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Intel X25-M V2 (Postville)
by Marc Prieur
Published on August 27, 2009

Conclusion
Although there are clear improvements with the X25-M performances in synthetic tests, particularly for random writes, the difference in practice between the two versions of the Intel MLC SSD is more than slight. Some will regret that the major weak point of the series, namely sequential write speeds, has not been corrected, but you have to say this is very much secondary for an SSD given what they are used for.


Overall the X25-M V2 gives, like the V1, top drawer performance, making it a choice option for those looking for, well, a top drawer SSD. The cut in costs makes the pricing of the V2 very competitive in terms of price per GB and it has the advantage of giving very stable performances over time without having to resort to TRIM as is the case with Indilinx SSDs. In any case the 34 nm X25-M should, like SSDs based on an Indilinx Barefoot, benefit from a new firmware that supports TRIM native to Windows 7 as of the official release of Microsoft’s new OS. To recap, this command integrated into the OS allows the SSD to know which Flash pages are no longer used so as to maintain optimal performance levels. It will be a pity if, as is rumoured, the old 50 nm X25-Ms do not benefit from this update, which would seem, nevertheless, to be technically possible. Such a choice would certainly not meet with our approval if confirmed!

A last word on the reviewed firmware. It had a bug that could be annoying: if you used a password in the bios and you modified it or disactivated it later, the X25-M V2 became unusable and the data innaccessible. Hopefully Intel has now fixed the firmware and X25-Ms V2 shipped now won't come with this issue.

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