Specifications, Availability and Pricing
On paper there really isn't that much that tells us the drive is outstanding other than the Sequential Read Transfer Rate of 250 MB/s. Write speed on the Intel X25-M is stated to be around 70 MB/s which is decent, but some of the other drives we have tested make the same claim. It will be interesting to see what the benchmarks tell us.
The 1000g shock rating is much better than platter based drives, but I have reviewed a large number of SSDs that claim 1500g. Testing this claim is another matter since I have yet to find a baseball bat that tells how much force was applied. 1000 or 1500g, both are pretty large numbers and as stated previously are much better than platter drives. Last year alone I put to rest four standard hard drives due to dropping them from around 3 feet in the air on accident. I managed to drop an SSD a few weeks ago from 5 feet and it did not have a problem.
Features worthy of mention that are not located on the specifications sheet include true SATA connectivity. Many of the lower cost SSDs on the market use a SATA-to-PATA bridge chip that slows performance, but the X25-M uses SATA 2.6 technology that allows data to be read and written much faster. Intel's controller uses 10 channels from the controller to the memory and this accounts for the drives class leading speed. Intel has also designed advanced wear leveling techniques as well as a lower transaction amplification. When data is written to the drive, say 1GB, more than 1GB is written to the drive. That amount over 1GB is critical; less extra data will lead to a faster drive and less wear.
Moving on, we see that the X25-M has 80GB of capacity. A larger version is in the works and should be released in the coming months. Newegg, at the time of writing shows the drive in stock and for sale at 621 USD, a far cry from the Patriot Warp V2 and G.Skill MLC drive. Let's move on and get to the benchmarks.