Intel X25-V SSD 40Gb – Raid 0 performance review

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Almost everyone reading this review is already aware of the benefits that a Solid State Drive (SSD) drive can bring to the table. Not only are boot times dramatically lowered, but overall operating system performance is massively improved. Being KitGuru’s we still believe that adding an SSD drive to your system will make it one of the best upgrades you could contemplate. SSD’s can access data so much faster than even the most exotic of mechanical drives on the market. With silent operation, minimal power requirements and no moving parts, it is no wonder that enthusiasts have been clamouring for them over the last year.

The only real downside against buying an SSD is the relative small size and high cost …. for many people they still remain an elusive pipe dream. Sure they are dropping in price all the time, but compared to a mechanical drive they are still much more expensive. All is not lost however as leading manufacturers are already aware of this and have been offering lower performance, low cost units for quite some time and today Intel put on their ‘SSD for the masses’ t-shirt with the release of the 40gb X25-V SSD. This is a first for Intel and we are particularly interested as all the drives in their range are class leading units.

With an asking price of under £100 in the UK you can now reasonably upgrade your OS boot drive to an SSD while keeping a larger, cheap mechanical drive for all your porn … erm I mean files.

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Intel X25-V SSD 40Gb - Raid 0 performance review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
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  • tim

    Me likely muchly ! nice price too, just ordered two – I hate this site sometimes, my wallet is empty :(

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  • Dauth Maul

    The write performance of intel drives is also lowish isnt it? just shows though how little it means real world at times.

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  • Tech head

    I actually have a pair of these in RAID 0 on my machine. I picked up my drives for $98 each from NewEgg.ca at the end of March. I used to have a 74GB Raptor as my main drive. The performance difference between them is VERY noticable!

    You need to do a couple things to make the write performance even better in RAID.

    - When creating the Volume, set the stipe size to 64KB. The smaller the stripe size, the more the more the data is spread across the SSD’s, meaning you get better performance. Setting it too low, is a problem, but, 64K is ok (at least for desktop workloads)
    - Install the RST Toolbox, and not just the drivers.
    - In the RST toolbox, in “Advanced” set the “Write-back Cache” to enable, it is disabled by default. This will let your Windows system use write caching on the SSD RAID array.
    - If you can, create your Windows volume a little bit smaller than the capacity available. I gave the array an extra 5GB for scratch space, as the Intel controller prefers more room for better performance. So instead of a 74GB volume, I created a 69GB one, the same as my Raptor.

    After those tweaks, my performance is excellent. My desktop loads in a couple seconds. No need to worry about TRIM. I’ve been using this set up for 6 weeks, and the performance is snappy.

    Even used Acronis True Image 2010 Home to migrate from the Raptor to the SSD RAID without issue. It took only 8 minutes to transfer the 69GB image.

    Very worth it, especially at the $98 CDN / drive pricepoint. When set up properly, the only real limitation these drives have is space. Otherwise, the performance is just fine.

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  • Dorkface

    Trim is a must, IMO.

    After two weeks of use, without trim, it degraded my MS user experience by .4 with an Intel 160Gb G2.
    Don’t know what that means other than the loss of performance was measureable at some level.

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  • Jim Oldtimer

    It would be nice with a 3-drive RAID0 followup. I no longer care about data integrity on the OS drive since I only keep the OS and programs on it, and imaging backup is really good these days. I use scheduled Windows Backup (via wbadmin.exe) every night to keep 4 days’ worth of images on my server (those images are then copied over to two more drives for redundancy).

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  • Drabit

    I’m curious as to why 15k SAS drives are no where in these reviews. Raptors are in here which were originally 10k SCSI drives. You can find 15k SAS drives used, refurbed, or sometimes even new on eBay for ridiculously cheap and they blow Raptors out of the water, especially Cheetahs.

    I know if you buy them brand new even now SAS drives are coming down in price due to SSDs, but there is a golden market on eBay for these. It’s the only reason I mention them. Raptors are a item everyone knows about and looks for by name, 15k models aren’t something people normally shop around for, but are in surplus.

    It’s not hard to build a array of them with a perc 5/i or a perc 6/i for quite cheap and for quite comparative performance. The newer generation 15k SAS drives run quite quiet as well at idle.

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  • Rob

    Anand found the built in GC that these drives have is good enough even in RAID configs, but you have to leave 10-20% free space for them to work properly.

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  • Trev Mang

    Would other SSD controllers scale in RAID0 with the same sort of behaviour?

    I contemplated buying a sandforce drive to replace my Indilinx drive, but the cost is enough to put me off for now. Using onboard soft-RAID and another indilinx drive, would two 120GB Indilinx drives be better for general workstation usage than a single 200GB Sandforce drive?

    For the price of a 200GB Sandforce drive I could almost afford to buy three old OCZ Agilities and run a 4-drive RAID0. I’d be paranoid about regular backups but I’d imagine AMAZING performance for anything needing sequential throughput.

    Also, I have a P45 chipset, not P55. Not sure intel’s storage controllers have changed much from the ICH8 days, but that’s another unknown to worry about….

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  • Frenk

    Dont agree with the author. This looks like it could be the perfect SSD for improving the performance and battery life of a netbook at a reasonable cost.

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  • Roger

    There is one thing that’s sorely missing from this review: performance figures for 2.5″ HDDs. It would have been useful to see what kind of a boost us laptop users can expect when upgrading from our current slow-poke HDDs to a cheap SSD. Macs dont count ! who cares!

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  • Joseph F

    I got two recertified 146Gb 15k.6 HDs for $65 a piece and a new 15k.6 146Gb for $90. I purchased a perc 6/i for $125. All three were under warranty for 4 more years.

    Raptors and SSDs are hardly mainstream either. Even Raptors are extremely pricey, thriving solely off the name rather then the performance. You can get 10k SAS drives on eBay for a dime a dozen that outperform Raptors.

    It’s your choice to buy HDs that aren’t under warranty or thinking recertified drives really aren’t from Seagate. What do you think they send you when one of your new HDs breaks?

    I don’t believe people ‘wouldn’t’ deal with it, it’s just that they don’t know ‘how’ to deal with it. Looking past the corporations that would be looking at these benchmarks and that WOULD buy SAS drives, these drives are more aimed towards enthusiasts and enthusiasts are willing to go a extra five feet for better or comparable performance for a cheaper price.

    I believe SAS drives off eBay are aimed at the heart of this article. These SSD articles aren’t aimed at Joe Schmoe who is going to buy the cheapest thing of Newegg that is relatively good for the price.

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  • Ray

    I don’t know if that’s really suitable here – Would you really want a 40GB drive as the only hard drive in your laptop?

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  • Tim

    No, but a 80Gb drive may be good for Windows + Office + Browser. Most of people doesn’t have games or software that needs it. They use the almost full capacity of their HDD for music, video and photos. With an external drive of 1Tb, you don’t need the extra room when you are out of house and you only have to plug-in the USB at home.

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  • Geek Master

    I tend to hold on to documents for a long, long time so I’m a bit over 40GB but I could easily shuffle off some of my older files onto a DVD or external drive for the promise of a fast but small SSD.

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  • Rufus

    Yep, I had office laptops in mind when I wrote my comment. The numerous laptops used around our company have 80GB or smaller HDDs and I am fairly certain that most users don’t come close to using even half of that capacity.

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  • Paul Direcyn

    I agree. after removing virtual machine images, CDROM images, mp3s, digital camera downloads, and a backup of my full 16GB thumb drive, I’m only using 48GB. All the above would be just fine on an external drive.

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  • Harry M

    Under £100? you got me sold on this, just ordered one for my laptop,. 40gb is enough for me.

    I hope!

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  • I love Porn movies

    That’s why people said no about 40Gb (that I’m sure its enough for people), but 80Gb it’s enought for almost every normal user. I’m sure people prefers better battery life, better performance and others than have to need a USB drive for most of the media.

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  • Mark Ramistin

    It annoys me that SSDs aren’t more prevalent just because laptop manufacturers want to use high capacity as an advertising point. Nobody I’ve ever known is using it, but they sure don’t have a problem bogging the drive down with all sorts of background junk.

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  • Dark Knight

    Consumers are driving that as much as manufacturers. People are always tempted to buy more “just in case” and when they see that they can get “more GB” for less money (with a HD vs SSD) they almost always go that way. Couple that with people who are trying to use their laptop as their only machine — including storing all the media they buy on iTunes or whatever — and the truly mobile folks who don’t want to pack an external HD, and there’s a strong incentive for the OEMs to keep stuffing larger and larger HDs into laptops and advertising the heck out of it.

    I think it’s unfortunate that real 2.5″ hybrid drives never panned out at reasonable price points (and that no one seems to have restarted that quest as flash dropped considerably in price). But even the window for that is closing, as “big enough / cheap enough” SSDs loom on the horizon.

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  • Ska Mod

    Good review but I agree that a 2.5″ HDD would have been a useful comparison, particularly when it was noted in the introduction how the speed improvement for a SSD is even more significant for a laptop than a desktop. Something to baer in mind next time KG

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  • Skinforce

    #20 It’s certainly possible to make reasonable assumptions based on the data provided but my point was simply that including a laptop hard drive would have been more useful for anyone considering upgrading a laptop hard drive, and certainly more valuable than showing the VR150M in addition the VR200M. I suggested a 7200rpm 2.5″ HDD simply to provide a rough upper bound for laptop HDD performance but agree that a 5400rpm 2.5″ HDD would be useful as a indication of typical laptop hard drive performance.

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  • Trey Kool

    Thanks, good to see the X25-V reviewed. wondered about this earlier, but the speeds look fine to me. ordered one

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  • Fred

    Well I am quite positive I am in the minotiry here, but I had an intel drive fail before and I never got it repaired as the loops I had to jump through under warranty were appalling. I would never buy ferom trhem again. I stick with OCZ now.

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  • Stefan

    Ohhhhh, most awesome Zardon, Love it ! I have to order one of these for my desktop and get another in a few months for Raid ! THANK YOU!

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  • Raymond Esteban

    I have to say, and I mean this with all sincerity. Where the fuck did this site come from? four weeks ago I never heard of it, and in three weeks I have seen more content that most sites put up in 6 months. The quality of reviews is top notch and the news is brilliant also. I dont often stop back to make comments, but everyone in our college talks about this site. keep it up!

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  • Melachonly Freebie taker

    ok, I HATE this captcha crap. fourth time ive typed this out and its been wiped on me. bleh.

    Anyway, in the off chance this actually gets posted this time. Great review, very helpful and I liked the comparison against the higher end intel drive. It seems the best low cost option is to buy one of these then add another later when more funds are available.

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  • http://www.kitguru.net Zardon

    Hello – in relation to an earlier question. the reason why no 15k drives were used is quite simple. We don’t have any, and getting a hold of them is proving difficult. Sorry.

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  • Gareth Cringle

    Nice suiet of tests and I like the real world stuff. I would have liked to see more real world tests, such as files being copied etc. Not sure how it would be done, but might be more helpful that those synth tests.

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  • Horsefeeder

    I fail to see how SSD can really make that big a difference to a system’s performance. A CPU or GFX is much more impotrant than waiting say an extra second for somethng to load.

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  • Death Dealer

    @ Horsefeeder – SSD makes probably a bigger difference to a system than upgrading your cpu to one a few hundred mhz faster. Trust me, best thing I did.

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  • Horsefeeder

    Which one do you have ? Intel?

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  • Luciando

    Good review, id like more real world testing under raid though, such as latencies.

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  • Death dealer

    I have an old crucial drive, but its still very good. probably not as fast as any on test today, but its great for accessing my databases. notice it a lot more than a mecvhanical drive

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  • Harry Bomber

    I bought one of these drives for my netbook to see if it would speed it up. it didnt really, and I was annoyed, but I moved the drive into my laptop and it was really quicjk. Might be something to bear in mind, in regards to controllers on netbooks, being suckfesty

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  • Francois LeBon

    really? I noticed a big difference in my asus EEE even with a cheap SSD drive. what controller is in your netbook ? I thought they were all basically intel atom powered machiens with intel chipsets?

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  • Harry bomber

    Its just a netbook with ATOM yeah, maybe there is something wrong with my controller? just never really noticed much of a difference when I swaped it out.

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  • Stefan

    Some dealer on ebay was selling a few of these in a matched pair for £180 all in, what a deal.

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  • terbone

    Good drives but why 5 out of 5? performance really isnt that wonderful.

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  • horrace

    write performance with intel is always bad but as someone else said in the comments here, its never really that noticeable. clearly windows favours read performance much more than write

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  • trix

    Intel make a quality product no matter what they do. these are just right for the mass market. they are big enough for an OS, applications and some files. until 2011 when possibly technology drives down prices this is the best low cost option available right now

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  • Tunick

    $130 in some stores here, we get the better deal compared to you UKers as usual :)

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  • ET

    I have ordered 6 of these for a few of my home PC’s I was going to buy two vertexs. but these will work much better in tri configurations. thanks for the review

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  • Dax

    I have ordered a few as well, was going to go out drinking this weekend but ill stay in and put the money into these instead.

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  • Rob Max

    I saw another review of these drives on tomshardware but I dont have much faith in them to be truthful. This review was the tipping point however, just ordered 2 for Raid 0 for my desktop and ill move my raptor raid into a storage drive.

    Should be wicked, thanks for the review, love it.

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  • me

    contemplated ordering one of these a while ago but didn’t. just ordered 2 this afternoon. I need to read less reviews!

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  • Horrace

    I found this via google, and what a great review it is. Is this the same Zardon from Driverheaven? great review man, bookmarked the site, will be back!

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