Intel X25-M, 80GB: SSDSASH080G1GN
This is a familiar product for us as we had it in our hands when making our acquaintance with Intel’s SSDs. We must note that we test this SSD with older firmware (version 8160) although there is new firmware (version 8820) available for it. We have a reason for that. We will be able to evaluate the new firmware by the next product whereas the test results of two SSDs with the same controller and very similar chips but with different firmware will help us in our evaluation.
Intel X25-M, 160GB: SSDSA2MH160G1GC
Next goes the 160GB SSD from Intel based on MLC chips. It comes out with the same specs as Intel had promised: 250MBps for sequential reading and 70MBps for sequential writing. The case of the device has become slimmer but there is a protruding plastic frame at the edges which increases the thickness of the case to the standard thickness of 2.5-inch drives, i.e. 9.5 millimeters.
Recently Intel transitioned its MLC-based SSDs from 50nm to 34nm tech process. But in a few days the new SSDs were withdrawn from the market due to a bug in their firmware: data might be lost on the drive in some cases if the user set an access password. This is an example of a childhood disease, just to remind us that the life of SSD technology has begun but recently. It is good that this bug was noticed so quickly although it is unclear how it could have passed quality assurance control.
Intel X25-E, 64GB: SSDSASH064G1GC
The last product in this review is the Intel X25-E. This SSD is smaller than the others at only 64 gigabytes but it is based on SLC memory. SLC chips have lower capacity and this model does not have large-capacity counterparts. We have already mentioned the highs of this memory type above: high speed and lower access time at writing and a much longer service life. MLC chips are specified to have 100,000 write cycles whereas SLC chips can last through as many as 1 million write cycles.
This SSD is declared to have a read speed of 250MBps and a write speed of 170MBps. The MLC-based Corsair P128 has a similar specified write speed, so we are going to see if the two SSDs based on different types of flash memory chips can equal each other at writing.