Specifications, Pricing and Availability
With the full 10 channel controller Intel is able to keep at minimum the same high performance found in the 80GB X25-M. Intel claims the 120GB model that we are looking at today can deliver up to 8,600 IOPS, the same as the 160GB drive, but we doubt the 120GB can deliver that level of performance across the entire range of the drive since half of the drive consists of slower, 6,600 IOPS flash. The 120GB drive still uses the same controller as the previous G2 revisions, so it is still limited to a 3Gb/s, SATA II interface.
Intel also equates the 120GB drive with the 160GB model when it comes to write speeds. Both models share the same 100MB/s write speed and all three models share the same 250MB/s read speed.
The biggest hurdle for Intel's fastest consumer drive wasn't speed or capacity, it was price. Our 120GB X25-M came directly from Newegg and was shipped in full retail trim. At the time we paid 240.00 USD for the drive and it shipped with Lost Planet 2 for free. At the time of writing (11-26-10 aka Black Friday) Newegg listed the drive at 199.00. The Lost Planet 2 special lasts until December 31st 2010.
At 240 USD the Intel X25-M was priced right in the middle of the Team SandForce 120GB pack, but at 199 it competes directly with the lowest priced 120GB SandForce drives. At the very least this puts the Intel X25-M 120GB in a good price position to compete with the very fast SandForce products on the market from several manufacturers (referred to at TweakTown as Team SandForce).
Let's take a look and see what is included with the retail X25-M SSD.