Detailed look at X25-M 80GB
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Intel has been dominating the performance CPU market since the release of its Core 2 Duo chips several years ago, but there’s another sector of the market the firm has also been quietly attempting to conquer; Solid State Storage. Intel’s current consumer-focused drive is known as the X25-M G2; with the M standing for “mainstream”. Today we will be looking at the 80GB variant.
Exterior and Interior
As this is the OEM rather than the retail-boxed variant it is shipped in a simple cardboard box with a foam padded interior to keep your drive safe during transit. As is the norm for 2.5” form factor devices you don’t get much in the way of fancy packaging or marketing materials with this drive, though if you opt for the retail model a 3.5” adaptor plate is also included.
The SSD itself is also quite unremarkable with simple aluminium casing and a plastic spacer sat atop the drive to allow compatibility with both 7mm and 9mm 2.5” bays. While a little dull-looking compared to Corsair and OCZ offerings the casing is durable and feels like it could take quite a pounding.
The side-mounted sticker provides some limited information on the X25-M including the product number and that it’s not suitable for normal rubbish disposal, but opening up the device gives us far more. This requires the removal of the warranty stickers, so anyone thinking of doing this should take this into account before removing the casing.Intel has printed the device’s manufacturing date on the inside of the case panel; nice to know we’re not working with old stock here.
When we finally get a peak at the circuitry of the X25-M we can see that the controller in use here is Intel’s own catchy-named PC29AS21BA0. This controller is an update from Intel’s previous generation PC29AS21AA0 which was utilised in the first generation of the X25-M.
The onboard DRAM chip has also been changed, with the new one sporting the fancy Micron 48LC16M16A2 which weighs in at 32MB in capacity.
When it comes to the flash memory chips themselves Intel has also stayed in-house, utilising its 29F64G08CAMD1 chips with a total of ten installed. They are of the MLC variety of NAND flash.