When Intel released their first generation 50nm SSD product, the market buzzed with appreciation for the product and its overall performance profile. We in fact took you through the ins and outs of Intel's new MLC-based Solid State Drive product line-up for the consumer market and agreed it was one of the fastest on the market at the time. However, over time, other manufacturers have closed the gap significantly. Perhaps it was the fact that Intel had "skin" in the SSD game or maybe it was just the all-around buzz of the burgeoning SSD market in general but there's no question, the technology itself has a considerable resource commitment from a number of very big name manufacturers.
Based on 50nm manufacturing technology, Intel's highly acclaimed line of SSDs have historically commanded a price premium in the market as well, which regardless didn't keep them from selling like hotcakes. However, with the kind of resources that very few manufacturers like Intel can bring to bear, it was abundantly clear that Intel's SSD roadmap would continue to evolve. Today we've got a look at Intel's second generation of SSD products, the recently announced 34nm version of the Intel X25-M SSD. At 160GB and a significantly lower price point, Intel is also claiming performance has been taken up a notch or two as well. Sounds like a proverbial win-win doesn't it? Let's see for ourselves...
Intel 34nm X25-M Gen 2 SSD Performance Review
Update: Intel has found a sighting that impacts users who set a BIOS drive password on the newly released 34nm NAND Flash based Solid State Drives. If a user has set a BIOS drive password on the 34nm SSD, then upon disabling or changing the BIOS drive password followed by powering off/on the computer, the SSD becomes inoperable. However, if the user has not set a BIOS drive password then there is no issue. This erratum does not apply to a computer, network or operating system password.
The root cause has been identified and new fix is under validation. We are expecting to post an end user firmware update to fix this erratum in the next two weeks.
If you have enabled your BIOS drive password, do not disable or change your BIOS drive password. If you have not enabled your BIOS drive password, do not enable a BIOS drive password and visit http://www.intel.com/support/9089.html to update firmware when available.
It made sense to pause shipments and implement the changes ourselves and via customers versus asking consumers to do so. Keep in mind the fix has been identified and validation is undergoing completion over the next week.