X25-M G2 160GB worth buying now?

housecat

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I already have a 60GB Vertex in my desktop and 60GB Solid Series in my laptop.. I'd like to get a little more space on my desktop and I think the 160GB G2 would fit the bill. I've read reviews on Newegg about this drive stuttering under heavy loads (mainly enterprise applications) and the user said he moved to Vertex's and the issue went away. You can find the review on the G2 160GB page.

So I'm considering waiting till next summer for the G3. But at $450 or so, I think the price is about right (for me). Thoughts?
 

ilkhan

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Ive never heard a reliable report about stuttering on the Intel drives; but my 80GB was a great upgrade, its most obvious while loading programs right after boot, but it shows elsewhere as well.

If you are happy with the vertex speed, just get a bigger vertex.
 

sirsad

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I just bought one, but I'm upgrading from a mechanical hd (seagate 7200.11). I bought the retail one from mwave.com
 

housecat

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From newegg, not scientific, but it's pretty believable to me.

Cons: On a large SQL Server load to rebuild an in-memory object cache, it stutters very badly. It will be very fast and then periodically stutter with 20x slower reads. The stutter is bad enough to make the load process slower than a 15K RPM SAS drive. I can't recommend it for enterprise use. The OCZ drive does not stutter and is 2-4x faster than the 15K RPM SAS drive on the database read task. I had this checked on 2 different Intel 160GB G2 SSD's. Same kind of stutter on both and I don't really want to try the latest Intel firmware updates because they seem to be having problems putting out a good update.
 

Adidas4275

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i have a 160gb x25-M G1 and it is fast.... not studdering at all. I think it is definately a great upgrade.... if the $$ is there and you have other means of storage.


I could not imagine storing everything I have on a 80-160gb SSD
 

PHiZ

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From newegg, not scientific, but it's pretty believable to me.

Cons: On a large SQL Server load to rebuild an in-memory object cache, it stutters very badly. It will be very fast and then periodically stutter with 20x slower reads. The stutter is bad enough to make the load process slower than a 15K RPM SAS drive. I can't recommend it for enterprise use. The OCZ drive does not stutter and is 2-4x faster than the 15K RPM SAS drive on the database read task. I had this checked on 2 different Intel 160GB G2 SSD's. Same kind of stutter on both and I don't really want to try the latest Intel firmware updates because they seem to be having problems putting out a good update.

Ok, but you have no idea if he is set up properly.
 

schizo

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This is high-end desktop/enthusiast hardware. MLC SSDs are not appropriate for enterprise applications. Get SLC SSDs for that.
 

housecat

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I agree with that schizo. I was just surprised to see his review. I'm sure you can make anything out there stutter with enough IO, SSD or HDD. Nothing can handle an outrageous number of IO requests at once.
 

MixManSC

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I'd agree - and say go ahead and grab one. For normal user use they kick ass. Not sure why that guy even bothered with a review of a consumer class product in a enterprise situation. Even a single 15k SAS drive would struggle - thats what multiple spindles are for. I see his review as about the same as using a consumer level unmanaged switch for connecting multiple transactional database servers with a couple hundred users and complaining that the network slows to a crawl. lol
 

k1pp3r

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Ok, but you have no idea if he is set up properly.

He is using mainstream drives as an enterprise sql server, thats stupid.

If i really hammer my 80GB gen 2 it will slow down (if i'm writing the the drive a lot)

Other than that, i never got a better perk from any of my vendors lol
 

PHiZ

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He is using mainstream drives as an enterprise sql server, thats stupid.

:shrug: if you take him at his word, then he is seeing performance on par with physical HDD under certain circumstances. That shouldn't happen with an SSD, regardless of how it is being used.

I'm thinking that perhaps his erase-blocks aren't properly aligned, and he is seeing significant copy-write-erase activity under heavy use.
 

schizo

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MLC drives have dramatically inferior write endurance. They really, really aren't appropriate for enterprise use, except maybe for read-only applications like archival (expensive archival though!) or data warehousing. The intel SSDs are particularly well-tuned for desktop use, which is why their sustained speeds are so terrible. That could also explain why the indilinx models performed better.
 

vista_blista

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In general, the Intel drives were designed for server use. SLC in general are more suited for enterprise use, not based on speed but 10X greater longevity. Those Indilinx drives didn't stutter during that large SQL Server load because they have twice the cache to Intel's more channels. On the Intel drives heavy writes will drop reads to the point of stuttering. But most desktop users will rarely, if ever, see a scenario representing this.

Intel likely also imposed a hard limit on write speed, which they probably regret now. They probably never envisioned the type of competition they would face. Indilinx doesn't get the credit they deserve. I'll bet the next Intel revision, G3, suddenly experiences a miraculous write speed increase.
 

housecat

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The 160GB G2 got a write speed increase. I'm not sure if the 80GB is artificially limited but it's clear the 160 was. Amazing my Vertex is such a good alternative (if not superior) to the Intel drives. I've never experienced any problem with it. I'd like to see the 120GB Vertex come down in price but I might as well wait for the next generation. Not that it matters, I don't have sata6 anyway.
 

jwwpua

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On the Intel drives heavy writes will drop reads to the point of stuttering. But most desktop users will rarely, if ever, see a scenario representing this.

I have the Intel X25-M 80GB G2. I have experienced very slight stuttering (mouse movement freezes then skips to new location) when installing something and maybe dragging a program window around. Would this be eliminated by raiding my SSD with another 80GB (raid0)?
 

jamesrb

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The 80MB/s seqential write found on an 80GB Intel G2 drive is faster than the inside portion of a platter on all 7200rpm drives that I have seen. While slower than the average write speed across the entire platter on a modern drive, it is not as bad as everyone keeps pointing out.

Sequential writes like that are pretty rare to common computer uses. This is the first I have heard of significant stuttering with a non Jmicron drive.
 

housecat

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I have the Intel X25-M 80GB G2. I have experienced very slight stuttering (mouse movement freezes then skips to new location) when installing something and maybe dragging a program window around. Would this be eliminated by raiding my SSD with another 80GB (raid0)?

That sucks. I've never seen such a thing on my Vertex.

I know all the cache that is on the Intel is used for organizing data on the drive as opposed to the Indilinx drives where they have a true cache (usually 64MB).

You should have the thoroughput with RAID0 to eliminate those effects. It could still happen though, just as it could if my SSD's cache wasn't enough to feed the drive.

Not that HDDs are any better, they just slow the entire machine to a crawl even with low IO requests like booting a machine.. so while we might feel like we have a complaint, we're just reaching new limits of excessive speeds.
 

jwwpua

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That sucks. I've never seen such a thing on my Vertex.

I know all the cache that is on the Intel is used for organizing data on the drive as opposed to the Indilinx drives where they have a true cache (usually 64MB).

You should have the thoroughput with RAID0 to eliminate those effects. It could still happen though, just as it could if my SSD's cache wasn't enough to feed the drive.

Not that HDDs are any better, they just slow the entire machine to a crawl even with low IO requests like booting a machine.. so while we might feel like we have a complaint, we're just reaching new limits of excessive speeds.

This also happened before I did a secure erase of my SSD. I haven't experienced any stuttering since doing that and installing a fresh windows 7 (but it's only been a day).

Btw, are you saying that if/when we experience mouse stutter, then the equivalent on a regular HD would be an hourglass and unable to do anything for that time period?
 

housecat

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One reason traditional HDDs don't hiccup and freeze because OS's (and all software in general) are designed for them and tested with them in mind. The whole machine crawls at all times, rather than a SSD where it will go much faster, then hit a brick wall due to it's limitations that weren't taken into account by almost any software out there today. It's not just OS's and apps, it's drivers and the entire infrastructure.

HDDs slow down, but they're always slow. SSDs slow down drastically when they hit their wall, by seemingly stuttering or freezing. I guess you could blame it on SSD design, or on the current software environment, I think both would be true.
 

Impulse

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I agree with that schizo. I was just surprised to see his review. I'm sure you can make anything out there stutter with enough IO, SSD or HDD. Nothing can handle an outrageous number of IO requests at once.

Eh... I'm not so sure it's a 'stuttering' issue per se, but I can see how the Intel drives would choke on a super-demanding load w/lots of simultaneous writes going on... At 'least compared to the Vertex drives (see Anand's heavy trace tests in his last article), but not compared to a regular 7.2K RPM HD.

I dunno if 15K RPM SAS drives are fast enough to approach SSD in those very particular situations, I'm pretty clueless about high end server drives, but I don't think any of those scenarios are in any way representative of typical desktop usage. Even Anand's heavy trace test goes far FAR beyond what most users would ever be doing simultaneously on their systems (even power users), but I can see how a server workload would still surpass that.

Basically, I wouldn't sweat it... At $200-ish the X25-M G2 drives are the best low-end buy unless you wanna sacrifice performance/capacity and go w/a 40GB Kingston drive. 60GB Indilix drives need a price drop, but it won't happen until the X25-M drives are commonly available (which probably won't happen 'till next year).

If you've got the cash to splurge on a 120GB Vertex of a 160GB Intel drive then just pick whichever one gives you the most GB per dollar or the Vertex if you'd rather simply spend less... Can't go wrong w/either and chances are if you were gonna benefit from the Vertex's faster write speeds, you'd already know so. ;)
 

vista_blista

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Stuttering is a known issue with the current line of Intel SSD drives, in particular the enterprise. There have been some pretty serious grumblings. The story just wasn't picked up by tech sites, for whatever reason.

Pillar kicks Intel's SSD to the curb, upgrades storage array [It blames the solid-state drive for operations time-outs]
http://www.computerworld.com/s/arti...ntel_s_SSD_to_the_curb_upgrades_storage_array

"Pillar Data Systems Inc. said this week that it's replacing Intel's X25-E solid state disk (SSD) drive as an option for its storage arrays with a drive from STEC Inc. because of firmware problems with the Intel's drive that lead to performance slowdowns.... Intel's X25-E, which has had firmware problems in the past, causes operational timeouts, Maness said....Pillar is continuing to test its arrays with the X25-E and said Intel is working closely with it to solve the issue. Intel has admitted to firmware problems with the X25-E SSD in the past, but said it resolved them with an upgrade. "
 

housecat

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Hm. Maybe I'll stick with my Vertex for now. Even though I like things about the Intel drives, sounds like there's no way around the fact they're fundamentally flawed.
Not in a serious way that would effect desktop use, but if I'm spending $400+ to get a 100GB+ drive, it's going to be right.

We'll see what the new Starforce, Indilinx and G3 are like.
 
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