The Intel X25-M G2 review

by postbreak

The Intel X25-M G2 pretty much wipes the floor with just about every other SSD in the market today. There are some exceptions such as the OCZ Vertex series but ask anyone who knows a thing or two about SSDs and they will let you know, Intel is the way to go. I decided after 2 failed purchases of lesser SSDs to throw caution to the wind and pay through the nose for the X25. This is my review of the drive and what it has done to my 3 year old Macbook.

Fuck the numbers. I mean seriously, if your SSD says it can do XMB/s great, but if the drive has no on board cache or has a faulty controller you might feel some serious stuttering issues. The other issue is that most mainstream OS’s don’t support the TRIM command (however Windows 7 supports it according to wikipedia). TRIM is already included into HFS+ but unfortunately is ignored currently. I read somewhere that this command will be enabled in 10.6.2 but like everything that touches my desk the link has disappeared.

That was pretty blunt but I can’t stress this enough, just because a drive advertises some crazy benchmarks doesn’t mean you’ll notice these performance gains. With the X25 I can tell you that my Macbook is faster than I have ever seen. My boot time jumped from about 55 seconds to 33 seconds flat. That is booted and usable, not still loading things. Shifting data around is fast, even folders with lots of small files. Another words, don’t even think about ordering a different drive (besides the OCZ Vertex).

This is my old 7200rpm standard disk drive

This is my old 7200rpm standard disk drive

Above is my standard 7200RPM hard drive. This drive performed well but you can see it’s numbers sucked. Under a megabyte per second on some uncached writes. Below is the Intel X25.

The Intel X25M G2

The Intel X25M G2

Now you can see how much of a change this drive is. Across the board there are heavy improvements. My Mac only has SATA I so it tops out at 150MB/s. With a new Mac I could push this drive even further. Needless to say everything is faster.

In my testing my battery life has improved a little bit but when using both my 7200rpm drive and my SSD the battery life drops about 30 minutes to just under 3 hours. Not bad for what I’m asking this machine to do.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for an SSD only look at the Intel or OCZ drives. Trust me. The three year warranty on this drive is a nice bonus and I know it supports the TRIM command. I mentioned I was ordering a PQI drive in my last post but the store I was ordering from decided to cancel my order and increase the price by $40. I ordered the Intel X25 from Mwave.com and got 2 day air shipping for $10. I would order from them in a heartbeat.

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