Not to sound like a broken record, but with the exception of OCZ's Vertex LE, not much has changed in the SSD market over the past couple of years. Intel still seems like the safest bet, and these days they're even offering a pretty compelling value.

The 80GB X25-M G2 is finally selling for reasonable prices and earlier this month Intel launched its first value SSD: the X25-V. Priced at $125, the X25-V gives you much of the performance of the X25-M but at a lower cost and capacity point. It's a great way to safely transition to an SSD.


Intel's X25-V uses the same controller as the X25-M G2, but with half the NAND and thus half the channels

For months now you all have been asking me to tackle the topic of RAIDing SSDs. I've been cautious about doing so for a number of reasons:

1) There is currently no way to pass the TRIM instruction to a drive that is a member of a RAID array. Intel's latest RAID drivers allow you to TRIM non-member RAID disks, but not an SSD in a RAID array.

2) Giving up TRIM support means that you need a fairly resilient SSD, one whose performance will not degrade tremendously over time. On the bright side, with the exception of the newer SandForce controllers, I'm not sure we've seen a controller as resilient as Intel's.

A couple of weeks ago I published some early results of Intel's X25-V SSD. But I was holding out on you, I actually had two:

Using the same Intel X58 testbed I've been using for all of my SSD tests, I created a 74.5GB RAID-0 array out of the two drives and quickly ran them through almost all of our benchmarks. At a total cost of $250, a pair of X25-Vs will set you back more than a single 80GB X25-M and you do give up TRIM, but is the performance worth it?

The Test

AnandTech SSD Testbed
  Product
CPU
Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)
Motherboard
Intel DX58SO
Chipset
Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe
Chipset Drivers
Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel IMSM 8.9
Memory
Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card
eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers
NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution
1920 x 1200
OS
Windows 7 x64
Sequential Read/Write Speed
POST A COMMENT

87 Comments

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  • jed22281 - Friday, April 2, 2010 - link

    @GullLars

    Could you please explain to RoomRaider (down the bottom of pg 6) that there is no
    TRIM support for RAID-0?

    He keeps insisting there is throughout these comments....
    He needs someone to explain why what he's citing as proof, is wrong.

    Thanks if you can!
    Reply
  • jed22281 - Friday, April 2, 2010 - link

    Then again maybe he's right...
    http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3116/tweaktown_s...
    But his cited no's for knowing this to be true haven't sounded right to me yet.
    Reply
  • Boofster - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - link

    It would be nice to see the X25-M G2 in RAID0 as well. Yes it is much more $ but still great value if you look at the performance. The 160gb will cost you ~$400 and possibly beat anything in this review. Of course you can say the same for the faster single drives in RAID0 as well but the value is lost.

    I can say for sure the Intel RAID tools do not let you TRIM the drive in RAID0 (X58 board). I am not sure if you temporarily drop the drive from the RAID, TRIM it, then put it back will work. Probably not because it will mess up the file system. I really hope Intel works this into their drivers as it is a very attractive option.

    Can you also elaborate on the cleaning process? How do I accomplish this "secure data wipe"?
    Reply
  • Hauraki - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - link

    There was a review on X-bit labs praised the v+ 2nd gen for home usage, and I'd like a second opinion from AnandTech. Thanks. Reply
  • nobita1168 - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - link



    Hai, i miss printed version , i like save to disk and read later, can anantech make a print version again? thanks
    Reply
  • Ramon Zarat - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    I don't know if the question has been asked before, but I'm wondering if TRIM will eventually be implemented for RAID or if it's technically impossible. If it's possible, any clue as of when it will happen? Reply
  • jed22281 - Saturday, April 3, 2010 - link

    I would love to know this too! :( Reply
  • Roomraider - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    After reading this review, I had to post: I'm running 2xM 160 g2's in Raid-0 with full trim support from Intels latest chipset drivers designed just for trim to raid support.

    So what gives here? Did someone not get the news about the new chipset drivers?
    Reply
  • jed22281 - Saturday, April 3, 2010 - link

    You are mistaken, there is not support for drives combined into RAID volumes.
    There is for individual drives connected to the controller while it's in RAID mode.
    http://www.intel.com//support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-...

    Also see
    http://communities.intel.com/community/tech/solids...
    Look for the gold star at the top of the page, select show details and then go to announcement 2.

    "Intel® RST 9.6 supports TRIM in AHCI and pass through modes for RAID. A bug has been submitted to change the string that indicates TRIM is supported on RAID volumes (0, 1, 5, 10). Intel is continuing to investigate the ability of providing TRIM support for all RAID volumes in a future release."
    Reply
  • buzznut - Thursday, April 1, 2010 - link

    Thank you Anand!
    This is exactly what I've been looking for. I thought the performance would be better, but I had no idea it would be this good! I still see very little being written about these cost effective little drives. its good to know where to go for my SSD advice.

    A quick question for anyone- My motherboard was running the drive (Intel x25-v) in ahci mode, but the mobo( Tforce ta790gx a2+) has never liked running in that mode and I started getting BSOD's after about two weeks. I had to switch back to ide mode, the board has always been quirky this way. Runs very smooth in IDE mode, no problems.

    I had heard someone mention that trim doesn't work in ide mode, only while running the drive in ahci. If this is the case, then I will truly not miss trim when I get another drive and raid!

    Can anyone confirm the loss of trim command in IDE mode? The intel toolbox seems to work just fine when I run the weekly optimizer.
    Reply

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