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Intel 34-nm SSDs Officially Launched, Cheaper

Yesterday we brought you word that new Intel SSDs were on their way, which is true, but sadly not with as much new hotness as we had hoped.

Intel today announced its more advanced Solid State Drive built using the 34-nm manufacturing process. The new technology will replace the old drives that used the 50-nm process.

Intel isn't introducing any new products just yet. In fact, the new drives using the more advanced technology will be using the exact same model names as the previous generation - Intel X25-M available in 80 GB and 160 GB versions.

Intel said that keeping with the same product number because the focus for this new generation was in manufacturing, not so much performance (even though early numbers show a small speed boost).

Compared to its previous 50-nm version, the new Intel X25-M offers improved latency and faster random write Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS). Specifically, Intel's new SSD provides a 25 percent reduction in latency, for quicker access to data, operating at 65-microsecond latency compared to approximately 4,000 microseconds for an HDD.

"Our goal was to not only be first to achieve 34nm NAND flash memory lithography, but to do so with the same or better performance than our 50nm version," said Randy Wilhelm, Intel vice president and general manager, Intel NAND Solutions Group. "We made quite an impact with our breakthrough SSDs last year, and by delivering the same or even better performance with today's new products, our customers, both consumers and manufacturers, can now enjoy them at a fraction of the cost."

The move to 34nm will help lower prices of the SSDs up to 60 percent. New channel prices for the X25-M 80 GB are $225 for quantities up to 1,000 units. The 160 GB version is $440 (down from $945 at introduction) for quantities up to 1,000 units.

Oh, and how can you tell if which X25-M you might be buying? The new ones are silver while the old ones are black.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Greg_77
    If they lowered the price by 60% then I would certainly buy a SSD.
    Reply
  • The_Blood_Raven
    The day we can get below the 1GB per $1 ratio then I'll be interested in SSDs.
    Reply
  • Ramar
    I'm tempted now, as 80GB for the root drive is nothing to laugh at. However, in a year I may be rethinking that purchase. =P With GTA4 at 16GB, it's a much more sound decision to wait til the 160GB is 300 dollars or lower. Maybe next year this same time or right before Christmas?
    Reply
  • doomsdaydave11
    I'm actually quite happy with my 500GB WD Caviar Black. Fast drive... sometimes even 100Mbps read speeds and 90Mbps write speeds. SSD's are clearly better in every way when compared to HDD's, but they're just astronomically expensive. If speed is what you want, money is better spent on 2 VelociRaptors in a RAID array... as long as you back up your data.
    Reply
  • fulle
    You know, even if price wasn't an issue (which is always is), I'd still have a hard time deciding whether I want to run my system with 2 10000RPM VelociRaptors in RAID, or to use a setup with a SSD+HDD for storage, or 2 SSD, and so on. Honestly, I'd STILL run the VelociRaptors instead, priced the same, due to the fact that the SSD's performance in my Photo Editing software would be completely unacceptable. Loading a Crysis map in 2 minutes compared to 3 isn't really compelling enough when the write speeds suck this bad. The tradeoff isn't even close to being worth it... and capacity is too low to have these drives boot programs (not to mention how annoying it would be to try to stuff 2 Raptors and a SSD into my system).

    SSDs still have a ways to go before I'd consider them useful. As is, they'd have to be LESS money than some of the higher end HDDs for me to consider... and given those are around $1.3 for Gigabyte... I agree with The_Blood_Raven. These drives would need to be priced at roughly $1 per gigabyte for me to be interested. As ridiculous as that might sound to some...
    Reply
  • doomtomb
    I might be willing to drop the bank for SSDs soon as they are $2 to 1GB but the golden day will be $1 to 1GB. Still too expensive these days for my OS + programs in a RAID-0 configuration :/
    Reply
  • hillarymakesmecry
    So as consumers we won't really have any idea if we're buying an x25 50nm or 34 nm? I hope they spell it out on the box. Otherwise you might be getting one that's slower and uses more power.

    Cheers for the price drop! I only pay $100 for my HD's though and my old 74gb raptor is still running strong. Keep bringing those prices down!
    Reply
  • Hanin33
    when comparing speed and performance... why compare these hy priced and 'advanced' SSDs to sata drives? why not to SAS drives of the 15k rpm variety? the pricing would tend to come out the same for SAS drives and the controller price is a 1-time hit that can carry over to future systems... so how do these SSDs compare to something meant to perform, SAS 15k rpm drives?
    Reply
  • rcpratt
    hillarymakesmecrySo as consumers we won't really have any idea if we're buying an x25 50nm or 34 nm? I hope they spell it out on the box. Otherwise you might be getting one that's slower and uses more power.Cheers for the price drop! I only pay $100 for my HD's though and my old 74gb raptor is still running strong. Keep bringing those prices down!The new drives have a different part number. At newegg, both Intel X25-M models are listed as either unavailable or sold out. I expect they have been draining their stock for the past few weeks and will explicitly list the new drives soon.
    Reply
  • anamaniac
    I still use a 80 gig HDD (with a second 250 gig), so using a 80 gig such as that wouldn't be bad.

    Sexy, actually a decent price, and great performance. Who doesn't want one? SSD's should hit the consumer market heavily soon if this rate keeps up.
    Reply