The Intel X25-M has been a popular choice over the last few years for PC enthusiasts and it has set the benchmark for all desktop SSD products. However, at $199 for 80GB of storage even the cheapest version was too expensive for our budget SSD round-up. For those looking for something a little more affordable Intel announced the X25-V 40GB earlier this year with an MSRP of $125. That price later fell to $100 making it an even sweeter deal.
Controller = Intel PC29AS218A
Cache = ISSI IS42S16160D-7TLI (32MB)
Memory = Intel 29F64G08CAMDI (34nm MLC)
Read/Write = 170MB/s - 35MB/s (40GB model)
Whereas the ADATA S596 Turbo 32GB drive costs $2.56 per gigabyte the Intel X25-V 40GB is fetching slightly less at around $2.50. So while the Intel drive does indeed cost a little more, in the end you are actually getting a slightly better deal in terms of the cost per gigabyte.
The claimed sequential read/write performance is considerably lower when compared to the ADATA S596 Turbo 32GB drive. Although as many of you will know this is not a figure that a lot of emphasis should be placed on, the claimed write throughput of 35MB/s is quite low so it will be interesting to see how the Intel X25-V 40GB stacks up.
The Intel X25-V 40GB looks very much like the more expensive X25-M G2 80GB and 160GB drives from the outside. Cracking it open reveals that the PCB design is also very much alike, as the exact same Intel PC29AS218A controller and ISSI IS42S16160D-7TLI 32MB PC133 SDRAM cache chip have been used.
Inside are five Intel 29F64G08CAMDI (34nm MLC) NAND memory chips, each 8GB in capacity. The X25-M drives feature ten chips for ten channels, which means Intel's controller now only has half as many channels to work with, and that will inevitably result in the X25-V being considerably slower than the larger and more expensive X25-M drives.
We have yet to see how well the Intel X25-V 40GB compares to the competition, but at least on paper we know it is an affordable alternative that offers pretty good value in terms of cost per gigabyte. Intel is also backing the drive with a 3 year warranty and has included a 2.5 to 3.5-inch mounting bracket in the retail package.