Packaging, Internals, and Specifications
Packaging

Intel X25-M 'G2' 34nm 160GB SSD Review - Storage  1

Intel has always taken an OEM approach to it’s packaging.  They always seem to come in these plain cardboard boxes.  I prefer this approach.  Does anyone really need a nice pretty box?  The smaller size and lack of glamor ultimately leads to lower costs, leading to greater savings for the end user.  Since the box will likely go into the trash and the SSD will likely go into your machine, Intel is now including a spiffy “My SSD Rocks!” sticker.  Unlike how other sticker mods might work, this one actually means your PC is going faster than normal.

Internals

Intel X25-M 'G2' 34nm 160GB SSD Review - Storage  2

Controller: Intel PC29AS21BA0 F0N2881.1 0907.
Flash: Intel 29F16B08JAMDI 092217 (16GB Flash).
Ram: Micron 48LC16M16A2 (32MB SDRAM).

Intel X25-M 'G2' 34nm 160GB SSD Review - Storage  3

This side intentionally left blank.

Improvements to the write combination algorithm and the maintenance of a larger LBA remap table required the move to a larger 32GB SDRAM chip (up from 16GB on the 80GB G1).  The flash is of sufficient density to keep the underside of the PCB free and clear, enabling an easy move to a future 320GB model.  16GB on a single flash chip is a huge improvement – Samsung currently has to stack a pair of 8GB chips on each other to match that figure.

Specifications

Going by the available data sheets, the G2 is very similar to the G1, but there are some improvements, on paper at least:

Spec
G1
G2
Sequential Read
250 MB/sec
250 MB/sec
Sequential Write
70 MB/sec
70 MB/sec
Read Latency
85 usec
65 usec
Write Latency
115 usec
85 usec
Read IOPS
35K
35K
Write IOPS
3.3K
6.6 / 8.6 K
Launch price
$595 / $945
$225 / $440

The latency improvements are nice, but X25’s were already very speedy in that area.  The real significance here is the pricing.  *Starting* prices for these drives will be less than half that of the previous generation.  As long as the distributors can stick close to these figures, the G2 X25-M will be cheaper than nearly every other performance SSD currently on the market.

« PreviousNext »