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Kingston SSD Now M Series

The drive you see pictured here comes by way of Kingston, but it is essentially a re-branded Intel X25-M. This particular model is known as the SSDNow M Series Drive in Kingston's product line-up, and features the same 80GB capacity as Intel's popular desktop SSD offering.


Kingston SSD Now M Series 80GB SSD (Intel)

With the drive cracked open, you can see the Intel PC29AS21AA0 drive controller and flash memory chips, along with a single 128Mb Samsung DRAM chip that's used as temporary scratch-pad storage for the Intel flash memory controller ASIC. The Intel PC29AS21AA0 provides access to 10X NAND Flash channels and offers features like Native Command Queuing and up to 32 concurrent read/write operations. In addition, Intel's controller also offers a wear-leveling algorithm so that the erase/re-write cycle endurance of the drive is evenly spread across all memory locations and it is adaptive to specific workloads patterns, which is to say the drive's performance will adapt to the user's specific workload.

We should note, that this drive was flashed to the recently released 8802 firmware which eliminates a potential performance issue under certain test conditions.

Kingston SSD Now M Series
Specifications and Features


80GB and 160GB

NAND Flash Components

Intel Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND Flash Memory
10 Channel Parallel Architecture with 50nm MLC ONFI 1.0 NAND


Up to 250MB/s Read Speeds
Up to 70MB/s Write Speeds

Read Latency

85 microseconds


SATA 1.5 Gb/s and 3.0 Gb/s

Form factor

1.8" Industry Standard Hard Drive Form Factor
2.5" Industry Standard Hard Drive Form Factor


SATA Revision 2.6 Compliant. Compatible with SATA 3.0 Gb/s with Native Command Queuing and SATA 1.5 Gb/s interface rates

Life expectancy

1.2 million hours Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF)

Power consumption

Active: 150mW Typical (PC workload)
Idle (DIPM): 0.06W Typical

Operating shock

1,000G / 0.5ms

Operating temperature

0°C to +70°C

ROHS Compliance

Meets the requirements of EU RoHS Compliance Directives

Product health monitoring

Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) commands plus additional SSD monitoring

According to its specifications, the drive is capable of read speeds of up to 250MB/s with up to 70MB/s write speeds. What the specs don't show, however, is that Intel has done significant work in regard to random write speeds, which is a strong point for this drive.

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