's X25-M series of solid state drives were released back in 2008, and they were immediately one of the top picks for enthusiasts to have in their systems. We never had the opportunity to review one when they were brand new, and typically if you don't cover something in the first few months there is no point bothering after that because the interest will have surely faded. I'd argue that such a stance should not apply to the X25-M series of solid state drives, and through this review of an 80GB unit I'll attempt to prove it.
This review is going to take a look at Intel model number SSDSA2MH080G2K5, which is an 80GB X25-M 2.5" MLC solid state drive bundled with an installation kit intended to make its use in a desktop PC quick and easy. The promotional image above shows a sample of the drive in question, and before we take a look at the actual drive on hand, let's take a look at some of its published features and specifications.
Features and Specifications:
» Brand: Intel
» Series: X25-M
» Model: SSDSA2MH080G2K5
» Device Type: Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
» Architecture: MLC
» Height: 9.5mm
» Expansion / Connectivity
» Form Factor: 2.5"
» Capacity: 80GB
» Interface Type: SATA II
» 3.5" desktop drive bay adapter to 2.5" SSD adapter bracket
» SATA data cable
» Power cable, screws
» Installation guide
» Warranty documentation
» Max Shock Resistance: 1500G / 0.5 msec
» Max Vibration Resistance - Operating: 2.17G (5-700 Hz)
» Max Vibration Resistance - Non-operating: 3.13G (5-800 Hz)
» Power Consumption (Active): 150 mW Typical
» Power Consumption (Idle): 75 mW Typical
» Sequential Access - Read: up to 250MB/s
» Sequential Access - Write: up to 70MB/s
» MTBF: 1,200,000 hours
» Manufacturer Warranty
» Parts: 3 years limited
» Labor: 3 years limited
Despite having the same specifications for over two years, this drive still has what it takes to be appealing. 250MB/s is very good for a read speed value, and while 70MB/s may be on the low side for a write speed, it is still better than many other drives. Another aspect that has helped this drive maintain its desirability is that while it once cost over $500 (US), it can now be had for well less than $200!
What we don't see in the lists above is information on the controller and the NAND flash memory chips used inside this drive. While many of the big SSD brands have controllers and flash chips from third parties, this thing is Intel's inside and out thanks to the use of an Intel branded controller and Intel branded MLC NAND flash memory chips.