then the competition. But the sequential read write is far from being the best (well mostly on the writes). So in my book that is far from being “Perfect” but hey if it’s ok to get killed by the competition and still declared as perfect that’s for you to decide. I think SandForce's SF-1x00 storage controller and the latest JMicron controllers went along way to address that problem but Intel still kills them in I/O’s

Also you just proved my point on the first post. By posing your drive score you provide that literally tomorrow they could offer drives that blow past the current cap IF they were to include 20 chips

170 MB/sec (4 chips)

250 MB/sec (8 chips) < hitting the SATA 3Gbps cap.

I need two find it but there is a SSD drive that was review with the SATA 6Gbps connection, and it was already running at ~330 MB/sec for the same 8 chips.

So the cap you are seeing is limited by the old SATA 3Gbps connection. Not the controller. Its SATA 6Gbps BTW not USB3 and it is out now and being included on systems today. I just picked up a card recently that included it so though you may not benefit from a switch, a lot of other people will.

Finally this is a question that needs to be asked. Why not include 20 lower density NAND chips with a SATA 6Gbps connection? Lower density NAND chips should be cheaper, but the performance should be about the same. What you would end up with is a lower density drive that has about double the R/W performance and yet, depending on the cost per NAND, would be a comparable price to the larger drives.

Right now there is a push to get the cost per GB down or the SSD drive size up, but IMO anything > 100GB its preferable to start moving to looking at increasing the performance again. I personally would rather pay $400 fro a 100GB drive with 500MB/Sec performance then the same price for 200GB with only 250MB/Sec performance.

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Why does Intel define there own product as 250 MB/sec read and 100 MB/sec write where OCZ define their 285 MB/sec read and 275 MB/sec hum? The real big sell of the pc29as21ba0 is the random write is better then the competition. But the sequential read write is far from being the best (well mostly on the writes). So in my book that is far from being “Perfect” but hey if it’s ok to get killed by the competition and still declared as perfect that’s for you to decide. I think SandForce's SF-1x00 storage controller and the latest JMicron controllers went along way to address that problem but Intel still kills them in I/O’s

Also you just proved my point on the first post. By posing your drive score you provide that literally tomorrow they could offer drives that blow past the current cap IF they were to include 20 chips

170 MB/sec (4 chips)

250 MB/sec (8 chips) < hitting the SATA 3Gbps cap.

I need two find it but there is a SSD drive that was review with the SATA 6Gbps connection, and it was already running at ~330 MB/sec for the same 8 chips.

So the cap you are seeing is limited by the old SATA 3Gbps connection. Not the controller. Its SATA 6Gbps BTW not USB3 and it is out now and being included on systems today. I just picked up a card recently that included it so though you may not benefit from a switch, a lot of other people will.

Finally this is a question that needs to be asked. Why not include 20 lower density NAND chips with a SATA 6Gbps connection? Lower density NAND chips should be cheaper, but the performance should be about the same. What you would end up with is a lower density drive that has about double the R/W performance and yet, depending on the cost per NAND, would be a comparable price to the larger drives.

Right now there is a push to get the cost per GB down or the SSD drive size up, but IMO anything > 100GB its preferable to start moving to looking at increasing the performance again. I personally would rather pay $400 fro a 100GB drive with 500MB/Sec performance then the same price for 200GB with only 250MB/Sec performance.

If the 40GB ones uses 5 Flash modules, the 160GB one (Which I have) should use 20.

And sequential speeds mean absolutely nothing - its 4K speeds that you notice and queue write, read speeds.

Not sequential speeds that you generally don't need unless you move big files.

Regarding your higher speed could have been a server drive.

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