Intel Launches $125 40GB X25-V Value SATA Solid State Drive

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News Posted: Mon, Mar 15 2010 1:16 PM
Last week, OCZ hit below the $100 belt with a new affordable solid state drive for the performance-minded market, and now Intel is doing something similar. In a race to the bottom (dollar wise) that has been evading us for far too long, it looks as if SSDs may finally be on their way to consumer-levels in terms of pricing. Even as SSD prices have fell, they haven't fallen quick enough to keep pace with hard drives, and many still see them as far too expensive.



Today, Intel is introducing the 40GB X25-V Value SATA Solid State Drive, and the $125 price point that follows it will probably gets all sorts of attention. It's designed and marketed as a notebook replacement drive or a boot drive for your desktop, and it is said to be up to 4x faster than a 7200RPM hard drive. The Intel X25-V features 40GB of 34nm NAND flash memory, and is designed and manufactured by Intel using its own NAND flash memory from IM Flash Technologies (IMFT). There'a also a proprietary controller and updatable firmware, and it supports the Microsoft Windows 7 Trim function via the Intel SSD Optimizer. It's shipping out the sales channels now, and we are guessing that this debut will start a new downward trend in the SSD pricing game. We'll be watching the competition closely to see who follows suit.


Intel Brings Affordable Solid-State Computing to Netbooks and Desktop PCs

40GB SSD Offers Consumers Affordable Price Point for Solid-State Performance

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
  • Intel introduces X25-V Value SATA Solid-State Drive (SSD) at $125 entry price point.
  • Perfect for value netbooks or as boot drive for dual-drive SSD/HDD desktops, X25-V delivers SSD performance at an affordable price.
  • Desktop PCs can now combine an SSD with HDD to boost overall system performance and speed system boot up and opening of applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 15, 2010 – Intel Corporation announced today a new addition to its award-winning lineup of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs): the Intel® X25-V Value SATA SSD. Priced at $125, the 40 gigabyte (GB) drive is aimed at value segment netbooks and dual-drive/boot drive desktop set-ups to offer users the performance and reliability advantages of solid-state computing at an affordable, entry-level price.

SSDs can replace or coexist with traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). With no movable parts or spinning platters, SSDs are more reliable and higher performing than HDDs. This makes users more productive as they experience faster overall system responsiveness. With the affordable price point, consumers can now enjoy the benefits of an SSD by adding an SSD option to their current desktop PC in a dual-drive or "boot drive" set up. In a dual-drive configuration, the Intel X25-V SSD is added to a desktop with an existing HDD. The SSD is loaded with the operating system and favorite applications to take advantage of the speedy performance which is nearly 4x faster than a 7200RPM HDD.** Users keep their existing HDD as a means of higher capacity data storage. This capability is commonly referred to as a "boot" drive since the SSD accelerates boot or start up time.

For example, with 40GB of boot drive capacity, a user could load the SSD with the Microsoft* Windows* 7 operating system, Microsoft Office applications and their favorite gaming application, such as Dragon Age: Origins*, and experience up to 43 percent faster overall system performance or 86 percent improvement in their gaming experience.** The SSD also speeds operations such as system start up, the opening of applications and files or resuming from standby. "The Intel solid-state drive is our top-selling SSD," said Stephen Yang, product manager for solid-state drives at e-tailer Newegg.com. "This new value entry from Intel means more customers will have the chance to experience the benefits of SSDs, not just in notebooks or high-end PCs, but in mainstream desktops as a boot drive. This is the right price point to help convert more users to SSD computing."

The Intel X25-V features 40GB of 34nm NAND flash memory. This non-volatile memory retains data, even when the power is turned off, and is used in applications such as smartphones, personal music players, memory cards or SSDs for fast and reliable storage of data. SSD benefits over a traditional HDD include higher performance, battery saving and ruggedness. "Adding the Intel X25-V to our existing family of high-performance SSDs gives our resellers a full range of high-performing, quality SSDs for notebook upgrades, dual-drive desktop set ups or embedded applications," said Pete Hazen, director of marketing for the Intel NAND Solutions Group. "SSD adoption continues to be one of the more exciting trends in personal computing, and this entry-level product enables users to enjoy the productivity and performance benefits of Intel SSDs at a new price point."

The 40GB Intel X25-V complements Intel's higher performance Intel® X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD product line that offers 80GB and 160GB capacities. All Intel SSDs are designed and manufactured by Intel using its own NAND flash memory from IM Flash Technologies (IMFT) and include a proprietary controller and updatable firmware. The X25-V is priced at $125 for 1,000-unit quantities and is currently stocked and available in worldwide distribution.

In addition, the X25-V supports the Microsoft Windows 7 Trim function via the Intel® SSD Optimizer. Also included is the Intel® SSD Toolbox, a set of utility tools developed by Intel to help better manage and retain the out-of-box performance of Intel SSDs. Windows* XP and Vista* users can also use these enhancements which can be downloaded at: www.intel.com/go/ssdtoolbox.

To review the specifications of the Intel X25-V please visit www.intel.com/go/ssd.


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Wonderful! Let the prices fall like dominoes! Though 40 GB is kinda small for a notebook drive, I'm waiting for a 80GB option under $150. Looks like we're not too far away from one!

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Weird. The 40GB X25-V has been out for 2 months at least. You can see reviews on newegg.com going back to early January. I bought one a month ago for about $120.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 2:53 PM

Yay it's price war time. I agree gibbersome 40GB is to small, the OCZ is 60 GB, although from what jwilliams4200 say's it has been available. That is kind of strange, but maybe it is just that now Intel is publicizing it because they are taking a hit in the consumer market. Which means the same thing, price war time, so I think it is a positive.

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Schmich replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 3:03 PM

Yeah it seems these aren't exactly new? Also 170MBs - 35MB/s isn't exactly mind-blowing. For twice the price you get twice the capacity at higher speeds (the 25M ainstream)

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I don't know how well this thing will perform compared to other Intel SSDs though. Seems like they went with half the channels (5 instead of 10). I already have a pair of high performance drives, but if they start dropping in price that will be good for my next build out when SATA 6G becomes the standard.

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Inspector replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 3:35 PM

Agree with the price drops, it would be soon that most people can afford one with a good amount of space!

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M-ManLA replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 4:10 PM

Keep dropping them Prices! I have a OCZ for my music drive and I love it!

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Cheezit replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 10:03 PM

Would this be faster then my 300gb veliocoraptor drive or wouldI i be better off waiting?

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ClemSnide replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 11:51 PM

@Cheezit-- It's a safe bet that any SSD is going to be faster than a mechanical HD, especially for random reads and writes. The thing is, how much faster? And how much do you want that spped in order to pay the price?

Take this with a grain of salt because I can't remember the site, but a test was done with just the HD you mentioned against an array of SSDs. While the Velociraptor performed extemely well, it was beaten by mid-range SSDs... and this is far beyond those. (it isn't up to Intel's Enterprise-class SSDs, but those are still in the troposphere of prices.)

I went for a SSD for my boot/some apps drive and have been satisfied with, though not blown away by, its performance. However, I was coming from a 5400 RPM PATA drive, so pretty much anything would have been an improvement. If the WD drive suits you, my advice is don't buy a new one. But if you're bugged by slow loading speeds, by all means leapfrog the mechanical HDs entirely and go for a SSD, at least for the OS.


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There is one area where the velociraptor will be much faster than the SSD -- large sequential writes. The VR will have no trouble writing out large files at over 100 MB/s. The X25-V will not break 40 MB/s.

But if, like most people, you spend most of your time waiting for your drive to read, particularly reading lots of smaller files, then yes, the X25-V will be faster than the VR.

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realneil replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 9:06 AM

All I can say is that it's about time. Now that it has begun, let it roll and never stop.

I wonder what their board meetings are like. Do they discuss how long they can keep on pricing a product 'nosebleed high' before they relent and go for volume sales to the masses? Volume sales usually beat the heck out of high priced niche market profits, so why the wait?

I've been dying to put a pair of these in a RAID configuration in both of my gaming computers. A pair of them in RAID because of their relatively small size,...but I would rather wait until they sell larger SSD's for a decent price, and run one of them in each box.

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You're right, should have checked that myself. These have been available around the $120 for a while now, and they do have Trim support.

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@realneil:

Do you suppose airplane manufacturers sit around discussing how much longer they can keep airplanes from the masses by pricing them so high?

Well, this is similar. It costs a lot of money to develop and run the fabs that make NAND flash memory. Of course they try to do it as inexpensively as possible, but it does have high costs. If it could be done for one third the cost, you can bet there would be a competitor doing it and selling a ton of SSDs. The problem is, no one can do it for one third the cost now. These things take time. Years.

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