Intel has officially launched its “Postville” X25-M and X18-M SSDs that we reported on recently. Using Flash NAND MLC chips engraved at 34 nm compared to 50 nm previously, they also have reduced latency compared to the previous generation: down from 85 to 65µs for reads and 115 to 85µs for writes.
In practice according to Intel random reads of 4 KB blocks is still 35000 IOPS, while random writes of the same size go from 3300 to 6600 (80 GB) and 8600 (160 GB) IOPS. Sequential speeds are still at 250 MB/s for reads and 70 MB/s for writes.
The other important point is the price cut that is linked to the finer engraving of memory chips: announced at $595 and $954 at launch last September, the X25-M 80 GB and 160 GB are now at $225 and $440! This corresponds to a cut of between 25% and 30% on most recent prices of the X25-M 50 nms in the shops, which means these SSDs are now back within the norms as far as price per GB goes.
As the X25-M first gen were among the best along with the Indilinx SSDs, the same ought to go for these “Postville” X25-Ms, especially as they offer intermediary capacities that might be of interest. What’s more, even if they don’t need it as much as the direct competition, the X25-M 34nms should benefit from firmware that supports TRIM on the release of Windows 7. The only problem according to AnandTech
is that the 50 nm versions will not get this upgrade, though it would be technically possible. A dodgy decision if confirmed…