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Old 10-20-2008, 02:21 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Intel Ships Fastest Enterprise-Class SSD

From our front-page news:
Intel unveiled an interesting product last week that I somehow overlooked completely, but it's definitely cool enough to mention now. Solid-State Disks are nothing new and we've talked about them a hundred times in the past, but the company's X-25E Extreme SSD becomes (from what I know), the fastest-performing drive on the market, and yes, it will cost you.

When Intel released their MLC-based X-25M last month, jaws dropped because no one knew that MLC was capable of such extreme speeds, and it helped breath new life into the memory type. SLC memory is better in almost every way over MLC. It's faster, more durable and has a lower power consumption. The downside is that SLC is so expensive, the overall density of any equipped SSD will be lacking.

So what does it bring to the X-25E Extreme? Well, it shares the same Read speed as the X-25M, at 250MB/s, but blasts the Write speed up to 170MB/s, from 70MB/s. Its performance is unbeatable, but the same can't be said for the price, at $695 in quantities of 1,000 for the 32GB model. 64GB models are en route, but it's safe to say the demand at first will be low, and this is exclusively a workstation/server product. It's still undoubtedly fun to ogle over, though.


Intel achieves this breakthrough performance through innovations such as 10-channel NAND architecture with Native Command Queuing, proprietary controller and firmware efficient in advanced wear-leveling and low write amplification. The 32GB X25-E is capable of writing up to 4 petabytes (PB) of data over three-year period (3.7 TB/day), and double that for the 64GB version - delivering outstanding data reliability.


Source: Intel Press Release
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:39 PM   #2
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Call me a stick in the mud... but with all the advances in this technology... there still seems to be some bad sides to these drives when they finally do crash.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:13 AM   #3
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Oogle indeed, price really isn't any more than the X25M version. Size is definitely smaller, but either way I can't imagine filling up a 32GB drive with a single OS + programs only...

Will be cool to see the prices of these drives (Or their successors) in two years as they continue to decrease...
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
but either way I can't imagine filling up a 32GB drive with a single OS + programs only...
I don't know about that. It depends on what you need, I guess, but I find SSDs to be severely limiting at this point on the desktop. On notebooks it might be a bit different.

In preparation for forthcoming processor reviews, I'm using Intel's 80GB SSD, and even that seems small when all the benchmarks are installed. Sure, we have a fair amount, but most of them are just apps with a few source files and two games (which probably take 12GB - 14GB alone). When all said and done, the SSD has about 22GB free, and that's not much at all.

I think it would be super-easy to fill 32GB. Given that a Vista install takes about 8GB - 10GB, it wouldn't be that hard to.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:25 PM   #5
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Darn it, I hate it when you're right. I just looked...

Windows folder is 17GB
Program Files is 509MB
Program Files (x86) is 34.4GB

This isn't even a full install, I only have a handful of games installed. I guess I could get away with 64GB if I uninstalled things when I quit using them frequently... maybe. But I'd have to map the My Docs DIR to a different drive... oh well. I guess I gotta agree, 80GB is the absolute min now.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:42 AM   #6
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The current low densities are made worse when you realize that the byte translation makes it an even smaller drive. The Intel X-25M's format to 74.5GB, which isn't that much of a difference, but when dealing with such a small drive in the first place, it's hard to get excited about.

I'm super-excited about SSDs and their future, don't get me wrong, but I'm definitely pumped just to see the train gain some momentum. I want to see much larger (and much less expensive) drives, because even if current SSDs were 2x the densities they are now, it would be much easier to stomach a purchase.

It's a little frustrating when I actually have to try to install my benchmarks in such a way that I'm not going to go below 10GB free, because really, when getting to that point, you don't want to fill the drive up even more. I have a lot of applications installed like I said, along with a few large files, but it just is mind-blowing how fast it is to fill up that much. It's almost depressing.

For the typical user, SSDs are going to be fantastic, but for gamers, they'll want to be swapping data all around just to fit what they can on there. Games take a LOT of room, and trust me, after loading levels off of an SSD, it's hard to not want to keep the game there. I didn't perform stopwatch tests, but the Crysis levels loaded a lot faster with the SSD... I'd say at least 2x (which is still kind of slow given how bulky those levels are).

Another thing I'm waiting for is improve write speeds. The X-25M is mind-blowing where Read MB/s is concerned, but 70 MB/s isn't any different than a typical hard drive. Granted, not many people have to worry about having such a massive Write MB/s, but if you are heavy into media production, it's going to be appreciated. The only option right now to get faster is to RAID these suckers, which is a good option if you take things seriously. Of course, you could likely accomplish the same RAID Write speeds with typical hard drives as well.
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
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Well I know my budget is limited but I just ordered a X-25 dealie from a distributor friend of mine... I saw a review on this drive in a PS3... and nearly... well... drool nearly soaked the floor.

It won't live in my desktop, but the PS3 will get some mileage out of it.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
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You bought an expensive SSD just to throw in the PS3? Level loading means THAT much to you?
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