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X-25M 160 now or wait for price drop on Sata 6g's

Last response: in Storage
April 21, 2010 3:11:54 AM

So...this is just another case of how long do ya wanna wait. Currently has the 160 for around $480 taxes/shipping incl. Now I'm obviously wondering if it's worth waiting for the 6g sata's to become more mainstream and pick one of those up or grab this intel now and start using it. Mostly though it's the better write speeds on the 6g's I'm wondering about if that's worth the wait.

Just looking for opinions, I know in the end it's up to me.

a c 353 G Storage
April 21, 2010 4:22:58 AM

Are you asking about waiting to by a SSD that requires Sata6. Reason I'm asking is that the current crop do not saturate SATA3 unless you do a raid0 configuration. I'm sure that NEWER versions of SSDs will exceed SATA3 Bandwidth - But on the same token, they will be expensive. But that might help drive down the cost of the current products.
a c 180 G Storage
April 21, 2010 4:28:19 AM

When looking at a SSD, be prepared for buyer's remorse. The products are getting better and cheaper by the day. I expect that by the end of the year, we will see many faster and cheaper products. But, if you wait for the next best thing, you will wait forever.

The intel X25-M 160gb(gen2) is a very good mature product. The performance limit is not the 3gb sata interface but the underlying nand chips. Today, you could effectively raid-0 two of these devices and not saturate the interface.

The reason to wait for the upcoming products is the lower cost per gigabyte.
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April 21, 2010 8:25:21 AM

Thank you very much for the great reply's. I do agree that it's that very situation that one could be waiting forever considering the "buyer's remorse" factor and letting that determine one's purchase.

I do wonder though about the write performance's though and I guess this means for larger files not just 4k's. As I will be using a few hdd's for the purpose of data storage like most people running this setup, I can say I won't be doing much copying of large files but is it still worth it for that reason alone to get the much faster 6g drives that offer 250+ write speeds just in case I do transfer large files for whatever reason?

Or with the 100 rated speed of the intel am I still looking at a much faster performance in large file copying than I would of my 640 caviar black?
a c 353 G Storage
April 21, 2010 2:43:06 PM

For "Large" files such as dot VOB (typically 1 gig) and Blu-ray mt files (=> 13 Gigs) it would be more cost effective to to do a Raid0 with your WD 640 drive. That is what I did.

Large files are sequencial files and while SSDs are SOOOO much faster for Boot and program loads the difference in seq files is not worth it for a cost/performace standpoint. Maybe in a few years.

The WD 640 blacks are an excellent drive, I have a pair in raid0. You can also improve that by using what is called short stroking, although this increases cost/MByte. At Work, so do not have the Numbers, but will look for a previous post on this.


I setup two raid0 volumes, first one 400 gigs 64K stripe, default cluster size for Win 7.
The 2nd volume the remainer of drive, 128K stripe, 1/2 of the drive with default cluster size and the 2nd 1/2 with 32 K cluster size ( for large files like 1 gig video files and Pictures. Also I ran HD Tune from vista on a older seagate 320 gig (2 x in raid0)

Burst seams low as it shows up as lower than max ?????

In HD Tune it shows up as two seperate drives vs Striping the whole volume

HD tune 2.55 Stats
..............400 Gig.....800 gig
Min ....... 185.0 ...... 95.9
Max ...... 227.2 ...... 206.5
Avg ....... 209.7....... 168.6
Access ..... 9.5 ........ 11.4
Burst...... 137.5 ...... 137.4
CPU ........ 10.2 ........ 6.3

Rebooted to win7rc. run on Win7system (400 gig) volume (2 x WD 640 Black)
HD Tune: Intel Raid 0 Volume Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 166.8 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 230.2 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 217.3 MB/sec
Access Time : 9.7 ms
Burst Rate : 1611.6 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 8.4%

Lower Min, Higher Burst. Access time still 9.x

a c 180 G Storage
April 21, 2010 3:06:35 PM

OS operations and browsing do lots of small reads and writes, a task at which almost any SSD excels. You will enjoy that part.

Your caviar black is excellent for large file operations. If you want the ultimate in hard drive performance with larger files, look at the new WD 10K 600gb velociraptor. The cost/capacity number is not that good, but if it is in your budget you can't do better.
a c 415 G Storage
April 22, 2010 1:20:49 AM

X-Nemesis said:
I do wonder though about the write performance's though and I guess this means for larger files not just 4k's.

The justification for paying such a big $/GByte price premium for an SSD is for it's much faster performance. Remember that there are TWO dimensions to disk performance:

Access time - how long it takes to FIND a file.

Transfer rate - how quickly you can READ or WRITE a file once it's been found.

For most folks, it's the access times that are most important. They're what counts when it comes to booting your system and starting up applications. SSDs have way better access times than a hard drive - about 100 X faster. But their transfer rates are only about 2-3X faster.

Transfer rates are relatively unimportant for a boot drive, and write rates in particular are really not something you should probably spend time worrying about.

As the other posters have said, 6Gbit/sec SATA will provide NOT benefit unless the drive itself can handle a data rate faster than about 300GBytes/sec.