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Intel’s X25-E Versus The Fusion-io ioDrive

Intel’s X25-E Versus The Fusion-io ioDrive
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Flash Storage Taking Off

Progress in the storage segment has probably been more noticeable than in other market segments recently, except perhaps graphics. Faster processors are mainly noticeable if you have the applications able to take advantage of them, and advances on the platform side have been slight as well. But accelerated hard drives and storage products make a noticeable difference. Client PCs, such as desktops and notebooks, boot their operating systems and applications faster thanks to increased throughput, and servers can process more I/O operations per second with faster storage as well.

Fusion-io ioDrive Versus Intel X25-E SSD

The recent developments in enterprise-class storage products are mind-boggling. We decided to look at the two most innovative products: Intel’s X25-E flash SSD for servers, and the ioDrive by Fusion-io. Both are based on flash memory and promise stellar performance compared to any type of mechanical hard drive, or even RAID arrays composed of them. Let’s find out which is the best server drive.

Check prices for Intel's X25-E 32 GB SSD

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Stillglade , March 10, 2009 11:12 AM
    Here is a link to the conclusion for others annoyed by the lack of drop down navigation.
  • 17 Hide
    Aragorn , March 10, 2009 1:02 PM
    Why can't toms handle pictures well anymore. All we get is small thumbnails of each picture and we have to click over to a slide show and then click again to see the whole image. Why can't the chart be shown full size in the article. Why do I need to open a new tab and a new window to see the full size version without losing my place in the article?
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Stillglade , March 10, 2009 11:12 AM
    Here is a link to the conclusion for others annoyed by the lack of drop down navigation.
  • 9 Hide
    thxspeed , March 10, 2009 12:59 PM
    What about comparing solutions for the same price? For the price of the Fusion IO you can buy multiple x25e drives, raid them, even "short stroke" them like the fusionIO for better IO performance...
    Raiding shouldn't also be a problem for the "server grade" controllers. One good review with two raid0-ed x25es is on the techreport web site...
  • 17 Hide
    Aragorn , March 10, 2009 1:02 PM
    Why can't toms handle pictures well anymore. All we get is small thumbnails of each picture and we have to click over to a slide show and then click again to see the whole image. Why can't the chart be shown full size in the article. Why do I need to open a new tab and a new window to see the full size version without losing my place in the article?
  • 4 Hide
    Horhe , March 10, 2009 1:15 PM
    ^+1.
  • 7 Hide
    bdollar , March 10, 2009 1:42 PM
    +1 to same price comparison. I think it was cool to do this comparison but if you are going to talk all over the article about RAIDing the Intel then why not do it so we can see how close it comes at the same price point.
  • 6 Hide
    Aragorn , March 10, 2009 1:43 PM
    I also just noticed that this review/comparison was set up as a slide show rather than an article, what is going wrong over at Toms are the US guys stuck with an interface written in Hindi because it was outsourced to India or something?
  • 4 Hide
    judeh101 , March 10, 2009 1:52 PM
    I wondered if you could overclock the PCIE frequency and gain more performance that way, of course, without loosing stability :) 
  • 3 Hide
    johnbilicki , March 10, 2009 1:59 PM
    Personally the sweet spot will be 120 or 128GB SLC that can read at or nearly 200 megabytes per second. For XP and only a handful of games my C:\ doesn't really require a huge capacity. I set my My Documents folder to a separate RAID 1 on my D:\ any way (320GB for everything except video) as this reduces any qualms of formatting C:\ if I have no other choice. I do hope Newegg adds an advanced category to differentiate SLC drives from MLC. It's an utter nightmare trying to determine which LCD's are actually 8bit when the vast bulk of 6bit screens are falsely advertised as displaying 16.7 million colors.

    The IO drive might be useful for storing databases of a modest size.
  • 5 Hide
    marraco , March 10, 2009 3:44 PM
    The Fusion IO can saturate the future proposed SATA III. It show how poor is the SATA III standard.
  • 6 Hide
    marraco , March 10, 2009 5:03 PM
    thxspeedWhat about comparing solutions for the same price? For the price of the Fusion IO you can buy multiple x25e drives, raid them, even "short stroke" them like the fusionIO for better IO performance... Raiding shouldn't also be a problem for the "server grade" controllers. One good review with two raid0-ed x25es is on the techreport web site...

    I totally agree with "comparing solutions for the same price".

    now short stroking is only a useful technique for hard disks, since it only improves the [hard disk head] read latency, and uses the faster tracks on the disk.
  • 2 Hide
    marraco , March 10, 2009 5:05 PM
    judeh101I wondered if you could overclock the PCIE frequency and gain more performance that way, of course, without loosing stability

    Good Idea.
    I second it.
  • 2 Hide
    lamorpa , March 10, 2009 5:08 PM
    StillgladeHere is a link to the conclusion for others annoyed by the lack of drop down navigation.

    Thanks for the link? I couldn't navigate directly to the conclusion unless I just clicked on the 11th square at the top of the page.
  • 5 Hide
    marraco , March 10, 2009 5:26 PM
    I had read horror stories about intel drive speed falling after the drive is fully writted (and rewritten). That should be taken in account in benchmarks.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , March 10, 2009 5:29 PM
    I don't think you can't short stroke an Intel's SSD since they don't have a platter & head.

    Why didn't they do the same bar graph comparison's they did for the Fusion vs. Samsung & Mtron reveiw?

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fusioinio-iodrive-flash,2140-7.html

    Plus, maybe my math is off, but on the database performance the iodrive was doing over 40,000 at one point while the X25 was only doing 5,000. How is this double and not 8x faster?
  • -1 Hide
    lutel , March 10, 2009 6:07 PM
    i want one so badly
  • -2 Hide
    lutel , March 10, 2009 6:08 PM
    I want one so badly
  • 7 Hide
    TheFace , March 10, 2009 6:40 PM
    This seems to be Toms getting by on the good graces of it's name. There are obvious comparisons to be done here. You show the vast improvements that the fusionIO drive provides but you do not show what an equal price purchase comparison would yield.
    The format of this article is terrible. Why isn't it written as an article and not a slide show, also the graphs should be full sized so people can look at the data and not have to lose their place.
    It's called professionalism! Something that this site used to carry and hold with pride, and now it is truly hit or miss. I say this as a 10 year reader, from back when this site was yellow. It is extremely disappointing to see how poorly articles are written and still get posted.
  • 3 Hide
    shung , March 10, 2009 7:45 PM
    Any chance we could get a bar graph from ioMeter 2003.05.10 (Database Benchmark I/O - Average Throughput [MB/s] for Q1-Q64)?

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fusioinio-iodrive-flash,2140-7.html

  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 10, 2009 8:01 PM
    Quote:
    you cannot fit it into a small form factor system due to its add-on card design.

    Sure you can. All one needs to do is get a PCIe x1 riser card or PCIe x1 Flexible Extender. (Yes, it's a bit of a pain to make this work, but it IS possible for most PC enthusiasts to do) Any ways, why you would need to put it in a SFF PC is beyond me. The ioDrive really is a server ad-on more than a desktop ad on.
  • 6 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 10, 2009 8:03 PM
    @Editors: Please DO NOT do another article like this in a picture story method.Picture story is fine for the run down of the news for the week. I'll take an article that is well written with out any pictures any day over a picture story. And in this case, a picture in NOT worth a 1000 words.
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