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New Intel 34nm X25-M SSD Firmware Brings Impressive Performance Gains

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October 26, 2009 4:51:03 PM

Good job Intel producing firmware worth upgrading
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1
October 26, 2009 5:02:04 PM

I'm not usually a stickler about this, but was this article translated or something? On the first page it seemed like there were a lot of grammatical issues, far more than the occasional type-o that is to be expected.
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October 26, 2009 5:02:30 PM

This looks very good. It's great to see that they fixed the problem that was causing SSD slowdown over time. I think I'll have to put one of these in my new build.

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-2
October 26, 2009 5:02:40 PM

A new firmware for the Intel X25-M G1 is nice and all, but the SSD still fails price per performance per space against Crucial's M225 and Corsair's P128/P256. All you get with the X25-M G1 is great I/O performance. Write speeds are still pretty low compared to going up to 200MB's W/s.

Intel X25-m = 160GB, $659.00, 250 MB/s Read, 70 MB/s Write
Crucial M225 = 256GB, $675.00, 250 MB/s Read, 200 MB/s Write
Corsair P256 = 256GB, $719.00 (free shipping), 220 MB/s Read, 200 MB/s Write

Prices are from Newegg's retail prices. You can get them cheaper other places and OEM.
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-6
October 26, 2009 6:29:53 PM

The random read/writes are through the roof. The other SSD's are faaar behind. You might not reach the high throughput as the corsairs you mentioned but then it depends on what you intend the drive to do.

I have a raid for big file transfers with conventional drives, those will handle throughput, and will have SSD for smaller file operation, OS, games, etc. The X25-M G2 seems nice for that!
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October 26, 2009 6:32:35 PM

Upgrading firmware right now. Let's see what this baby can do.
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Anonymous
October 26, 2009 6:55:51 PM

Is there a typo in the Read Throughput Graph? It looks like with TRIM read throughput drops after use? The labeling is not consistent with the graph below it so hopefully trim does not adversely affect read speeds...
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October 26, 2009 8:21:13 PM

Is it just me, or are these specs not-so-special for SSDs? A 70mm RunCore [MLC mind you, in an EeePC] will clock 250MB/s read and 180MB/s write.

Please explain how these are so awesome? Just the usual hype and price gouging by Intel, when the alternatives are simply better.
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-1
October 26, 2009 9:10:03 PM

jezza, i totally agree. I also believe that each ssd are better then others for certain environments, such as SVoyager put.

I'm not a fanboy of any of these companies, but i think intel needs to react to the competition, besides the few task where the intel ssd hase an advantage they can be easily set aside for a similar priced drive with more performance in general.

"Intel X25-m = 160GB, $659.00, 250 MB/s Read, 70 MB/s Write
Crucial M225 = 256GB, $675.00, 250 MB/s Read, 200 MB/s Write
Corsair P256 = 256GB, $719.00 (free shipping), 220 MB/s Read, 200 MB/s Write"

For the intel fans they can always buy two 160gb drives and raid them for a whopping 140MB/s write at a cost of just over $1300. The extra pcie raid controller they might need, might push that 1300 into 1500 territory.
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October 26, 2009 9:37:42 PM

ER i'm going to go out on a limb here and say "its because of IOPS". Why are people getting hung up on sequential reads and writes? Heck if you want that just go buy a Sata II drive. No spindle can touch the IOPS of any decent SLC or MLC.
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1
October 26, 2009 10:02:19 PM

I would like to buy the 80Gb version but they are still a bit to expensive, I would rather buy a ATI 5850 and 1TB western Digital for a little more.
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-1
October 26, 2009 11:10:47 PM

Thanks for the article, have been waiting to see how TRIM performes.

If you want to learn a lot more about SSD drives in perticular about TRIM, and the slow down of SSD drives:
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=1

Also just want to add that I have a Kingston SSDNow V+ 64Gb. Read/Write is awesome at 220/140, but this doesnt mean much as I use it as a system drive and rarely copy large file to or from it. However my Windows 7 flys along using it. Most load times and many other operations feel instantaneous.
I would be upset if my drive became slow due to this 'fragmentation like' issue. My drive will probably not support trim but there are other ways around the problem. Take image of system drive, Format, re-apply image. The drive is on 64Gb so this would only take about an hour or two. Hopefully I do not have to do this more than every 6 months, which is usually how long before I rebuild my OS anyway. There are apparently 'wiper' tools that work around this problem, but I am yet to try as I have not experienced this slow down issue yet.
Intel is apparently the best performing SSDs, but I am very happy with my Kingston which cost around half the price.
SSDs are tech babies, I wouldnt recommend them to basic PC users yet. Definatly not for database servers, not usefull in a large file server. Maybe a basic web server would benefit. But IMHO any tech/geek will love one as a system drive.
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October 27, 2009 12:40:57 AM

Wow. Now SSDs have firmware? Cool I guess.

Means they can easily do enhamncements and tweaks like with mobo BIOS drives.
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-5
October 27, 2009 4:27:03 AM

jimmysmittyWow. Now SSDs have firmware? Cool I guess.Means they can easily do enhamncements and tweaks like with mobo BIOS drives.

Of course they do. How do you think the device identifies itself to the BIOS, let alone knows how to work? ;) 
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Anonymous
October 27, 2009 5:25:12 AM

My question would be if trim works if you have 2 SSDs in a RAID0
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October 27, 2009 5:33:05 AM

xWOLFxMy question would be if trim works if you have 2 SSDs in a RAID0

Basically no RAID controllers allows TRIM passthrough.
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1
October 27, 2009 6:36:43 AM

Everytime I look at these drives I think, awesome! but wow, those prices are insane, especially outside the US like some of us... i`m with Fonzy on this 1!
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October 27, 2009 8:36:22 AM

jezza333Is it just me, or are these specs not-so-special for SSDs? A 70mm RunCore [MLC mind you, in an EeePC] will clock 250MB/s read and 180MB/s write.Please explain how these are so awesome? Just the usual hype and price gouging by Intel, when the alternatives are simply better.

Check out the random writes of an X25-M compared to just about any other SSD on the market. The X25-M flattens pretty much everything else out there, and sequential writes rarely matter as much as random writes for general "snappiness" and a speedy feeling hard drive.
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Anonymous
October 27, 2009 6:35:48 PM

how can we tell which x25s are capable of using the new firmware? or put another way, where is a good place to buy an x25-m supporting or using the new firmware
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October 27, 2009 6:41:51 PM

I can't get the download off the intel website. Everytime I try I just get "download is no longer available"
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October 27, 2009 7:45:40 PM

Yea the firmware link is dead. I tried navigating the menus, since the link might have changed, but nope its 'no longer available'. Can anyone make sense of this??
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Anonymous
October 27, 2009 8:46:56 PM

There are reports that the firmware update bricks drives using the Windows 7 OS.
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October 28, 2009 3:05:41 AM

Lost comment again because of login system.
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October 28, 2009 12:53:51 PM

Intel pulled the update because it causes Windows 7 to reboot randomly, but is it safe if you're not using Windows 7?
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Anonymous
October 28, 2009 2:26:12 PM

Whoa… not so fast Intel… http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/16159/1/

Intel X25-M 34nm firmware update triumphs, then fails hard

"In the most unfortunate of circumstances, many critical problems ensued right after Intel released the update and enthusiasts began the flashing process. The company quickly pulled its TRIM enabling firmware update and software package when reports abruptly came in of bricking drives under Windows 7. For those unhappy campers left in the cold after a promised 40-percent sequential write speed boost, Intel gave its short official statement to Engadget on the matter:"

“Yes, we have been contacted by users with issues with the firmware upgrade for our 34nm SSDs and we are investigating. We take all sightings and issues seriously and are working toward resolution. We have temporarily taken down the firmware link while we investigate.”
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October 29, 2009 1:08:23 AM

Intel not let early adopter upgrade their firmware? Thats typical corporation crap. Don't start caring for the individuals which jump on the 'test-bandwagon'. Very sad indeed.
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December 16, 2009 2:13:19 AM

I know that Toms Hardware has commented on the fact that Intel is not providing a firmware update for the X25-m first generation drives... but I think TH is in a position to rake Intel over the coals for this terrible decision! Toms Hardware caters to computer enthusiasts, exactly the type of customers who buy first generation hardware like the X25-m G1... so for Intel to NOT issue a TRIM firmware update for X25-m G1 drives should ahve Toms Hardware users up in arms, and certainly questioning whether Intel's support for the G2 drives will stand the test of time!

If you think Intel is wrong to abandon the G1 drives by not providing a TRIM firmware update, please consider signing this petition!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/intel-x25-m-g1-trim
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